News / Middle East

Massive Blast Levels Historic Syria Hotel

Carlton Hotel, Aleppo, Syria
Carlton Hotel, Aleppo, Syria
Edward Yeranian
A massive explosion in a tunnel dug by rebel fighters destroyed an historic hotel facing Aleppo's iconic 13th century Citadel. Both opposition and government sources are reporting numerous casualties among government troops being housed in the building.  
 
This image made from amateur video posted by Shaam News Network (SNN), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, Syria, May 8, 2014.This image made from amateur video posted by Shaam News Network (SNN), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, Syria, May 8, 2014.
x
This image made from amateur video posted by Shaam News Network (SNN), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, Syria, May 8, 2014.
This image made from amateur video posted by Shaam News Network (SNN), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, Syria, May 8, 2014.
Amateur video showed an enormous mushroom cloud rising into the sky over Syria's largest city of Aleppo after a blast leveled the Carlton Hotel, shattering windows and scattering debris for hundreds of meters. Explosives placed in a tunnel under the building destroyed the 150 year old Ottoman structure. Dozens were killed, including many government soldiers.

Government troops continue to hold the Citadel and several neighborhoods inside the historic old city of Aleppo, while rebels control surrounding districts and areas north and east of the city. Rebels recently agreed to lift a siege of the nearby government-held towns of Nubl and Zahra.

Government warplanes have pounded rebel districts of Aleppo with home-made “barrel bombs” since December, causing hundreds of casualties. Amateur video has shown entire buildings leveled in the aerial bombardment, with many residents buried under debris.

​An explosion in a tunnel under a government military base earlier this week killed dozens of Syrian soldiers near the town of Ma'arat al Na'aman in Idlib province. Opposition activists say it took rebel insurgents over 50 days to dig that tunnel.

An amateur video showed rebel fighters digging one such tunnel somewhere in the north of Syria. The group of mostly young men show off their work to visitors, describing their efforts.

Syrian government sources claimed recently to have destroyed a number of rebel-built tunnels in the Damascus suburb of Joubar. Once a rebel-stronghold, most of Joubar has been recaptured by government forces.

A rebel commander in Syria's third largest city of Homs describes a deal with the government to exchange prisoners in parts of the country. He insists, however, that the deal is not a truce. Amateur video showed government soldiers being released Thursday as part of the deal.

Homs' Governor Talal Barazi explains on Syrian State TV that a third wave of rebel fighters are being allowed to leave the old city Thursday. Amateur video showed several groups of fighters being evacuated from the old city within the past 48 hours.
 
  • This scene taken from amateur video shows the explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, May 8, 2014.
  • This scene taken from amateur video shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, May 8, 2014.
  • Syrian rebels detonated a huge bomb underneath the Carlton Hotel, completely demolishing it. Seen here are forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad standing on the debris of the fallen hotel, in historic Aleppo, May 8, 2014.
  • Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stand on debris of a hotel used by al-Assad's forces, in historic Aleppo May 8, 2014.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter helps another wounded rebel fighter, Al-Amariya district, Aleppo, May 8, 2014.
  • This photo shows Free Syrian Army fighters posing for a group photograph, exhausted and worn out from a year-long siege, before leaving Homs, May 7, 2014.
  • This scene from amateur video shows Syrian rebels boarding a bus leaving Homs, May 7, 2014.
  • Hundreds of Syrian rebels leave Homs under a cease-fire deal with government forces, May 8, 2014.
     
  • The exit of about 1,200 fighters and civilians marks a de facto end of the rebellion in the battered city of Homs, one of the first places to rise up against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, earning the nickname "capital of the revolution," Homs, May 7, 2014.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters on a bus leaving Homs, Syria, May 7, 2014.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
May 08, 2014 6:31 PM
Best thing that can possibly happen is now happening. Russia heavily slapped with sanctions for supporting bashar al assad war criminal terrorist whom has murdered more unarmed civillians than anyone in Syria. He will have to face justice regardless of what he thinks. Two thumbs up for sanctions!!!


by: TF Arcevol from: Miskatonic University
May 08, 2014 2:32 PM
"*A* historic", not "an historic".

The "h" in historic is not silent: "an" is reserved for words beginning with a vowel sound.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid