News / Middle East

Blast Kills 40 in Syrian Weapons Depot

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on August 1, 2013, shows flames billowing from the site of an ammunitions depot blast in the Wadi al-Zahab district of Homs in central Syria.
A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on August 1, 2013, shows flames billowing from the site of an ammunitions depot blast in the Wadi al-Zahab district of Homs in central Syria.
VOA News
Activists say at least 40 people were killed and dozens wounded in the central Syrian city of Homs when rocket attacks on a government-held district set off successive explosions at a weapons depot.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition monitoring group, said the number of casualties is likely to rise. Both soldiers and civilians are among the dead.

A video posted online by activists showed a huge fireball over Homs neighborhoods, causing widespread damage and panic among residents, many of whom are majority Alawite supporters of President Bashar al-Assad - who is of the same sect.

Local residents said the explosion was a rebel attack and that the sound of multiple blasts could be heard for over an hour as munitions detonated.

Earlier Thursday, Mr. Assad said he is confident his forces will prevail in the crisis.

In a message Thursday on Syria's Army Day, the president said without that confidence, the government would not have been able to resist what he called more than two years of aggression.

He spoke during a symbolic visit to the town of Daraya, near Damascus, once overrun by insurgents but now mostly retaken by his army.

The conflict in Syria began as an uprising against Mr. Assad's rule in March 2011, and later developed into a civil war, leaving more than 100,000 people dead. Millions more have been displaced by the fighting.

Both the government and rebels opposed to the president have accused each other of using chemical weapons during the conflict.

The United Nations said Wednesday that U.N. experts will travel to Syria "as soon as possible" to investigate three sites where chemical weapons have allegedly been used.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said one of the sites will be the village of Khan al-Assal on the outskirts of Aleppo. He did not name the other two locations.

Khan al-Assal has been a key front in the battle to control Aleppo, Syria's largest city. Both opposition rebels and Syria's government accused each other of using chemical weapons during battles there earlier this year that killed about 30 people.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats 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.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid