News / Middle East

Blast, Fighting Near Damascus Kills 16 Syrian Soldiers

VOA News
A Syrian activist group says at least 16 soldiers have been killed in a suicide car bombing and ensuing clashes with rebels just outside Damascus .

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the suicide attack Saturday was carried out by the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

The blast went off at a checkpoint between the rebel-held area of Mleha and the pro-government town of Jaramana, which is populated by Christians and Druze. 

Syria's state-run SANA news agency also reported the blast and said there were casualties, and says there has been no immediate claim of responsibility.

UN Aid Chief Makes Plea
 
The United Nations’ top humanitarian official is urging both sides in the Syrian civil war to allow aid workers access to thousands of civilians trapped in one of several besieged suburbs ringing the capital, Damascus.
 
Valerie Amos on Saturday called for an “immediate pause in hostilities” to allow access for medical and other rescue personnel into Moadhamiya. Government troops have laid siege to the mostly rebel-held town for months.
 
Last week, more than 3,000 civilians, mostly women and children, were able to leave Moadhamiya in a deal brokered between government and opposition representatives. But the U.N. official said Saturday that “the same number or more remain trapped” in the community, which has been the frequent target of shelling and clashes.
 
In another sign of Syria's growing misery, the World Health Organization said it had detected two possible cases of polio in the eastern Deir Ezzor province. If confirmed, they would be the country's first known cases since 1999.
 
Meanwhile, world leaders continued to push for a peace conference in Geneva next month.
 
The U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, on Saturday met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy and is due to hold talks with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Sunday.
 
In other news, a Syrian activist group said at least 16 soldiers were killed in a suicide car bombing and ensuing clashes with rebels outside Damascus.
 
Meanwhile, nine Lebanese pilgrims abducted in Syria and two Turkish pilots held hostage in Lebanon returned home Saturday night, part of an ambitious three-way deal cutting across the Syrian civil war.
 
The conflict in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people and displaced millions more since it began in March 2011.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Whistleblower from: D.C.
October 19, 2013 11:03 AM
VOA, by now it might be obvious for your pathetic journalism to mention the FACT that the SCUM CIA arms, funds, runs, and trains Al Qaeda. Anyone with half a brain on their shoulders can trace the CIA's dirty inside work all the way back to 9/11. Operation Northwoods ring a bell??? Oklahoma City? Benghazi? Need I mention anymore INSIDE jobs??? ALL FACTS. ALL FACTS. ALL FACTS.
In Response

by: Anonymous
October 20, 2013 2:22 AM
You really don't even know the facts. The FSA is an entirely different group composed of Ex Syrian Army Soldiers that defected because they refused to murder for bashar al assad. This is how the FSA began, look it up. Secondly Al Qaeda is also in Syria and is also opposed to assad and trying to steal assads chair. Because the FSA have a tough time fighting against assad for their own reasons (For the Syrian People), any help for them is great. Al Qaeda is helping disable assad so the FSA doesn't mind the help. But once assad is finished al qaeda will try to steal his chair from the FSA.

The FSA must be armed to the maximum not only to protect Syrian people but protect against Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda is the extreme Islamists, whereas the FSA are moderates.

You should do some research before you make [redacted by moderator] comments like the one you made already, and that's a fact. Hopefully I gave you a better understanding of what you don't already know.

by: Husi Peter from: Switzerland
October 19, 2013 10:48 AM
USA
You give this monsters wapons!!Stop this terrorists.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs