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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs