News / Middle East

    Scores Killed as Car Bombs Strike Syria

    Photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian men carry a dead body at the scene where triple bombs exploded at the Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
    Photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian men carry a dead body at the scene where triple bombs exploded at the Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
    VOA News
    Four coordinated explosions on Wednesday ripped through a government-controlled section of Syria's largest city, Aleppo, killing dozens of people and wounding nearly 100 others. The blasts gutted a military officers' club and a nearby hotel.

    Opposition groups say at least 48 people died, mostly from the security services, while Syrian state media put the death toll at 31.

    Meanwhile, a mortar shell fired from Syria hit the southeastern Turkish border town of Akcakale. Turkish media say five people, including a mother and her three children, were killed when the shell landed in a residential area. At least nine others were seriously wounded.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu phoned U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to brief him about the developments in Akcakale.

    • This image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network purports to show smoke rising from buildings following a huge explosion in Saadallah al-Jabri Square in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
    • Debris and damaged buildings are seen after blasts in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
    • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows Syrian men walking between destroyed buildings where bombs exploded in Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
    • This photo by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows Syrian men carrying a body after bombs bombs exploded in Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.
    • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows Syrian security officers in front of destroyed buildings where bombs exploded in Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2012.

    Aleppo bombings

    Earlier in Aleppo, Syrian government forces fired into the air after the blasts as plumes of black smoke rose over the city's usually bustling Saadallah al-Jabri Square. Government-run television showed a large crater where it said one of three car bombs went off.

    Clusters of young men picked through the rubble. Chunks of concrete, glass and twisted metal were thrown onto the pavement. Bulldozers worked to clear the debris.

    Rami Abd al-Rahman of the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says that the string of car bombs targeted government forces. He said violence by the government is provoking counter-violence by the rebels.

    Syrian government media blamed what they called “terrorists” for the blasts. Parliament Speaker Mohammed Jihad Laham said that Syria's cultural and economic infrastructure is being destroyed.

    Laham said that Aleppo, the capital of Islamic culture and of manufacturing, has fallen victim to an odious crime and disgusting terrorist explosions that have struck innocent people.

    Some of Syria's deadliest bombings


    • December 2011: Suicide bombings kill 44 people outside a Damascus intelligence compound
    • January 2012: A suicide blast kills 25 people, many of them police, at a Damascus intersection
    • February 2012: Twin explosions in Aleppo kill 28 people
    • March 2012: Car bombs kill 27 people near intelligence and security buildings in Damascus
    • May 2012: Twin bombings in Damascus kill 55 people
    • October 2012: Car bombs in Aleppo kill at least 40 people
    'Destructive confrontation'

    Analyst Peter Harling of the International Crisis Group says that both sides have been engaged in what he calls an “extremely destructive confrontation” in recent weeks, but without making any “tangible gains.”

    Harling does, however, see a glimmer of hope, as some reports indicate possible talks between the government and opposition factions.  

    “We're in a phase of confusion and reconfiguration with some willingness among the more pragmatic players to see whether a return to politics is possible, although they're not quite sure how to go about it,” he said.

    The joint United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is set to return to the region next week as he tries to revive efforts to end the 18-month conflict.

    Heavy government shelling was also reported in the region of Homs, the outer suburbs of Damascus, parts of Deraa, and Deir Ezzor.

    Refugees suffering

    Inside Syria, VOA's Scott Bobb traveled on Wednesday to the Bab al-Salama camp for internally displaced persons, located a few kilometers from the Turkish town of Killis.  He said about 6,000 Syrians have fled to the camp in the last month.

    "This upsurge occurred about a month ago when the bombing intensified by the Syrian air force on basically defenseless towns and civilians in northern Syria," he said. "People [were] just panicked and traumatized and decided to get out."

    Bobb said the mostly Sunni civilians initially fled to Turkey, but large numbers are now forced to wait at Bab al-Salama until space becomes available in the Turkish refugee camps.

    As Turkish officials let in hundreds of people each day, more arrive from deeper inside Syria, Bobb said.

    "So it's a constant influx of hundreds, maybe up to a thousand a day at this one point," he said. "Multiply that by half a dozen or more crossing points in northern Syria and you can see why the United Nations is calling it a major catastrophe in waiting."

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ismail Aljazaeri
    October 03, 2012 5:06 PM
    Well done America, keep supporting terror until they hit you again. Obviousely US governement dont learn from past experiences.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora