News / Middle East

16 Killed in Damascus Car Bombing

A damaged area is pictured after a car bomb in Qatana, near Damascus December 13, 2012 in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA.
A damaged area is pictured after a car bomb in Qatana, near Damascus December 13, 2012 in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA.
VOA News
A car bomb has killed 16 people in a suburb outside the Syrian capital, Damascus, while a senior Russian diplomat says Syria's opposition may win in its battle against President Bashar al-Assad.

The bombing Thursday in Qatana comes a day after an explosion targeting the main entrance of Syria's interior ministry in Damascus killed five people.

In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov acknowledged for the first time that Assad is increasingly losing control of the country's territory, and that an opposition victory cannot be ruled out.

Quoted by Russian media, he also accused Western nations of distorting Russia's position on Syria in order to weaken its influence in the Middle East.

Moscow opposes Western demands to impose regime change on the Syrian president, a longtime Russian ally.

On Wednesday, a senior U.S. official said the Syrian government recently fired Scud missiles at insurgents.  There was no indication as to whether the missiles carried chemical weapons.  

The use of Scud missiles could be seen as an escalation of the nearly two-year conflict in Syria.

Meanwhile, a group of more than 100 nations calling for Assad to step down formally recognized a newly formed opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

The director of the Brookings Doha Center, Salman Shaikh, told VOA from Morocco that the new coalition's leadership was "satisfied" with the outcome of the so-called Friends of Syria meeting.

"It's safe to say this is the most significant Friends [of Syria] meeting there's been.  In fact, it's probably the first significant Friends [of Syria] meeting there has been," Shaikh said.

He said various countries taking part pledged $143 million in aid for the Syrian opposition, including a $100-million aid package from Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said in Morocco the sooner the Syrian president "steps aside, the better for all Syrians."

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago
December 13, 2012 9:20 AM
Russia finally has written off Bashar Assad, just about as bankers write off bad loans as a loss. I have predicted in other writings and in my blog at the Telegraph that Russian policy in Syria was quite foolish, and now Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov - who had boasted "The Syrian rebels cannot defeat the Syrian army" - might have to eat some crow. I don't know where Assad will be headed for exile, but I am certain of two things: a) Assassins will be hot on his trail to do justice for all the killing done under his orders, and b) The International Crominal Court's (ITC) investigators will start ammassing "war crimes" evidence against him, and an arrest warrant is certain to come later.

I am sure Assad thinks that packing and leaving will end his current predicament. But his real nightmares will begin when he starts life on the run in exile! Nikos Retsos, retired professor

In Response

by: Anonymous
December 14, 2012 6:48 AM
Absolutely, well said.


by: Anonymous
December 13, 2012 8:48 AM
Rebels kill innocent people , US and its allies support them.Noone knows what terrorism means based on US terminology.
So There are two types of terrorist: Those who with US policy ; they are good terrorists . And those who are against US policy they are bad.
Now you judge, which type of terrorists the rebeles in Syria are.

In Response

by: Anonymous
December 14, 2012 7:02 AM
A terrorist is someone who terrorizes civilians. Exactly what Assad has done for the past year with his so called army/thugs. He has terrorized more than anyone in Syria. With the hundreds of thousands homeless, elderly, men, women , and children. He has not only commited the largest of crimes, he has also stained Syrian history. Not only has he destroyed a great deal of areas in Syria, he has also wiped out historical places, with historical values. Places that were sacred as well as a part of Syrian History. We all know that most of the 50,000 or more people killed, majority were civilians. We have also seen the videos showing Assad dropping bombs and using tanks to take out entire neighborhoods by indiscriminately shelling. We also know that thousands of Syrians are missing and are expected to be in Jails and being mistreated there. People of all ages are being held in prisons. Many families have hope they may find them alive still.

What Assad has shown us is the very little he values human life, and the people / country of Syria, to the point that disgusts the world. He is doing no different than his daddy did years ago, he has killed actually more innocent people than his father.

Easy to power, easy to go... A country isn't much of a country without the backing of the people. More and more defectors and civilians are taking to arms to go against Assad. The people want a safe quiet place to live in Peace. Every day there is more and more enemies of Assad than there is friends. He is all by himself now as everyone under him has been jumping ship and is defecting. It's not going to be long now at all. This war will be over once Assad is detained and held accountable.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid