News / Middle East

    US Intel Chief Calls Syria Conflict 'Apocalyptic Disaster'

    U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington Feb. 11, 2014.
    U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington Feb. 11, 2014.
    VOA News
    U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper is describing the situation in Syria as an "apocalyptic disaster" and says pictures of torture victims are likely genuine.
     
    Clapper told a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday that the war has killed more than 134,000 people and created nearly 10 million refugees.
     
    Clapper said he has no reason to doubt that smuggled police photographs of tortured Syrian prisoners are real.  He calls them "terrible" and says it is difficult to imagine they could have been fabricated.
     
    Clapper told the senators that U.S. intelligence expectations from the current Syrian peace talks in Geneva are "pretty modest."
     
    United Nations-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi described the talks Tuesday as laborious with little progress.
     
    Brahimi said negotiators from the Syrian government and the opposition are doing their best to make the process "take off," but stressed that more cooperation is needed.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: carlloeber from: ca
    February 12, 2014 3:16 AM
    President Obama appears to be a coward when it comes to Syria. I am ashamed. I have been to Aleppo.President Obama could have removed the dictator 1200 days ago and saved hundreds of thousands of lives but like Bill Clinton he failed to save millions of lives because he is a coward who never volunteered for any military service himself he does not respect military power used for humanitarian purposes this is what the world needs. We cannot depend on the UN Security Council which is controlled by the toph power by dictators themselves.to save millions of lives in the world we need a president who will act to send volunteers with military power to save innocent people in the world such as the Syrians.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    February 13, 2014 9:38 AM
    Portraying the rebels as innocent victims of their government is far too simplistic a view of what is happening in Syria.

    There is no winning for the US in this war. Why should Americans die to win a sectarian conflict for the Sunni Arabs (and inadvertantly assist the genocide that would follow against the Alawites attempting to suppress them)?

    In this the President is correct. Stay out of the conflict, and let the Syrians play out their sectarian hatreds in the context of the Saudi/Iranian competition for hegemony.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    February 12, 2014 11:30 AM
    You mean that the president should by willing through personal strength (i.e. contrary to being a coward) to oppose the combined forces of the US congress (both houses, both parties) and the overwhelming majority of the American people?

    The reason that comments like yours do not resonnate beyond the hate-filled fringe on the web is because you are the person that is out of touch with reality - not the president. He's got it right.

    Take charge of your life and go back to Aleppo. Join the brigades and fight for whatever it is your kind are fighting for in that great sand dune known as the Middle East.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.