News / Middle East

Syrian Forces Pound Rebel Positions in Aleppo

A Free Syrian Army fighter runs after a Syrian Army tank shell explodes in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo, August 5, 2012.
A Free Syrian Army fighter runs after a Syrian Army tank shell explodes in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo, August 5, 2012.
VOA News
The Syrian army continued attacking rebel positions Sunday in the northern city of Aleppo with heavy shelling and helicopter gunships.
 
The country's biggest city has become a key battleground in the nearly year and a half uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, as government forces reportedly mass ahead of what is expected to be a strong offensive against the rebels.
 
The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that more than 40 Syrians, including 25 civilians, were confirmed as killed Sunday across the country.  The British-based group said more than 24 others were killed a day earlier.  The casualties have not been independently verified.
 
Kidnapped Iranians
 
Meanwhile, Iranian media said Tehran has asked Turkey and Qatar to help secure the release of 48 Iranian nationals kidnapped Saturday in Damascus.  Iran says the victims were religious pilgrims, but a brigade commander with the Free Syrian Army describes them as elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
 
Iran backs the Syrian government, while Turkey and Qatar support the Syrian opposition. 
 
Former Iranian President Abolhasan Bani Sadr tells VOA that the captured Iranians were not armed or wearing Revolutionary Guard uniforms.  He says Iran is definitely helping President Assad and that the stakes are very high for his country.
 
He says that the fall of the Assad government would not only be a heavy blow to Iranian prestige and influence in the region, but it would also reinforce U.S. policy of containing Iran.  He says Tehran views any toppling of President Assad as signifying that Iran's turn could be next.

  • A truck catches flames after it was hit by rockets fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter plane during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
  • A general view shows a street after clashes between Free Syrian Army fighters and forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad, in Salah Edinne district, in the center of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter fires an anti-aircraft gun as a Syrian Air Force fighter bomber fires rockets during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
  • In this photo taken on guided government tour, Syrian army forces are seen at al-Sijen district, in the center of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
  • A Syrian man reacts after the funeral of 29 year-old Free Syrian Army fighter, Husain Al-Ali, who was killed during clashes in Aleppo, in the cemetery in town of Marea on the outskirts of Aleppo city, August 9, 2012.
  • Men search for bodies under rubble of a house destroyed by a Syrian Air force air strike, in Tel Rafat, about 37 kilometers north of Aleppo, Syria, August 8, 2012.
  • In this citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, Syrians attend the funeral procession of a man killed in Idlib province, August 7, 2012.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter runs after a Syrian Army tank shell exploded in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo, August 5, 2012.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters fire their rifles during clashes with Syrian Army soldiers in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 5, 2012.
  • Free Syrian Army fighter holds a RPG launcher during clashes with Syrian Army in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 5, 2012.
  • This image map provides an overview of the activity seen in Aleppo from July 23, 2012 to August 1, 2012 (base image collected on July 29, 2012).
  • More than 600 probable artillery impact craters, represented here with yellow dots, were identified in Anadan, in the vicinity of Aleppo.
  • In this August 5, 2012 photograph, Syrians pass by a destroyed house in town of Atareb outskirts of Aleppo, Syria.
  • Free Syrian Army fighter runs for cover during clashes with Syrian Army soldiers in the Salah al- Din neighborhood of central Aleppo August 5, 2012.
  • Syrian women mourn the loss of loved ones in Aleppo fighting, August 5, 2012.
International Debate Continues
 
The U.S. State Department announced Sunday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Turkey later this week to discuss the deteriorating situation in Syria. 
 
The United Nations General Assembly on Friday voted overwhelmingly to condemn the Security Council for its failure to act and condemned the Syrian regime for using heavy weapons.  

Kofi Annan's Six-Point Peace Plan
 
  • A Syrian-led political process to address the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.
  • A U.N. supervised end to armed violence by all parties in Syria.
  • Timely humanitarian assistance in all areas affected by fighting.
  • Increasing the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained people.
  • Ensuring freedom of movement for journalists.
  • Respecting freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully.
The U.N. special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, resigned Thursday in frustration with the world body's failure to act decisively to prevent  the bloodshed in Syria.  Mr. Annan said he could not be the only one working for peace while the fighting between Syrian forces and the rebels intensified.  Mr. Annan's peace plan for Syria included an immediate cease-fire and talks on a transitional government. 
 
Russia and China have vetoed three Security Council resolutions that would have held President Assad responsible for his failure to abide by Mr. Annan's peace plan and threatened him with sanctions. 

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

 

Loading...

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Anonymous
August 05, 2012 10:30 PM
I hope that Assads whereabouts gets announced soon so that the world will know where this guy is. He is commiting more and more crimes against humanity from his hiding spot. How is it that someone like Assad can kill many thousands of innocent people, and yet he is still alive???


by: Talena Holt from: Somerset, KY U.S.A.
August 05, 2012 3:54 PM
It's really hard to believe that in this day and time so much loss of life is a game to people. Why don't they have to use some of all that energy they have to do something productive, versus destructive?


by: David Kruse from: Denver Colorado, US
August 05, 2012 3:41 PM
I wonder if the British and French had any idea that drawing borders in the former ottoman empire would cause the world such grief. Unfortunately, they took actions that have had unintended consequences. May the poor and innocent folks have the luck to survive the meddling of ignorant foreigners and their lackeys that have no respect for human rights.


by: Ed from: USA
August 05, 2012 3:22 PM
Pls check this Video, based on the Iranian ID, they are part of the Iranian revelotion!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErpoufJefwY


by: neomy sotto from: UN
August 05, 2012 3:20 PM
Iranian "pilgrims" armed with explosives... hey, they just want to pray to Alla... nuclear bomb??? what nuclear bomb...?? they just want a cheap alternative to oil...

Iran... what a farce...


by: FearToTellVOA from: USOfCourse
August 05, 2012 3:17 PM
VOA forgot to mention that US vetoed more UN resolutions than another countries.

In Response

by: James from: Nebraska
August 06, 2012 7:01 PM
To FearToTellVOA: thanks for playing.

The correct answer is:
USSR/Russia: 123, half of all UN vetos in the first ten years
USA: 82, its first cast only in 1970, though nearly all since relate to the Israeli/Palestinian issue
UK: 32, mostly regarding decolonization
France: same as UK
People's Republic of China/Republic of China: 6 - The ROC only issued one veto, over Mongolia's admission to the UN. The PRC issued the other five after Taiwan was ejected from the UN. China threatened to veto every African nation's admission if Mongolia was not admitted. The PRC usually abstains unless the issue directly relates to China.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_veto_power#Analysis_by_country


by: Bib from: Trieste
August 05, 2012 1:31 PM
Wow nice AK...looks chinese from here...gotta love those chinese, they will supply anything to anyone to upset the sovis or the americans...


by: J from: Seattle
August 05, 2012 1:01 PM
Creepy Americans cheering death, torture, kidnapping, whatever it is, it's usually a fairly psychotic affair. USA? USA? No thanks...


by: johnny sparks from: atlantic beach fl
August 05, 2012 12:26 PM
Israel and the N.W.O. is served when Syria is fully unstable..Iran needs Syria for Her strategic position north of Israel,,,all countries around Israel,,,standing with Iran,,, will be destabilized first,,, Then, Israel will attack Iran.,,,,,,,,,Russia will wait for the U.S. and supply weapons and advisers at first.,,,, Maybe,,,,They might just nuke Israel,,,While China attacks the U.S.....lob some missiles,,, Preempt the War,,,,that's where this thing is going,,, WW3.,,,,,,,,,,, The Train Has left the Station

In Response

by: vonrik from: Manchester CT
August 06, 2012 8:22 AM
Johnny...you are so right....nobody is thinking about the what if Russia and China goes ahead and put the foot down and WW3 will begin.


by: musawi melake from: anonymous
August 05, 2012 11:17 AM
It's the right decision on the part of the soveregin Syrian authorities to take lead from the Hon. President of the Russian federation, who did the right thing himself by striking first to destroy the terrorists in the Caucasus and later coming out with various forms of remedies for the grievances, if any,of the common man Western Powers are simply bent on acquiring unprecedented access to third-world treasures(resources) to keep their own peoples' living-standard high, and for that they are utilizing traitors to do terror campaign like suicide-bombing, killing press persons and kidnapping pilgrims, the same things, if done against their own nationals would force them to cry-foul and do so called drone-killings.

In Response

by: Jon Q Publik from: Good ol USofA
August 05, 2012 3:28 PM
People love money and power sooo much they are willing to decimate their own country. Sounds like we all really are alike.

In Response

by: moni from: freeland
August 05, 2012 12:04 PM
That is good kidnapping pilgrims, and kill them, that what Iran doing.
There are the head of the snake, and has to be cut first.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid