News / Middle East

    Syrian Activists: Government Air Strike Kills More Than 60

    A view shows blood and bread on the ground after what activists said were missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad hit a bakery in Halfaya, near Hama December 23, 2012.
    A view shows blood and bread on the ground after what activists said were missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad hit a bakery in Halfaya, near Hama December 23, 2012.
    VOA News

    Syrian activists say a government air strike on a bakery killed more than 60 people Sunday, even as international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi began another visit to negotiate an end to Syria's civil war.

    The attack occurred in the rebel-controlled town of Halfaya in Hama province. If confirmed, it would be one of the deadliest incidents in the 21-month conflict. The number of casualties is expected to rise because some 50 of those wounded are listed in critical condition.

    It is not clear if the bombed out, one-story building was actually a bakery, but video posted online showed men working frantically to free people, including at least one woman, from the debris.  Bloodstained bodies littered the surrounding area and street.

    Activists also reported government airstrikes in Aleppo province and on the eastern outskirts of Damascus, as troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad attempted to drive rebels from his seat of power.

    Brahimi arrived in the Syrian capital after driving from Lebanon, since fighting near Damascus' airport has intensified in recent weeks.  The U.N.-Arab League peace envoy is expected to meet President Assad on Monday.

    Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi told a news conference that the government remains open to resolving the conflict through dialogue, but he warned the rebels and their supporters that "time is running out" for such a process.

    Rebels and exiled Syrian opposition groups have refused to negotiate with Mr. Assad, demanding instead that he step down from his 12-year rule. More than 40,000 people have been killed since the Syrian president began a violent crackdown on what began as a peaceful opposition uprising in March 2011.

    Western powers and their Arab allies have repeatedly called for the departure of Mr. Assad, whose few remaining allies include Russia, Iran and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. In recent days, Moscow's support for Mr. Assad has slipped, with Russian officials saying they will not stand by him at any price and will welcome any foreign offers to grant him safe passage into exile.


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

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    December 24, 2012 11:18 PM
    The rebels have cried wolf before... Liars, and killers, these insurgent rebels, they have timed this so-called air strike, with the Brahimi visit to create another fabricated "Government Massacre". This murder was another cynical manipulation of the MSM, not an air strike, most likely an IED car bomb.

    by: David Lango from: Los Angeles
    December 24, 2012 1:10 AM
    Ron Paul was right. The Golden Rule should be reflected in our foreign policy. This isn't right. It's all wrong. We should be trading with Iran, not sanctioning them! Their biggest crime isn't defiance to Israel, but rather selling oil to Russia and China for gold! Supplying arms to Al Qaida terrorists to overthrow Asad's regime seems very wrong! Why was Obama complicit in the overthrow of Libya? What is a Dinar? Why did Iraq return it's sale of oil from Euros back to Dollars when it was worth less? Why do we like Al Qaida again? Isn't arming Al Qaida to topple the government in Syria going to inspire Iran to get the bomb sooner than later?

    We need to end the Fed. If we end the Fed, the wars will grind to a halt. Uncle Sam will not have to oblige the Rothschild Zionism that has hijacked our foreign policy. They own the media and have controlled the conversation for generations. They bought Reuters back in the 1800's to hide themselves; and their political influence has slid right off the stage. What we see now is complete control of the conversation, and half of this country is yearning for the global socialism they promise! A one world government hellbent on depopulation and enslaving the remaining survivors of the planet, by dissolving national sovereignty and removing guns from citizens! We've been lied to for generations. And they didn't even provide a plane for building 7.

    by: Mungai Mselle from: Arusha
    December 24, 2012 12:31 AM
    the assad regime must go now. The african union must take another step ahead to ensuare that the situastion in syria become level

    by: Tajicat Cats
    December 23, 2012 10:05 PM
    we in the Us lost children in school teachers ect..
    just let us imagine how these poor folks no different then us
    are even seeing much worse on a daily diet..Who Is going to help
    them..how can we as Americans turn our heads like nothing is
    happening!!!!!>>>>>

    by: Anonymous
    December 23, 2012 7:34 PM
    Assad has killed more innocent people than Osama Bin Laden.

    by: Anonymous
    December 23, 2012 6:13 PM
    It's time the International Criminal Court puts out a warrant for his arrest. How many more thousands of people are to be killed? It would be great if the world countries threw some money in a pot as a reward for Assads capture to face the International Criminal Court.

    by: syrian from: have no place
    December 23, 2012 6:11 PM
    Halfaya's air strike has killed mor than 90 people. there is children and women between the victims. and most of the victims have families wating the bread. I wondering what will happen to them? what the Human Organizations, UN, will do?..

    by: Anonymous
    December 23, 2012 6:06 PM
    Assad is a criminal and should be held responsible for every death since the uprising. Dropping bombs on women, children and elderly in line for bread is just plain murder, mistake or no mistake. I think the outside world should be helping more with logistics and helping the FSA capture Assad for these crimes. It would be different if Assad wasn't bombing civillians, but he is. Using your army to wipe out civilians is genocide. The crimes commited already by Assad certainly by far deserves thousands of death sentences in most modern countries.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora