News / Middle East

Fierce Fighting Near Historic Aleppo Mosque

Free Syrian Army members walk through damaged buildings near the Great Mosque, or Umayyad Mosque, Aleppo, Feb. 11, 2013.
Free Syrian Army members walk through damaged buildings near the Great Mosque, or Umayyad Mosque, Aleppo, Feb. 11, 2013.
VOA News
Fierce fighting has broken out between Syrian government forces and rebels near a historic mosque in Aleppo.
 
Syrian state-run media and opposition groups said gunfire and explosions shook the area around the Great Mosque, also known as the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo, in Syria's major commercial city.
 
The mosque is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Syrian army officials said the rebels had detonated a bomb near the southern wall in an attempt to break into the complex's courtyard.

Rome summit
Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib following a meeting with France's president at Elysee Palace, Paris, Nov. 17, 2012.Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib following a meeting with France's president at Elysee Palace, Paris, Nov. 17, 2012.
x
Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib following a meeting with France's president at Elysee Palace, Paris, Nov. 17, 2012.
Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib following a meeting with France's president at Elysee Palace, Paris, Nov. 17, 2012.
Meanwhile, Syrian opposition leaders say they will attend an international conference in Rome this week.
 
Syrian National Coalition head Moaz al-Khatib said on his Facebook page late Monday that he and his fellow opposition leaders had decided to stop their suspension of any visit to the Friends of Syria conference set for Thursday.
 
They had been considering a boycott because of what they deemed a lack of action by other nations to end the violence in Syria.

Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge
x
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden welcomed the decision. The White House says new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Syrian opposition members.
 
Kerry is meeting in Berlin Tuesday with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for talks expected to focus on future prospects for war-torn Syria.
 
Washington and Moscow have been 
Fire burns after shelling at the Great Mosque of Aleppo, Oct. 13, 2012.Fire burns after shelling at the Great Mosque of Aleppo, Oct. 13, 2012.
x
Fire burns after shelling at the Great Mosque of Aleppo, Oct. 13, 2012.
Fire burns after shelling at the Great Mosque of Aleppo, Oct. 13, 2012.
 t odds over how to deal with the Syrian conflict.
 
Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Monday in Moscow that the Syrian government is open to dialogue with those who want to take part.
 
Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency quoted him as saying "we are ready for dialogue with everyone who wants it…even with those who have weapons in their hands, because we believe that reforms will not come through bloodshed but only through dialogue."


  • Demonstrators chant slogans and wave Syrian opposition flags during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, Bustan al-Qasr district, Aleppo, Syria, March 1, 2013.
  • A man sells gas stoves in Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013. 
  • A child looks out of a window in Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013.
  • Men ride a scooter past buildings damaged by shelling from Syrian forces, Maarat al-Nuaman, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 26, 2013.
  • A citizen journalism image provided by the Aleppo Media Center, AMC, shows people searching the rubble after houses were hit by a missile fired by Syrian government forces in Ard Al-Hamra, Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 26, 2013.
  • A boy walks past members of an Islamist group as they hold flags during a protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Deir el-Zor, Syria, Feb. 25, 2013.
  • Destruction and debris are seen in Al-Suwayqa, Aleppo after forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad captured the area from the Free Syrian Army, Feb. 25, 2013.
  • Ammunition that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad say belonged to the Free Syrian Army is seen in Al-Suwayqa, Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 25, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons and deploy after they seized control of the government's 80th Brigade's base near Aleppo International Airport, Feb. 23, 2013. 
  • A view shows military vehicles which belonged to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad forces at 80th Brigade's base after it was seized, Feb. 23, 2013.

The foreign minister met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, who said last week there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis and that continued fighting between rebels and government forces will lead to "mutual destruction."
 
Meanwhile, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch accused the Syrian government of launching four "unlawful" missile attacks in Aleppo last week that killed more than 140 people. The group said it visited the sites — three of which were in opposition-controlled areas — and found no signs of military targets in the area.​

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid