News / Middle East

    Rockets Land in Hezbollah Stronghold in Beirut

    Members of Lebanese Red Cross treat a wounded man after two rockets hit his house in Beirut suburbs, May 26, 2013.
    Members of Lebanese Red Cross treat a wounded man after two rockets hit his house in Beirut suburbs, May 26, 2013.
    Edward Yeranian
    Several rockets fired by unknown assailants exploded Sunday in the southern fringes of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, in areas considered a stronghold of the Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah. The attack wounded four people and there was no immediate claim of responsibility. 

    The rocket attack against a Beirut neighborhood considered to be a Hezbollah stronghold caused little physical damage and just a handful of injuries.  It was, however, a psychological blow in a country increasingly divided by the sectarian war in neighboring Syria. 

    It was not immediately clear who fired the rockets.  The Lebanese Army indicated it had found two rocket launchers in the hillside town of Aitat, overlooking the district that was attacked.  Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel was careful to avoid accusing anyone.

    He says the goal of the attack was clearly to create a climate of confusion, but that it is impossible to accuse anyone of responsibility, given the state of instability the country is going through.

    Lebanon's caretaker Health Minister Hassan Khalil also tried to avoid pointing a finger of responsibility at anyone, as he spoke with reporters near the area which was attacked.

    He says he hopes no one will try to suggest who carried out the attack on the basis of the town from which the rockets were fired, since those who are trying to destabilize the situation might have taken advantage of any possible security lapse.

    Supporters and opponents of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appeared to capitalize on the attack to take aim at their adversaries.  A senior member of Hezbollah, Hashim Safieddin, demanded the Lebanese government find who fired the rockets.

    He calls the attackers cowards and insists it is the Lebanese government's responsibility to find out who is funding, supporting, and training those who carried out the attack.

    Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah gave a fiery speech Saturday in which he blasted Sunni fundamentalists fighting the Syrian government and vowed to prevent the Assad regime from falling.  He also defended his group's stockpile of arms, claiming the Lebanese army is incapable of protecting the nation's own citizens.

    Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, for his part, called Hezbollah an “Iranian tool” and accused Sheikh Nasrallah of “trying to drag Lebanon into the Syrian quagmire.” 

    Hezbollah has been heavily involved in bitter fighting over the Syrian rebel-held town of Quseir in recent days.  Lebanese media reports say the group has suffered dozens of casualties in the battle.

    You May Like

    Pentagon: Afghan Hospital Bombing Not a War Crime

    US Central Command's Joseph Votel says probe found tragedy was result of 'extraordinarily intense situation' that included multiple equipment failures

    US Minorities Link Guns with Other Social Ills

    New study finds reduction in gun violence could help lower America’s incarceration rate – the world’s highest - and improve relationships between police, citizens in minority communities

    US Millennials Beat Baby Boomers as Largest Living Generation

    America's young people are about to take over and here's what we can expect from them

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    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 Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    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.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora