News / Middle East

Attacks Kill 50 in Syria

A boy who was injured after mortar bombs landed on two areas in Damascus is seen in a hospital, April 29, 2014.
A boy who was injured after mortar bombs landed on two areas in Damascus is seen in a hospital, April 29, 2014.
VOA News
At least 50 people have been killed in bomb and mortar attacks in two Syrian cities.

In the besieged city of Homs, two car bombs exploded in a mainly Alawite neighborhood, killing 36 people. An official said Tuesday's bombing also wounded more than 85 people, most of them civilians.
 
Al-Shaghour neighborhood of Damascus, SyriaAl-Shaghour neighborhood of Damascus, Syria
x
Al-Shaghour neighborhood of Damascus, Syria
Al-Shaghour neighborhood of Damascus, Syria

Meanwhile, in the capital, Damascus, mortar shells killed at least 14 people and injured more than 85 others in the al-Shaghour section. Police say some of the shells landed near a religious school and that some of the pupils were among the casualties.

Syria's government blamed the Damascus attack on "terrorists," a term it uses for the rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Also Tuesday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it will send a team to Syria to investigate recent allegations the the government used chlorine gas in an attack on a rebel area this month.
 
In a statement, the watchdog said the Syrian government has agreed to the mission, and will provide security in areas under its control.  

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch says government forces have continued to use barrel bombs in the northern city of Aleppo, despite a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding a halt to such attacks.

Barrel bombs

The rights group says that since February, when the council passed the resolution, it has identified the sites of at least 85 bombings in rebel-held parts of Aleppo, with most showing strong signs of impacts left by barrel bombs.

Human Rights Watch is urging the Security Council to impose an arms embargo on the Syrian government and other groups involved in systematic rights abuses.

The group also faults opposition fighters for the use of improvised weapons, saying they are prone to indiscriminate impacts on civilians.

In addition to stopping barrel bombings, the Security Council resolution also demanded that both sides allow aid to reach those in need in Syria.  Last week, the heads of U.N. humanitarian agencies said Syria's government and rebels are blocking access to that aid.
 
  • Men react as they carry the body of a relative, whom activists say was killed by barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's al-Sakhour district, April 30, 2014.
  • This photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center shows a damaged school that was hit by a Syrian government air strike in Aleppo, April 30, 2014.
  • This photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center shows two Syrian men standing inside a school that was hit by a Syrian government air strike in Aleppo, April. 30, 2014.
  • People gather at the site of two car bomb attacks at al-Abassia roundabout in Homs, April 29, 2014. (SANA)
  • People gather at the site of two car bomb attacks at al-Abassia roundabout in Homs, April 29, 2014. (SANA)
  • A boy who was injured after mortar bombs landed on two areas in Damascus is seen in a hospital, April 29, 2014.
  • Residents inspect damage from mortar bombs that landed in Badr al-Din al-Hussein school complex, a religious college in Bab Saghir, Damascus, April 29, 2014.
  • A mortar shell is seen in front of vehicles after mortars landed on two areas in Damascus, April 29, 2014. (SANA)

Cross-border operations

A group of 35 international lawyers and legal experts said Monday there is "no legal barrier" stopping the U.N. from carrying out cross-border operations into Syria to help the millions of people who need aid.

In a joint letter published by Britain's Guardian newspaper, the group said such deliveries have been held back by "an overly cautious interpretation of international humanitarian law."  The experts urge the U.N. to bring aid into Syria, saying Syria's denial of access has been arbitrary and not for valid legal reasons.

The co-signers include Nicolas Bratza, the former president of the European court of human rights, Hans Corell, a former U.N. under-secretary-general for legal affairs, and Richard Goldstone, who was a chief prosecutor for the U.N. criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

The U.N. says 3.5 million Syrians are in areas that are under siege or where humanitarian assistance cannot reach them.

The fighting that began in March 2011 has displaced at least 6.5 million people within Syria, with another 2.6 million fleeing to neighboring countries.  More than 150,000 people have been killed.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark from: USAF
April 29, 2014 5:26 PM
let me tell you something that you all know... but is worth repeating on occasion... Israel is monitoring the situation in Syria like a hawk... you all know - and there is no need to be coy here - the reputation and legendary status of Israeli Intelligence. Now, I have worked with the Israelis for many years... and if they tell me that THEY don't have evidence that Assad has done this, keep in mind that their intelligence has no equal in a world of competing intelligence organizations - than i very much doubt that Assad has done that, or ordered it done - full stop.
Israeli Intelligence would have known - absolutely - had Assad issued orders to use Chemical Weapons on civilians, or even if a rogue Syrian Air Force officer has decided to take measures to his own hands and access a store of Chemical weapons...

Additionally, it is widely believed in the US intelligence community that Assad uses the Israelis to "whittle down" Hizbullah's influence in his country.

And one last thing... that we all know and is worth repeating occasionally - Arabs are not renowned for their veracity nor for their reliability... and I would NOT trust a single word issued by Arabs refugees (with an agenda) in Britain concerning anything. !!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs