News / Middle East

    NATO: Syria Fires More Scud Missiles

    Relatives mourn Ikrama Abkour, whom activists say was killed in a Syrian Air Force missile attack, near Homs, Dec. 21, 2012.
    Relatives mourn Ikrama Abkour, whom activists say was killed in a Syrian Air Force missile attack, near Homs, Dec. 21, 2012.
    VOA News
    NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have fired more missiles inside Syria, a move Rasmussen calls an act of a "desperate regime approaching collapse."
     
    Earlier this month, the U.S. and NATO said Assad's forces had fired Scud missiles at rebels near the northern city of Aleppo in what was believed to be the first use of the weapons against insurgents. Syrian officials denied the charge.
     
    Syrian conflict deaths, updated Dec. 20, 2012.Syrian conflict deaths, updated Dec. 20, 2012.
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    Syrian conflict deaths, updated Dec. 20, 2012.
    Syrian conflict deaths, updated Dec. 20, 2012.
    Military analysts say Scuds are short-range missiles with a range of 500 to 800 kilometers.
     
    Rasmussen said Friday that the Syrian government's use of the Scud-like missiles highlights the need to protect Turkey, a NATO ally.
     
    NATO authorized the deployment of a missile-defense system to Turkey, after Ankara expressed concerns about cross-border shelling and the Syrian government's possible use of chemical weapons against rebels.
     
    On Thursday, the United Nations highlighted the civilian toll in Syria's nearly two-year conflict, saying thousands have died in a crisis that has become increasingly sectarian in nature.
     
    U.N. human rights investigators said the fighting "has brought immeasurable destruction and human suffering" to Syrian civilians, and that the humanitarian situation has rapidly deteriorated since late September.
     

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

    • A Free Syrian Army fighter carries the body of his colleague Abdullah during his funeral in Aleppo, Syria, December 21.2012.
    • A boy holds pita bread as others stand in line outside a bakery in Aleppo, Syria, December 21, 2012.
    • A damaged tank is seen at the Free Syrian Army controlled infantry college near Aleppo, Syria, December 21, 2012.
    • Syrian refugees,who fled their home in Idlib due to a government airstrike, load their belongings into a vehicle after crossing into Cilvegozu, Turkey, December 20, 2012.
    • A Syrian refugee crosses illegally to Turkey on the border fence, Cilvegozu, Turkey, December 20, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter, whose comrades are surrounding a military airport, reads the Quran, Aleppo, Syria, December 20, 2012.
    • People near a damaged building after it was attacked by a Syrian Army jet in Azaz, Syria, December 16, 2012.
    • Damaged buildings are seen in Al-Khalidiya neighborhood of Homs, Syria, December 16, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he walks along a damaged street in Aleppo's Khan al-Wazeer district, Syria, December 16, 2012.
    • Free Syrian Army fighters pose with a tank after capturing the Military Infantry School following heavy clashes, Aleppo, Syria, December 16, 2012.

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