News / Middle East

Syrian Rebels Kill 11, Mainly Christians, in Checkpoint Attack

Reuters
Syrian rebels killed at least 11 people, including civilians, in an attack on a checkpoint west of the city of Homs on Saturday that official state media described as a massacre.
    
Most of those killed were Christians, activists and residents said. Some were from the National Defense Army, a militia which fights alongside President Bashar al-Assad's soldiers, and others were civilians, they said.
    
"Terrorists today committed a massacre, killing 11 people... in Homs countryside," the state news agency SANA quoted an official as saying.
    
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel gunmen had attacked the checkpoint, killing five militia fighters and six civilians, including two women. It said the rebel fighters had also sustained losses.
    
A resident who visited the site of the overnight attack said he saw the remains of a destroyed checkpoint and two civilian cars nearby, whose passengers may have been caught up by chance in the fighting.
    
He said the checkpoint had been used as an artillery base to bombard the rebel town of Hosn, about 2 km (1 mile) away, which lies below the towering Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers.
    
Many Christians fleeing the violence in Homs city over the past two years have settled in the Christian villages around the area where Saturday's attack took place.
    
Some have joined the pro-Assad forces, fearing for their future were the president to be toppled by rebel forces increasingly led by radical Islamist brigades, some with links to al-Qaida.
    
More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, which grew out of a 2011 uprising against 40 years of dynastic rule by the Assad family, and nearly 2 million more have fled the country as refugees.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
August 18, 2013 5:26 PM
Majority of Syrians support Assad, as shown by the recent referendum on the constitution which had a broad voter turn out and by party elections which the opposition refused to participate in. Even if the majority of Syrians didn't support Assad however, that still wouldn't excuse the rebels for the violent and unnecessary actions they have taken against civilian targets, or their support for and collaboration with murderous Islamic fundamentalists like Al-Qaida and Al-Nusra. It doesn't excuse the attempts to turn what could have been a legitimate political struggle into a sectarian civil war, which the rebels and Islamist radicals have done, nor the barbaric war crimes they have committed against Syria's various minorities (40% of Syrian population), nor the use of suicide bombs and terrorist actions in densely populated areas.

In Response

by: Anonymous
August 19, 2013 6:26 AM
Secondly... A constitutional referendum was held in Syria on 26 February 2012. In response to the Syrian uprising, President Bashar al-Assad ordered a new constitution to be drafted.The referendum was not monitored by foreign observers.

assad is a pathalogical liar, so I wouldn't believe any referendum he was in charge of. Anyone that would trust assad, needs their head checked. He is trying to do anything in his power to not be held accountable for that many murders. He hasn't even said he was sorry to the victims, compensated in any way, and continues everyday to destroy and kill more Syrians. He has a psychological issues, and absolutely must be held accountable for each and every Syrian he has murdered. No ifs ands or buts.

In Response

by: Anonymous
August 19, 2013 6:18 AM
Crimes are Crimes, whether they are by assad or al qaeda. Those who have commited them must be punished. assad has killed more civilians than anyone in Syria. assad has been bombing residential areas with no regard for human life. The International Criminal Court already wanted assad up on these crimes against humanity, for the murders of thousands of Syrians. Russia and China objected, and veto'd it, therefore there is a standstill. This has allowed assad to continue his killing spree across the nation. He has destroyed and murdered more than any group in Syria.

He is responsible for the deaths of over 55,000 civilians and destruction of nearly every city, town and village across Syria. Destruction that could only be done by aerial bombardment by planes, helicopters, and scuds. He has also used tanks and other heavy artillery. What we have now is assad a criminal and alqaeda criminals in Syria. The people want peace, which they have lived in for many years. Terrorists are criminals and so is assad, so neither should ever be considered for any leading of Syria. They have to be punished for their crimes.


by: Anonymous
August 17, 2013 2:05 PM
Not as bad as assad, murdering 1000 civilians for every one "bad guy", dropping bombs in residential areas of cities without any respect for civilians. The FSA will win this war against the Syrian assad who has terrorized a nation for over 2 years.

In Response

by: Anonymous
August 17, 2013 8:26 PM
@ someone from: somewhere , you seemed to skip the subject, assad is guilty of crimes and must be held fully accountable regardless of whatever other groups did. Noone is above the law of humanity.

In Response

by: Anonymous
August 17, 2013 8:24 PM
assad started this fire, by cracking down the entirely wrong way, all he did is escalate things himself. It was after that those groups came to Syria to try and establish things on their own. Praise to the Syrian people and the FSA. Majority of Syrians want a "FREE SYRIA" our heart goes out to them. The criminal assad has called all opposition terrorists in a way to seem legit about killing all opposition. He has murdered more civilians than so called "Bad guys". Syrians will hang him soon for his crimes. They will have to defend against other groups like al quaeda.

In Response

by: someone from: somewhere
August 17, 2013 4:52 PM
@Anonymous - because the radical islamists who started these wars (and who are responsible for every drop of blood that has been spilled so far) have been doing great governing Mali, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt...right? Your ignorance and bias is astonishing

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid