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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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