News / Middle East

Week-long Aleppo Air Raids Kill More Than 300

A man reacts after what activists said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Aleppo's al-Marja district, Dec. 23, 2013.
A man reacts after what activists said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Aleppo's al-Marja district, Dec. 23, 2013.
Reuters
More than 300 people have been killed in a week of air raids on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo and nearby towns by President Bashar al-Assad's forces, a monitoring group said on Monday.
 
Many of the casualties, who included scores of women and children, were killed by so-called barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
 
Syrian authorities say they are battling rebels who have controlled parts of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, and most of the surrounding countryside for the past 18 months.
 
But human rights group have condemned the use of the improvised bombs - oil drums or cylinders which are packed with explosives and metal fragments, often rolled out of the aircraft cargo bay - as an indiscriminate form of bombardment.
 
Rami Abdulrahman, director of the British-based pro-opposition Observatory, said 87 children and 30 women were among the 301 people killed in the Aleppo air raids since Dec. 15.
 
Assad's forces have clawed back territory to the southeast of the city in recent weeks and have reasserted control over several Damascus suburbs in the build-up to planned peace talks next month aimed ending Syria's almost three-year-old conflict.
 
The army is thought unlikely to be able to recapture major parts of Aleppo before the talks in Switzerland start on Jan. 22, but Abdulrahman said the air raids might be aimed instead at turning the remaining residents against the rebel fighters by showing that the insurgents could not protect civilians.

  • A man reacts at the site of what activists said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the al-Marja district of Aleppo, Dec. 23, 2013. 
  • People run after what activists said was the return of government jet planes in the al-Marja district of Aleppo, Dec. 23, 2013. 
  • People react after what activists said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the al-Marja district of Aleppo, Dec. 23, 2013.
  • People inspect a site damaged by what activists said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the al-Marja district of Aleppo, Dec. 23, 2013. 
  • In this citizen journalism image, a firefighter hoses down burning vehicles after a Syrian air strike in Aleppo, Dec. 22, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image shows damages of a burned bus after a Syrian air strike in Aleppo, Dec. 22, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image shows a destroyed building after a Syrian air strike in Aleppo, Dec. 22, 2013.

The Observatory says that more than 125,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, which has also forced 2 million people to seek refuge abroad and driven more than a third of the country's 23 million people from their homes.
 
Human Rights Watch said in a report at the weekend that barrel bomb attacks in Aleppo had hit residential and shopping areas, describing the air raids as illegal.
 
“The Syrian air force is either criminally incompetent, doesn't care whether it kills scores of civilians, or deliberately targets civilian areas,” HRW senior emergency researcher Ole Solvang said in the report.
 
Rebels also appeared to have violated international law by indiscriminately launching rockets and mortar bombs at civilian areas in the government-controlled part of Aleppo, HRW said.
 
It said on Dec. 4 they fired at least 10 surface-to-surface rockets into residential areas, killing at least 19 civilians.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs