News / Middle East

Air Strikes in Syrian Capital Shatter Truce

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian citizens gather in front of a damaged building that was destroyed by a car bomb, at Jaramana neighborhood, in Damascus, Syria, Monday Oct. 29, 2012.In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian citizens gather in front of a damaged building that was destroyed by a car bomb, at Jaramana neighborhood, in Damascus, Syria, Monday Oct. 29, 2012.
x
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian citizens gather in front of a damaged building that was destroyed by a car bomb, at Jaramana neighborhood, in Damascus, Syria, Monday Oct. 29, 2012.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian citizens gather in front of a damaged building that was destroyed by a car bomb, at Jaramana neighborhood, in Damascus, Syria, Monday Oct. 29, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
Syria's Eid al Adha holiday truce is in tatters as Syrian warplanes bombed rebel targets Monday in the Damascus suburbs in what activists say was the fiercest air raid campaign in the capital since the uprising began 19 months ago. Also, a car bomb explosion hit a mostly pro-government suburb of Damascus, killing at least 10 people.

Syrian state television showed firefighters and neighbors picking through mounds of rubble and twisted metal after a car bomb exploded in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana.

Residents told state media that the explosion took place in front of a bakery in a civilian area with no military targets. The southeastern district is controlled by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But one resident questioned to state media why anyone would bomb the area.

Timeline of Syria Uprising

March 2011: First protests erupt, dozens killed. Government announces reforms, then resigns.

April, May 2011: Protests intensify and spread, hundreds killed. U.S. imposes sanctions on top leaders.

August, September 2011: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain withdraw ambassadors. U.S. imposes economic sanctions, EU bans Syrian oil imports.

October 2011: Russia, China veto a U.N. resolution condemning Syria.

November 2011: The Arab League suspends Syria's membership.

January 2012: Government releases 5,000 prisoners. Death toll soars past 7,000.

February 2012: Russia, China veto a second U.N. resolution condemning crackdown.  

March 2012: Former U.N. chief Kofi Annan holds talks in Syria. U.N. says death toll exceeds 9,000. Syria agrees to U.N.-backed peace plan.

April 2012: Syria says it will abide by a cease-fire on April 12, but violence continues. U.N. observers arrive.

May 2012: Syria holds parliamentary elections, violence continues, U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan appeals to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop the violence.

June 2012: Western nations expel Syrian diplomats, Annan urges increased pressure on Syria.

July 2012: Red Cross expands areas of Syria it says are in civil war. Violence increases across the country.

August 2012: A day after Syrian warplanes attacked the rebel-controlled northern town of Azaz and a bombing near the U.N. observer headquarters in Damascus, the U.N. Security Council decides to end the U.N. monitoring mission in Syria when its mandate expires on August 19. Annan steps down as U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria.

September 2012: Fighting intensifies in Aleppo and continues across the country. New U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi visits the country and meets with Assad.

October 2012:  Aleppo's historic souk burns as fighting rages in the city. The Syrian army says it will suspend military operations to mark the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, declaring a cease-fire during the holiday, but reserving the right to respond to rebel attacks and bombings.

Multiple raids around Damascus

He said that Jaramana is known for being a peaceful area, where everyone gets along well.

The car bomb attack came as the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighter jets carried out at least six raids on other areas of the capital, including Rankous and Harasta.

The opposition group reported intense clashes as troops attempt to regain control from anti-government rebels. An opposition activist said "more than 100 buildings were destroyed" during Monday's attacks and that "whole neighborhoods are deserted."

Earlier, the U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, met in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and told a news conference they were disappointed that neither the government nor the rebels were observing a Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday truce.

Finger pointing by both sides

The government and opposition blame each other for breaking the truce.

Brahimi, however, said he would not give up on the peace process.

“I'm terribly sorry, just as Sergei has said he was, that this appeal has not been heard to the level we hoped it would. But that will not discourage us because Syria is very important and because the people of Syria deserve our support and our interest," said Brahimi. "So we shall continue to work as hard as we possibly can, with the cooperation of everybody inside and outside Syria, to bring the level of violence down.”

Brahimi said he preferred to call the cease-fire a “pause,” and said he had not negotiated extensively with either side to implement it. He also said that Syria “needs real and not just cosmetic change.”

“That change,” he said, “must be worked out by the Syrians... with a Syrian-led process” and “supported by the international community.”

Death toll climbs

Middle East analyst Riad Kahwaji, who heads the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said the cease-fire was ineffective since neither side saw an interest in observing one.

"There was no real cease-fire. The parties involved had no interest in going right now into a cease-fire. It was apparent that both sides agreed to the cease-fire just to avoid taking the blame for not agreeing to a cease-fire. I think from Brahimi's side, it is a way to show that he is trying to do something,” said Kahwaji.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also expressed deep disappointment that the cease-fire failed to take hold. During a speech Monday in South Korea, Ban called on the international community to do more to help stop the fighting.

The Observatory, an opposition watchdog, said 420 people have been killed since Friday.

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

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
November 01, 2012 10:37 AM
Assad makes me laugh, he blames all the Syrian people as being terrorists. Same things kids do, accuse of their own acts. If anyone is a terrorist in Syria it is Assad. If killing 30,000 people isn't a terrorist I don't know what is... It is equivilent to 6 times the killing of the 911 Attack. HELLO???

by: Klaris from: USA
October 30, 2012 4:01 PM
to all those Arabs who would like nothing better than to see young American soldiers being killed and humiliated in Syria, stop telling us how "good" the people of Syria are... they are not...!!! they are the scumbags who killed Americans in Iraq... and Benghazi...!! why don't you ask Hizbullah to stop killing Sunny Arabs... Ahhh??? or Iran...??

by: Justice from: Ottawa Canada
October 30, 2012 3:45 PM
Sameful that Voice of America is so biased in this report. Headline says Jets broke truce. Even an observor from North America can see that (1) The main party to refuse the truce were the Islamic rebels, (2) the bombs against Christian and Shia areas continued unabatted and (3) jets are used to strike at ongoing military activity. Same on Voice of America.cIt seems that Mrs Clinton is writing your articles.

by: Anonymous
October 30, 2012 1:30 AM
The more activities like this that Assad does, the more not only Syrians will hate Assad, the more the world will. If the Chinese and the Russian governments approve or support or provide arms to this type of systematic genocidal government then they need their heads checked. What is going to be left of the country? What type of so called military bombs their own country like this? You can't kill thousands and thousands and thousands of people and expect to crush the hatred, it only grows stronger and more popular more and more.

I can't believe Russia Government or Chinese Government can tolerate this, absolutely pathetic.

by: carlos from: us
October 30, 2012 12:57 AM
I was in Syria when Hitler's father was in charge .. in 1978 .. the Syrian people are fantastic .. I am ashamed that we have a president who cared more for his own political ambitions than for helping these people .. I would love to have a president with courage ..

by: Carlos.. from: us
October 30, 2012 12:51 AM
Cowardice reigns in the Barak Obama White House .. he abandons the Syrian people in the mass murder of Hitler in Damascus and Mussolini in the Kremlin .. President Obama could have sent in his flying robots to eliminate the murderous dictator 598 days ago when his minions started shooting unarmed protesters who want an end to 40 years of tyranny ..
March 28, 2011, "when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians." www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/03/28/president-obama-s-speech-libya

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” (Except in an election year?)
“Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different,” (Except in an election year)
“And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”
I have been to Aleppo and never met a kinder people ..

by: BillyHewitt from: Marion Indiana
October 30, 2012 12:23 AM
The Sunni terrorists from dictatorships like Saudi Arabia, Libya, UAE, Qater continue to invade Syria and spread terror and death. Israel continues to threaten to use atomic weapons to attack Iran. The threat of World War III increases every day with the CIA arming the terrorists. The end of world scenario is in sight with the desparate US homosexual army plan for control of middle east oil.

by: Rev. Nazarin from: UK
October 29, 2012 5:50 PM
to all you Arabs... please do not ply us with pictures of children... we know what you do with your children... and your contemptible attempts to generate sympathy for you by appealing to our Judeo/Christian sentiments are as repulsive as you are contemptible. Al Qaida - Palestinians - Muslim Brotherhood... degenerates!!!

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