News / Middle East

    Syrian Army Bombs Damascus Suburbs

    Buildings damaged by what activists said were missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet operated by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are seen at Houla, near Homs December 6, 2012.
    Buildings damaged by what activists said were missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet operated by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are seen at Houla, near Homs December 6, 2012.
    VOA News
    Syrian activists say the army has bombed two Damascus suburbs and poured in military reinforcements in an effort to try to reclaim territory controlled by rebels.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday the army fired rockets at the rebel-held Daraya and Moadamiah suburbs southwest of the capital. The group said it feared that troops massing on the suburbs' outskirts could be the prelude to an imminent ground assault.

    On Thursday, United Nations peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said the United States and Russia agree on the need to find a "creative solution" to bring Syria back from the brink.

    Brahimi held three-way talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a human rights meeting in Dublin earlier Thursday.

    Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that intelligence shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be considering using chemical weapons as rebel successes in the civil war put more and more pressure on his government.

    The White House has warned Assad that using chemical gas against his own people would be a "red line" for the United States and bring serious consequences.

    Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Maqdad has told Lebanese television that if Syria had chemical weapons, it would not use them against the Syrian people. He said the West is using threat of chemical weapons as an excuse to intervene.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    December 07, 2012 4:42 PM
    Syrian Army Bombs Damascus??? Really?
    The so called "Syrian Army" is not backed by the Syrian people, nor does the so called "Syrian Army" care about the people of Syria. These so called "Syrian Army" are really "Assads Army" there is a big difference. Armys are used to fight wars against other nations, not the people of the same country. These are purely thugs, and every Syrian Army member should be held accountable. Assad is still killing and looting civillians all over Syria. It is time the world holds Assad responsible for his crimes. People of Syria don't want Assad there, he is now considered an occupier of Syria, he is not a leader for any Syrians. Assads Army is responsible for genocide, and should be held fully accountable by the people of Syria. I wish the Syrians would hurry up and capture Assad so this war can be over.

    by: bunsin flame from: Maryland
    December 07, 2012 8:12 AM
    "He (Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Maqdad) said the West is using threat of chemical weapons as an excuse to intervene." That sounds like a pretty damn good excuse for an intervention if you ask me. Use of atomic, biological, or chemical weapons, especially on your own people is inexcusable.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    December 07, 2012 4:44 PM
    Even if there isn't any chemical weapons... Assad has killed way too many civillians in Syria, he needs to be stopped. Hats off to anyone who disables him and holds him accountable for his crimes. Hang him high for the world to see, these types of actions this day and age will not be tolerated anymore.

    by: Thom H from: Washington
    December 07, 2012 7:57 AM
    Does any journalist verify the news releases from the Syrian opposition? So much of what they have said has turned out to be outright lies. Is the VOA just a mouthpiece for vested interests?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.