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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs