News / Middle East

Syrian Bombings Force Villagers to Flee

Syrian Bombings Force Villagers to Fleei
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Scott Bobb
August 22, 2012 5:36 PM
Stretched to defend several fronts on the ground, Syrian government forces have intensified air attacks on northern towns and villages controlled by rebels of the Free Syrian Army. Bombings and artillery barrages have killed hundreds of people and emptied some places of most of their inhabitants. VOA's Scott Bobb visited several hard-hit areas and filed this report.
Scott Bobb
TAL RIFAT, Syria — Stretched to defend several fronts on the ground, Syrian government forces have intensified air attacks on northern towns and villages controlled by rebels of the Free Syrian Army. Bombings and artillery barrages have killed hundreds of people and emptied some places of most of their inhabitants.

In Marea, a town in northern Syria about 40 kilometers from Aleppo, a family clears up what remains of their home after a government warplane bombed it on August 21 killing one person and wounding eight others.

Salah, a produce merchant, says his family of eight now must leave Marea like thousands of people before them. He does not understand why troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are doing this.

"There's no reason. Just to show their power, to defy the people, to kill the people," he said.

Neighbor Walid helped rescue a man trapped underneath this roof.

"He was asleep with his children," Walid recalled.  "Bashar al-Assad is a killer."

The man survived, but his lower body was crushed. He was taken to a hospital in Turkey. He will not be back soon.

Nearby Tal Rifat is virtually a ghost town. Of its 40,000 residents only 2,000 remain, mostly young men who stay to guard against looters.

Residents think the Syrian government was targeting a school. It has been hit twice in two weeks. They say perhaps the government thinks rebels of the Free Syrian Army are sheltering here.

Abu Ala runs a small store and is trying to get his degree in computer engineering. He says everything has stopped since the Syrian uprising began nearly 18 months ago.

"The situation in Tal Rifat is very bad, especially the human and economic situation," Ala said.  "There is no food. The shops are empty. And every night we look for the MiGs [warplanes] to shell us."

Rebel leaders say the Syrian government has withdrawn ground troops from these towns in order to defend the major cities. So they bomb from the air.

The Syrian government says it is defending itself against terrorists who are seizing villages. The air attacks increased after Western leaders decided not to establish a no-fly zone. Residents say the Syrian government may have concluded that this gave it license to bomb with impunity.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid