World News

Syrian Government Bombs Aleppo District, Killing 16

Syrian man carries his sister who was wounded in a government airstrike hit the neighborhood of Ansari, in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013.Syrian man carries his sister who was wounded in a government airstrike hit the neighborhood of Ansari, in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013.
Syrian man carries his sister who was wounded in a government airstrike hit the neighborhood of Ansari, in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013.
Syrian man carries his sister who was wounded in a government airstrike hit the neighborhood of Ansari, in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013.
VOA News
Syrian rights activists say government forces have bombarded a rebel-held district of the northern city of Aleppo, demolishing a residential building and killing at least 16 people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a missile struck the building in Aleppo's Ansari neighborhood on Sunday. Amateur video posted on the Internet showed dozens of people frantically digging through rubble to find survivors. The Observatory said 10 children were among the dead. There was no independent confirmation of the casualties.

Aleppo, Syria's commercial capital, has been divided between Syrian opposition forces and troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since last year.

Some exiled opposition figures criticized their leader, Moaz al-Khatib, on Sunday, after he expressed a willingness to talk to Assad's government and met with the foreign ministers of Assad allies Russia and Iran in recent days. In his meetings on the sidelines of a Munich security conference, Khatib said he would negotiate with the Syrian government if it conducts a mass prisoner release and gives passports to exiled Syrians.

Previously, the opposition Syrian National Coalition had demanded that Assad give up his 12-year rule before any negotiations.

SNC member Kamal Labwani told The Associated Press that Khatib should apologize or resign for proposing talks with the government. In a separate interview with Reuters, coalition member Walid al-Bunni said Khatib's meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was "unsuccessful," and did not persuade Iran to do anything to help the Syrian opposition.

Salehi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomed Khatib's proposal to enter negotiations.

In another development Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak appeared to acknowledge that his nation was behind an airstrike near Damascus last Wednesday. Referring to the incident at the Munich conference, Barak said it was "proof that when we say something, we mean it"; Barak did not explicitly confirm responsibility for the air strike, but he was the first senior Israeli official to talk about it publicly.

Syria says Israeli warplanes bombed a military research center near Damascus, killing two people. U.S. and regional security officials have said Israel struck the center and nearby vehicles that were carrying advanced missiles intended for delivery to pro-Assad militant group Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon. Syria denied that any weapons convoy was hit in the air strike.

Speaking in Munich, Barak repeated Israel's warning that it will not allow Mr. Assad to transfer advanced weapons systems into Lebanon, where Hezbollah dominates the government and fought a monthlong war with Israel in 2006.

In President Assad's first reported response to the attack, state news agency SANA quoted him as accusing Israel of trying to destabilize Syria. He also vowed that the Syrian military will "confront any aggression."

Assad made the comment Sunday, in a meeting with the visiting head of Iran's National Security Council, Saeed Jalili.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also denounced the apparent Israeli air strike, calling it "state terrorism." Erdogan has been an outspoken critic of Israel since 2010, when Israeli troops carried out a deadly raid on a Turkish ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists toward the Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish activists on the ship were killed in a confrontation that each side blamed on the other.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: venze from: malaysia
February 04, 2013 7:33 PM
Iraqis are still killing Iraqis, Syrians killing Syrians, Afghans killing Afghans, Libyans killing Libyans, and more.
What makes these people so self-destructive? Is that what the world wants? Can someone reveal the truth? (ttm1943)

by: Lhafedh Ba3li from: Western Sahara
February 04, 2013 6:31 AM
Yes of course the Syrian revolution is so sophisticated, and unfortunately Syrian country becomes a huge field of great powers' conflict; as United Nations and Russian regime. I think that, Mr. Khatib had known the terrible conditions behind this horrible war between the Assad's regime and The opposition militants, when he expressed a willingness to talk to Assad's government and met with the foreign ministers of Assad allies Russia and Iran in recent days. For me, Mr Khaib is knowing that the big loser is Syrian nations and pure children.

by: angelina from: las vegas
February 04, 2013 3:02 AM
Ashkenazi Zionist's elements within the? Israeli government and the United Sates government are attempting to steal the world and their tricking half of the population into it,it is the greatest scam ever attempted and it is failing with every person who goes from believing the theater and understanding the
zionism and Judaism have been the enemy of God, kings and nations for? 3500 years!

by: Anonymous
February 04, 2013 12:14 AM
Disgusting what is happening in Syria, the ICC must take action, and hopefully keep Bashar al Assad behind bars for the rest of his life. He has killed thousands and thousands of innocent civilians and has nearly destroyed the Nation of Syria. Cities and Towns all over Syria have been bombarded by Bashar al Assad. Bashar has inflicted more terror in the Syrians than anyone else in Syria. It is Bashar al Assad that is the largest terrorist in Syria.

by: harry freedman from: sydney australia
February 03, 2013 9:52 PM
the Syrian Revolution is more complicated that is generally reported by the mainstream media. It seems to be the Tyrant Assad versus the crazy fanatical islamists. In the middle, as usual, are the average people of Syria who would simply like to lead a free and fair life and raise their families.
the UN is its usual impotent self doing nothing more than gorging on its financial donations and making impotent utterances. America and Europe want to do more but only thru the UN which is being hamstrung by the vetos of Russia and China, more keen on keeping some power over the region and sell more arms.
my question is, where are the Arab nations in all of this? they are usually fairly keen and quick to ban together whenever there is a percieved slight to them, Isalm or if they want to condem israel.
Ido not read anything about the actual support that they should be giving to their brothers and sisters who are suffering so horribly in this horrible war.
the media should be reporting on that
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 05, 2013 2:04 AM
I agree, I think the act to defend the Syrian people is best suited for the Arab League. These are the most suitable candidates to intervene. They have legitimate reasons to help the Syrian people , more than anyone else. They have the backing of the west as well. They must take the lead if anyone so that Israel isn't brought into this.
In Response

by: Stefan Rabenhorst from: Texas
February 04, 2013 4:17 PM
you are correct in your initial statements; however, your question about Islamic fellowship is merely faulty due to not understanding the competing Sunni/Shiite relations in the region. Just as the United States and Europe may prefer to intervene on these humanitarian violations and the Chinese and Russians continue to utilize their Security Council veto, there is a similar power struggle between the ideological Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and Iran (Shia) of which Iran has both expressed and provided support for the Assad Regime. Syria under the Assad/Alawite (Shiite sect) influence is an ally that Iran desperately needs to continue its influence in the region and is its only path to the Med. I am sure Saudi Arabia would love to help the revolutionaries in Syria, if only to poke and provoke Iran; however it lacks the political will to interfere. The only actor in the region who has been willing to act in any direct capacity is Israel; however, their actions have been guided by the need to contain Assad's mobilization of weapon platforms into nearby Lebanon and Hezbollah, so their future involvement is muted at best.

America and Europe are facing their own domestic economic woes, and quite frankly, the population of both do NOT wish to be engaged once again in a long arduous war in the Levant. That is the reason for conducting these talks via the United Nations to gain some sort of international consensus and legitimacy for action, yet as you keenly pointed out, Russia and China do not want another Western sphere of influence in the region and for better or for worse the West is not in the position to argue

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs