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.
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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.
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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!
WE DONT HATE JEWS MUSLIMS CHRISTIANS BUT EXTREMELY HATE ZIONIST JEWS

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

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