News / Middle East

Activists: Bomb Wounds Syrian Rebel Commander

Damaged buildings are pictured after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Zamalka near Damascus, Mar. 16, 2013.
Damaged buildings are pictured after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Zamalka near Damascus, Mar. 16, 2013.
VOA News
Syrian activists say a car bomb in eastern Syria has wounded a top rebel commander who was among the first to defect from Syria's military.  

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the explosion Monday in the town of Mayadeen injured Riad al-Asaad. Activists say Asaad's leg was severed and that he is in stable condition in Turkey.

Assad fled his top military post in 2011 and became a leader of the rebel Free Syria Army.

In Damascus, mortar shells have struck Umayyad Square, an area that is home to a military headquarters, a hotel and a state television building.

A state media outlet said the shelling killed one person and wounded others, while the state-run SANA news agency said the mortar shells wounded six people.

Also Monday, Mouaz al-Khatib, who resigned as head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, said he will still attend an Arab League meeting this week in Qatar.

Khatib said he will deliver an address at the two-day summit in Doha, which begins Tuesday.

Arab diplomats said Sunday the Arab League had invited Khatib and interim prime minister Ghassan Hitto to represent Syria at the meeting. The Arab League suspended the Syrian government's membership in the bloc in 2011 and most members have called for President Bashar al-Assad's ouster.

Khatib stepped down Sunday, complaining that the international community has not done enough to help the Syrian people defend themselves from Mr. Assad's forces.

Khatib said he was keeping a promise to resign if members of his coalition crossed certain "red lines." He did not say what those were. Khatib had objected to last week's coalition appointment of Hitto as an interim prime minister for rebel-held parts of Syria.

The opposition's turmoil deepened with a rebel spokesman inside Syria saying the mainstream Free Syrian Army refuses to recognize Hitto's authority as prime minister. Louay Almokdad told Western news agencies that Hitto was not properly elected because there was no consensus on his candidacy.

Hitto received a majority of 35 votes out of 48 cast at the meeting, but several prominent coalition members boycotted the vote, accusing him of being a pawn of Syria's Muslim Brotherhood and outside powers such as Qatar.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKort from: Virginia
March 25, 2013 3:21 PM
Hey VOA. Why can't you or any other news source ask the one question that isn't getting asked: "President Obama, what is the red line for the REBELS?" He has never mentioned what we might do should our dear rebel peaceniks use chem weapons. Gosh, what if they were to do something like kidnap UN peacekeepers? Oh, that's right. They did that - then lied like a rug about it - but apparently that's AOK. BTW - the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is ONE GUY in Coventry England who is against Assad and gets all his info from his rebel buddies. Check your sources and start asking some questions before Syria ends up an Islamic state under Sharia law and becomes another incubator for the spread of jihad.
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 26, 2013 5:47 PM
The US government position on Syria is troubling, at best, and raises serious questions about the competence of our intelligence capability/reliability.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More