News / Middle East

Syrian Rebels Claim Advances

Syrian Rebels Claim Advancesi
|| 0:00:00
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 17, 2012 10:02 PM
The rebel Free Syrian Army says it has begun the "battle for the liberation of Damascus." It comes as more than 1,000 Syrians, including a defecting brigadier-general, fled to Turkey overnight Monday. Henry Ridgwell recently met a senior commander of the Free Syrian Army on the Turkey-Syria border and reports on rebel strategy.

Syrian Rebels Claim Advances

Related Articles

Henry Ridgwell
ANTAKYA, Turkey — The rebel Free Syrian Army said it has begun the "battle for the liberation of Damascus," as clashes with government forces raged in the capital for a third day. The battles come as more than 1,000 Syrians, including a defecting brigadier-general, fled to Turkey overnight.
 
On a cross-border visit to the Turkish city of Antakya, Ahmad al-Kanatre Abu Hamza, commander of the Omar al-Mukhtar battalion of the Free Syrian Army, said the FSA is making big gains in territory and manpower. The commander said he sees increasing defections by Syrian soldiers.

“The number of defectors is now 100,000 and now they are defecting in bigger groups - this is a new phenomenon," Abu Hamza said. "The reason for the higher number of defections is that the regime is carrying out so many massacres every day. And the soldiers realize this regime must fall.”

Videos given to VOA by activists claim to show stockpiles of weapons amassed by the FSA. But Abu Hamza denied Syrian government claims that foreign powers are arming what it calls the FSA "terrorists."  He said the FSA needs more foreign protection.

The Latest Images From Syria (Click to View Photo Gallery)

x
  • This image made from amateur video released by the Ugarit News shows a Free Syrian Army solider firing his weapon during clashes with Syrian government troops in Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.
  • Free Syrian Army soldiers at the border town of Azaz, 32 kilometers north of Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.
  • This image from amateur video released by the Ugarit News shows a Free Syrian Army solider driving a Syrian military tank in Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network purports to show a helicopter gunship flying a bombing run in al-Qalmoun, Syria, July 24, 2012.
  • This image provided by Shaam News Network shows smoke rising from Juret al-Shayah in Homs, Syria, July 23, 2012.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network purports to show damage from heavy shelling of the al-Qadam district of Damascus, Syria, July 23, 2012.
  • A member of the Free Syrian Army points his weapon through a hole in a wall as he takes up a defense position in a house in Qusseer neighborhood in Homs, Syria, July 16, 2012.
  • A woman holds a child in front of their destroyed home in Tremseh, Syria about 15 kilometers northwest of Hama, July 14, 2012.
  • Free Syrian Army soldiers aim their weapons in Idlib, northern Syria, July 13, 2012.
  • This image made from amateur video from Hama Revolution 2011 purports to show a funeral for victims killed in Tremseh, Syria, July 13, 2012. (AP/ Hama Revolution 2011)
  • This image made from amateur video from Hama Revolution 2011purports to show families gathered around bodies of victims killed in Tremseh, Syria, July 13, 2012.
  • Members of the Free Syrian Army walk through Qusseer neighborhood in Homs, Syria, July 15, 2012.

The Latest Images From Syria (Click to View Photo Gallery)

The rebel commander said, “We need a no-fly zone, it’s so important the world does this, because Assad’s jets are firing on unarmed people and targeting anything that moves. We have no way to protect ourselves.”

Many FSA fighters are based at Turkish refugee camps like Yayladagi. One fighter - an ethnic Turkman - who did not want to give his name, said he recently returned from fighting in Syria's Idlib province. His account cannot be verified.

“The FSA controls big parts of Syria,” he said. “Actually the Syrian government is really only in control in the center of big cities like Damascus, Aleppo and inside Latakia. All around the cities, almost everywhere is under the control of the FSA.”

Damascus, Syria Neighborhoods Under AttackDamascus, Syria Neighborhoods Under Attack
x
Damascus, Syria Neighborhoods Under Attack
Damascus, Syria Neighborhoods Under Attack
On Tuesday, fierce fighting continued for a third day in the Syrian capital. The FSA claimed the "battle for the liberation of Damascus" has begun. But analysts question whether rebels have the manpower and arsenal to defeat Syrian armed forces.

Still, at the Yayladagi outpost, buoyed by recent FSA advances, rebel fighters and refugees gathered for an anti-Assad protest.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces a Chaotic World and the Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: USA
July 18, 2012 9:27 AM
God bless VOA. God bless all those Iraqi sons,husbands, and fathers who did not live to witness these events. The Freedom Fighters must be receiving complete packets of intelligence information, as can be assumed by these ongoing gains in territory


by: Anonymous
July 18, 2012 8:20 AM
Bruno, the leader of Syria promotes Terror on his own people. I most certainly do not support Assad nor his dead father, like father like son, cold blooded killers of their own people. Are you saying that Assad doesn't inflict Terror on his own people??? Are you saying someone who inflicts terror on innocent civillians is not a terorrist? Why do you think so many military have fled the army? They do not want to be terrorists.


by: uche from: Germany
July 18, 2012 12:57 AM
If FSA has the most of Syria under control, this means FSA are carrying ot the killings in most of Syria

In Response

by: Anonymous
July 18, 2012 8:58 AM
FSA is there for the Syrian people, to protect the innocent men, women and children, and put a stop to Assads atrocities. FSA is standing their ground, and making progress.


by: Stephen Real from: Columbia USA
July 17, 2012 2:33 PM
Attack Assad's air bases with ground troops at night.

In Response

by: Anonymous
July 18, 2012 3:04 AM
Why not go one step better, group together to storm Assads Palace. Take out the "Terrorist" that's inflicted Terror on his own people. There is only one true terrorist in Syria.

In Response

by: Anonymous
July 18, 2012 3:00 AM
The Helicopters would be a good target, without helicopters Assad will have more serious trouble. The sooner the FSA wins this war the sooner Syrians will live in peace.

In Response

by: Bruno
July 18, 2012 1:06 AM
So you support the terrorists?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid