News / Middle East

Report: Syrian Rebels Capture Most of Key City

VOA News
A Syrian watchdog group says rebels battling troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have taken over large parts of the northern city of Raqa after days of fierce fighting.
 
If the rebels seize control of Raqa — a provincial capital on the Euphrates river about 80 kilometers south of Turkey — it will be the first time an entire city will fall into the hands of anti-Assad fighters.
 
Syria deaths from conflict, updated March 4, 2013.Syria deaths from conflict, updated March 4, 2013.
x
Syria deaths from conflict, updated March 4, 2013.
Syria deaths from conflict, updated March 4, 2013.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said rebels are fighting alongside al-Nusra Front Islamic fighters in the battle for the Raqa. The group posted amateur footage of residents toppling a statue of Assad's father and predecessor, Hafez al-Assad.
 
In Saudi Arabia on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal cautioned Assad that they will boost support to rebels unless he steps down.
 
Assad has rejected previous calls to step down, maintaining his government is fighting "terrorists," a term he frequently uses to describe the rebels.
 
Also Monday, in neighboring Iraq, unidentified armed men killed at least 42 Syrian soldiers who were being taken to the Syrian border after fleeing into Iraq during recent clashes with rebels.
 
Iraqi officials say several Iraqi government employees also were killed in the ambush of the convoy carrying the Syrians. The attack took place in Iraq's western Anbar province. The identity of the attackers is not clear.
 
The rebels now hold parts of several major Syrian cities, including Aleppo in the north, suburbs of the capital Damascus, and the central city of Homs. The gains are a significant blow to Assad's regime, which for two years has been battling an uprising that has escalated into a full-blown civil war.
 
The United Nations estimates that 70,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict since March 2011.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
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.

AppleAndroid