News / Middle East

Syrian Rebels Seize Major Dam in North

Members of the Free Syrian Army gather at a house in the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, as seen from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, November 26, 2012. Members of the Free Syrian Army gather at a house in the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, as seen from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, November 26, 2012.
x
Members of the Free Syrian Army gather at a house in the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, as seen from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, November 26, 2012.
Members of the Free Syrian Army gather at a house in the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, as seen from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, November 26, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Activists say Syrian rebels have seized control of a hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates River in northern Syria after days of heavy clashes, the latest in a string of recent advances for opposition fighters.

A resident of the nearby town of Manbij confirmed Monday's report, adding that employees of the six-turbine Tishrin Dam were continuing operations.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the dam's capture is strategically important because it "means the army basically has only one road left" to the flashpoint city of Aleppo.

In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov.In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov.
x
In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov.
In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov.
In the past week, rebels have seized five important military facilities throughout Syria, capturing sizable quantities of weaponry, isolating government positions and freeing opposition fighters.

Also Monday, Syrian government warplanes attacked a rebel command center near the Turkish border in the northwest. Turkey's state-run Anadolu agency said the airstrikes in the town of Atmeh killed and wounded several people. The agency said some of the wounded were brought to Turkey for treatment.

Syrian rebels and pro-government Kurdish gunmen struck a truce to end days of fighting in the northern town of Ras al-Ayn that opposition forces entered earlier this month.

The Observatory and Kurdish activist Mustafa Osso said the rival sides agreed to form a local council that will run daily life in Ras al-Ayn. Thousands of people who fled the town, which has a mixed population including Arabs, Kurds, Chechens and Christians, have started returning home.

Meanwhile, activists reported that a Syrian government jet dropped two cluster bombs on a rebel-held village near Damascus, killing 10 children. 

Video footage of the bodies of several children were posted on the Internet. But there is no independent confirmation of its contents.

The Syrian army has denied a Human Rights Watch report issued in October that government forces have used cluster bombs, saying it did not possess such weapons.  Cluster bombs are banned under a 2010 U.N. treaty, though Syria, like Israel, Russia and the United States, has not signed the pact.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid