News / Middle East

    Rebels, Troops Clash Over Air Base in Syria

    Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen at Karm al-Gabal area in Aleppo city, October 8, 2012, after clashes with Free Syrian Army fighters.
    Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen at Karm al-Gabal area in Aleppo city, October 8, 2012, after clashes with Free Syrian Army fighters.
    VOA News
    Syrian rebels have clashed with government troops over control of an air defense base near the country's most populous city.

    Activists say rebels attacked the air force post Friday outside Aleppo, but there are conflicting reports as to whether the rebels have taken over the base.

    Fighting continued in several Syrian locales. The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that six rebels were killed in an attack on a military checkpoint in Dara'a province that left 14 soldiers dead.

    The group says air bombardments and heavy clashes are taking place in Idlib, Deir Ezzor and Aleppo provinces.

    The activists say 260 Syrians were killed in fighting Thursday, including 86 civilians, 60 rebel fighters, 13 defected soldiers, and 92 regime forces. There was no government comment on the reports and Syria does not permit journalists to report freely in the country.

    Video from inside Aleppo posted on the Internet showed friends and family members mourning  loved ones as residents continued to flee from shelling. A doctor at a local hospital said his facility treats ten to 15 injured children each day, and many often end up dying from their wounds.

    Meanwhile, U.N. special envoy to Syrian Lakhdar Brahimi spoke with Saudi King Abdullah about the crisis Friday. Meeting in Jeddah, the two agreed on the need to stop the bloodshed and aid the millions of Syrians affected by the violence in the country.

    The talks come a day after Turkey defended its decision to intercept a Syrian-bound plane that it says was carrying military equipment and ammunition destined for Syria's government.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Oct 10, 2012.Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Oct 10, 2012.
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Oct 10, 2012.
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Oct 10, 2012.
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday the Syrian-bound passenger jet, travelling from Moscow to Damascus earlier this week, was carrying illicit cargo provided by a Russian supplier.  Erdogan did not elaborate on where Turkey received the intelligence or who in Russia had provided the materials.

    Syrian officials have denied the plane was carrying any military cargo. Russia, a top ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, demanded an explanation from Turkey, saying its actions threatened the lives and safety of the passengers on board.  

    The Syrian Air flight was intercepted by fighter jets late Wednesday in the Turkish capital, Ankara. The plane was allowed to complete its trip to Syria early Thursday without the cargo.

    The incident has increased tensions between Turkey and Syria, countries that in recent weeks have exchanged artillery fire across their shared border.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
    by: Anonymous
    October 19, 2012 1:05 AM
    Without turkies the "insurgents" don't have shelter and support.

    by: Anonymous
    October 12, 2012 1:57 PM
    Good on Turkey for standing up to Assad and his thugs. The best thing the FSA can do is take out the air bases. Without Assads helicopters and planes he doesn't stand a chance in hell. This whole war has dragged on long enough, I sure hope the FSA captures Assad soon, and puts an end to this tyrant once and for all. Once Assad is captured or killed, the Syrian people will live in peace. I can't think of a dictator as stupid as Assad in the history of the world. Praise to the people of Syria for standing up against the Assad thug, he will get what he deserves in the end. Unfortunately he has killed tens of thousands of men, women and children, and got away with it so far.
    In Response

    by: Dr. Malek Towghi (Baluch) from: USA
    October 12, 2012 3:11 PM
    I know enough Islamic history to be worried that the fall of the Assad Regime in present circumstances could mean a mass massacre and/or mass expulsion of more than 9, 000, 000 (nine million) Alawites & other Shiites, Kurds, Druze and Christians ... and people like this "Anonymous" and his/her international supporters will be responsible for this major crime of the 21st century.

    by: Simba from: USA
    October 12, 2012 12:38 PM
    The Syrian rebels are a terrorist group that is being illegally supplied with weapons by outside nations with the intent to destabilize and overthrow a legitimate government. Behold the corruption of the UN and the USA.

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