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.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
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.

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 Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syriai
November 26, 2015 5:21 AM
Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs