News / Middle East

Syrian Rebels Use Tunnel to Attack Military Base

Syrians walk past anti-sniper curtains remaining in a street on May 12, 2014 in a destroyed neighbourhood of the Old City of Homs.
Syrians walk past anti-sniper curtains remaining in a street on May 12, 2014 in a destroyed neighbourhood of the Old City of Homs.
Edward Yeranian
— Syrian rebel fighters have blown up a government military base in northern Idlib province by tunneling under the besieged outpost and setting off explosives. Rebels recently used a similar method to destroy a checkpoint near the same base and a government army barracks in a hotel in Syria's largest city of Aleppo.

An enormous explosion Thursday destroyed part of the government-controlled Wadi al-Deif military base near the rebel-held town of Ma'arat al-Na'aman in Idlib province. It was the fourth such explosion to hit a government position via rebel-built tunnels in recent weeks.

Al-Arabiya TV reported that the 850-meter tunnel beneath the Wadi al-Deif base took rebel fighters seven months to dig. Opposition activists claim that dozens of government soldiers were killed and wounded in the blast, but it was impossible to confirm the figures.

Other violence

Rebel forces destroyed an historic hotel in a government controlled district of Aleppo last week by setting off an explosion in a tunnel beneath that structure. Dozens of casualties were reported in the blast, after much of the building housing government forces collapsed.

In other violence Thursday, at least 29 people were killed when a car bomb went off near the border with Turkey. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the explosion occurred at a garage near the Bab al-Salameh border crossing in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.

Amateur video showed residents of the rebel-held town of Sarmada pulling bodies from under rubble, after a government helicopter bombed buildings in a residential district. Blankets covered what appeared to be bodies piled onto a flatbed truck.

Opposition sources claimed the government attack on Sarmada was in retaliation for the blast at the Wadi al-Deif base. Government warplanes also bombed the rebel-held town of Latamna near Syria's fourth largest city of Hama.

Another amateur video showed a billowing, black mushroom cloud rising over a government-held building in Daraa province, near the Jordanian border, after a powerful blast destroyed the structure. It was not clear if rebel forces blew up the building.

PM visits Homs

Children danced to music in Syria's third largest city of Homs, as Prime Minister Wa'el al-Halqy visited the recently recaptured city center. State TV showed the prime minister and government officials inspecting a badly-damaged mosque and vowing to rebuild it.

The prime minister sounded upbeat and insisted that the government intended to be magnanimous in victory:

He says that national reconciliation is starting to take place, thanks to the victory of Syria's armed forces and with the participation of all the main forces in society. He insists that the reconciliation will spread to other parts of Syria in a spirit of generosity.

Fighting continued in many other parts of the country, with Arab TV channels reporting that the al-Qaida-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group captured the road between Deir-ez-Zor in the east and Raqqa to the north of the country. Heavy fighting was also reported in suburbs of Damascus both north and south of the capital

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
May 15, 2014 4:09 PM
This war will only ever have one ending, assad arrested for the thousands and thousands of crimes he has commited, from murder, torture, and destruction. It's a no win situation for assad under any condition.

The world would love to see assad served his long awaited justice for murdering innocent unarmed civilians.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid