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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs