News / Middle East

Syrian Troops, Hezbollah Attack Rebel-Held Qusair

In this May 18, 2013 citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens shows Syrians inspecting the rubble of damaged buildings due to government airstrikes, in Qusair, Homs province.
In this May 18, 2013 citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens shows Syrians inspecting the rubble of damaged buildings due to government airstrikes, in Qusair, Homs province.
VOA News
Syrian government troops backed by warplanes and Lebanese Hezbollah militants have attacked the rebel-held town of Qusair, as part of a weeks-long offensive to recapture the strategic area connecting Damascus to the Mediterranean coast.


Activists in the town, along the Lebanese border, said Sunday that security forces intensified their assault during the day, hitting Qusair with artillery and warplanes and destroying multiple homes.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 52 people were killed, including 48 rebel fighters.

A Syrian official told Western news agencies that government troops had captured the municipal headquarters and surrounding buildings. Syrian state television said security forces then began hunting down terrorists - the government's term for rebels fighting a two-year war to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

There was no independent confirmation.

One of the Islamist units defending Qusair (the al-Siddiq Brigade) said attempts to storm the town had failed. Another activist in the Qusair region said the rebel grip was tenuous but that the army was not in control.

Syrian troops had cut off Qusair on three sides and captured surrounding villages in recent weeks. The town lies near a highway from Damascus to the Syrian coast and controlling it would solidify President Assad's access to coastal regions largely inhabited by his minority Alawite sect.

Qusair also has formed part of a cross-border smuggling route for rebels.

Meanwhile, as Syrian refugees continue to stream into Jordan and Lebanon, the international aid group Oxfam warned that warmer summer weather will increase health-related risks due to a lack of shelter, water and basic sanitation.

Increased cases of public health-related diseases such as diarrhea and skin infections have already been recorded in host communities and temporary settlements, where an increasing number of refugees now live.

In Lebanon's Bekaa Valley alone, there are now some 240 tented settlements, six times the number recorded in January.

As of May 2013, some 635,000 people are in need of assistance in Lebanon - both refugees and host communities - and Oxfam says it anticipates this number to increase to over 740,000 by November.

More than 80,000 people have been killed and several million displaced since the start of the rebellion against Assad in March 2011.

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

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Igor from: Russia
May 20, 2013 1:31 AM
It is very easy to see the true color of the USA and its allies. They support the rebels because they think they can rely on those terrorists to overthrow Syrian goverment, which is Russia's ally. How can you promote democracy in a country by depending on groups of terrorists?!!! The purpose of the West is to overthrow Mr. Assad, not to create a democratic society in Syria!
Why the West would like to overthrow Mr. Assad? Because they want to isolate Iran, Russia which are not their allies.


by: Anonymous
May 20, 2013 12:54 AM
The days are numbered for Bashar al Assad (the biggest terrorist in Syria) and Hezbollah. The world should know, that anyone who backs Bashar al Assad by arming him or backing him in any way is in fact aiding a criminal guilty of endless crimes and should be dealt with accordingly.

In Response

by: Gerardo from: USA
May 20, 2013 8:40 PM
Wrong on all counts. The biggest terrorists are those Sunni Saudi Arabians who are not belonging in Syria. They are cut from the same cloth as world's biggest terrorist, Osama bin Laden. Shiite and Alawite had nothing to do with 9/11. Why do you support the people who attacked us on 9/11? I was there, and I am telling the world you are wrong. The terrorists will be defeated, they will be hung from buildings and trees. Hezbollah is the most fearsome fighter in Muslim world. Sunni terrorists have no chance. Go home anonymous. Syria was at peace, now ruined because of small minds like yours.


by: George Kafantaris
May 19, 2013 11:44 PM
How are the Syrian Rebels supposed to deal with Assad's tanks, helicopters and planes?
And we wonder why they are resorting to terrorist bombings. Have we given them any other ostensible military support?
The conflict is in Syria but in fact it's about freedom in the rest of the world. Yet we have surrendered the keys to the free world to totalitarian regimes.
Yes, Russian and China -- completely devoid of any moral authority -- have succeeded in rendering us fully impotent in Syria.


by: SixSIxSix from: USA
May 19, 2013 10:50 PM
An active Hezbollah and Assad alliance is incredibly destabilizing for the Region. Syria seriously intervened in the Lebanese Civil War leaving a legacy of hatred and distrust. Lebanon could boil again over the fall out. Israel will not tolerate close cooperation and transfer of weapons. This thing could blow sky high through this kind of action.


by: Regula from: USA
May 19, 2013 9:53 PM
This entire blood bath in Syria and the untold suffering of the Syrian people could have been prevented if the so-called international community had in fact made an effort right away, at the beginning, when Assad was ready for negotiations time and again, to support such negotiations instead on insisting - against the wishes of the Syrians - that Assad had to go. The fact that the rebellion started with a desire for reforms but without replacing Assad - those were the true wishes of the people - was just simply ignored by the West cum Israel who instigated the civil war as a means to oust Assad. Now it can only be hoped, for the sake of the Syrian people, that Assad prevails and gets to oust the entire collection of islamist hoodlooms and thugs so a functioning state can be restored. And the west will do well to support Assad. The alternative is a failed state, indeterminate civil war among powergreedy factions and a stronghold for islamic militants. Or, in the alternative that the US intervenes: the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood at the helm of a country governed by Sharia, intolerant of minorities and in the longer run, the entire Middle East governed by the various factions of the Muslim Brotherhood - that is what Qatar wants. Although the Brotherhood is Sunni, it will have relations with Iran and Iraq, not the US in the first place. At this point, whatever the US does, it will have lost one more war - this one by instigation using jihadis to do the fighting. Assad is by far the better choice. Even the US gov will have to come to that insight.

In Response

by: moritz from: Germany
May 20, 2013 2:16 PM
Had the US do gooders not have tried to take advantage of this Situation the war would have never happen or been over within weeks. We do not need another Iraq even if that is what Israel wants

In Response

by: gig24
May 19, 2013 10:52 PM
Assad was a thug too,i heard.Anyway,if he gets to stay, Mr Putin must help immediately secure all borders. He must give part of is and to establish safe-heavens,the refugees shall use their land ,not someone else's.Later Assad then must register them and assimilate them.

In Response

by: Old Dog from: SE Asia
May 19, 2013 10:51 PM
Assad has always said Syrians have to decide, his term will end in 2014. Why can't the world, esp. French gov't, not able to see that it is so easy to hold him responsible for his words?


by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
May 19, 2013 4:47 PM
Truth -- in the second last paragraph of a long WSJ story "Syrian Forces Push to Retake Stronghold" today: "An assertive Mr. Assad, who still enjoys popular support, particularly among Syria's minorities, said his fate wouldn't be decided at peace talks that the U.S. and Russia are trying to convene in Geneva between the regime and the opposition."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid