News / Middle East

Syrian Warplanes Bomb Palestinian Camp in Damascus

Syrian people seen near a damaged building after it was attacked by a Syrian Army Jet in Azaz, Syria, Sunday, Dec 16, 2012.
Syrian people seen near a damaged building after it was attacked by a Syrian Army Jet in Azaz, Syria, Sunday, Dec 16, 2012.
VOA News

Syrian opposition activists say government warplanes have bombed a Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital, Damascus, killing at least eight people.

The activists said Sunday's air strike was the first of its kind on the Yarmouk refugee camp since forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad began suppressing a popular uprising in March 2011. They said at least some of those killed were in a mosque struck by a missile.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Yarmouk raid was one of six government air strikes on southern areas of Damascus on Sunday. Rebels have been trying to advance from those areas into central Damascus, the seat of Assad's power.

Meanwhile, a Lebanese newspaper quoted Syria's vice president as saying neither the rebels nor the government can win the conflict militarily. In a report Sunday, Al-Akhbar said Farouk al-Sharaa made the rare public comment in an interview with the pro-Syrian newspaper. There was no immediate response to the report from the Syrian government.

If confirmed, al-Sharaa's comment would represent a departure from the Syrian government's stated determination to defeat what it sees as foreign-backed terrorists trying to end Assad's 12-year rule.

The paper quoted the vice president as saying the government is "not in a battle for the survival of an individual or a regime."

In another quote, al-Sharaa purportedly said a solution to the conflict must involve "regional countries" and members of the U.N. Security Council, the stopping of all violence, and the creation of a "national unity government with wide powers."

Elsewhere, an Islamist rebel faction claimed to have seized an army academy near the northern city of Aleppo after days of fighting with government troops. The Tawheed brigade posted a video on its website Sunday, showing fighters walking around the base, while exchanges of fire could be heard in the background.

The army academy appears to be the latest Syrian military installation to fall to the rebels this month around Aleppo, Syria's commercial capital.

At the Yarmouk camp, the Observatory said fighting erupted after the air strike, with Syrian rebels and their Palestinian allies battling a Palestinian faction loyal to Assad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). Syria is home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, whose loyalties have been divided by the Syrian civil war.

The government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appealed to the international community to take action to stop attacks on Palestinians in Syria.

There was no independent confirmation of the casualties at Yarmouk or the fighting at the military academy because Syria bars independent journalists from reporting freely. 

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

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: adipocere from: Alabama
December 17, 2012 12:57 AM
This article is a shameful attempt to associate Palestine with the Syrian "opposition" and to propagate the idea that the US is neutral in this conflict.
My favorite part is at the end:
"There was no independent confirmation of the casualties at Yarmouk or the fighting at the military academy because Syria bars independent journalists from reporting freely."
I didn't know the US govt officials were were so underpaid they have to moonlight as "independent journalists."
"The Broadcasting Board Governors (BBG) became the independent entity responsible for all U.S. Government and government-sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting on October 1, 1999... the BBG assumed authority for the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and its broadcasting services – the Voice of America (VOA) and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB). The Board also oversees three grantee organizations, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN)." - http://www.bbg.gov/about-the-agency/history/
In Response

by: Hans from: Canada
December 17, 2012 9:04 PM
Don't worry once the US government has finished repealing the smith-mund act your government will have no legal obligation to tell the American public the truth, then there will be no truth out there in the media.
As far as Syria goes, the rebels are now holding a Russian Journalist hostage for $50M and are threatening to execute her. The rebels have also tried to set up many foreign journalists to be killed but the Army. In fact there are many independent journalists in the country but you won't hear about them if they are not reporting what Goldman Sacs/the US State Department wants them to.

by: Hans from: Canada
December 16, 2012 8:09 PM
You are being lied to, this is about stopping/controlling the vast wealth of the future Paes pipeline and that is all. Assad like any dictator/Baathist had vocal "Expat opponents in the US, Canada and other countries who wanted reform but they wanted democracy...freedom...opportunity etc. not this Saudi Qatari funded Salfist/Wahhabism/islamic brother-hood. When you look into it what this war is really about is controlling the wealth and possible the direction of the Northern Pars pipeline. Coincidental is the fact that in 2008 Israel discovered the largest off shore gas field ever 50miles form its coast in territorial waters which it will never share with another people looking for statehood. At the same time Europe’s media has got the public in a frenzy to move to natural gas power generation and Syria (a country that already signed on to the PARS pipeline) happens to be a convenient route; hence the new relationship between the Saudi Royal Family and the Israeli government among others to make the new Israeli gas deposit Europe’s main supply. There is a writer named William Engdahl who has a great short essay on this.

by: PHIL from: Newcastle UK
December 16, 2012 9:05 AM
FSA were warned by Syrian Army and Palestinians not to enter Yarmouk Camp (population 1million) and that they would be fought by military and Palestinians if they did enter. Well they tried to force their way in and are now being fought. 103 dead as of one hour ago. The 'activists' reporting this are the FSA including al Nusra Front
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 18, 2012 9:22 AM
Palestinians should be helping rid Assad too. A group effort.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs