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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs