News / Middle East

Troops Surround Syrian Capital's Southern Suburbs

Free Syrian Army fighters aim their weapons at the entrance of a building during heavy clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria, December 5, 2012.
Free Syrian Army fighters aim their weapons at the entrance of a building during heavy clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria, December 5, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Syrian activists say the army has bombed two Damascus suburbs and poured in military reinforcements in an effort to try to reclaim territory controlled by rebels.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday the army fired rockets at the rebel-held Daraya and Moadamiah suburbs southwest of the capital. The group said it feared that troops massing on the suburbs' outskirts could be the prelude to an imminent ground assault.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said American and Russian officials will meet in the next few days to find ways to work together to end the violence in Syria.

Clinton said that while there was no "breakthrough" during talks Thursday in Ireland with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and special United Nations and Arab League envoy Lakhtar Brahimi.  But she says they did agree to form lower-level teams to work with Brahimi on possible ways to end the violence.

Russia and the U.S. have been on opposite sides of the more than year-long conflict.

Clinton stressed that it's important for any country with influence in the Middle East to explore all possible solutions, because developments in Syria are "increasingly dangerous not only to Syrians but to their neighbors."

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that intelligence shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be considering using chemical weapons as rebel successes in the civil war put more and more pressure on his government.

The White House has warned Assad that using chemical gas against his own people would be a "red line" for the United States and bring serious consequences.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday using such weapons would be an "outrageous crime."

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Maqdad has told Lebanese television that if Syria had chemical weapons, it would not use them against the Syrian people. Maqdad said the West is using threat of chemical weapons as an excuse to intervene.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid