News / Middle East

Explosions in Damascus Kill At Least 34

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian citizens stand near a burning truck that was destroyed by two cars bombs in a suburb of Damascus, Syria, November 28, 2012.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian citizens stand near a burning truck that was destroyed by two cars bombs in a suburb of Damascus, Syria, November 28, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
Twin car bombs Wednesday ripped through a suburb of Syria's capital populated mostly by Christians and Druze, killing at least 34 people.
 
Syrian state television showed firefighters hosing down the burning wreckage of several vehicles and nearby buildings after two car bombs exploded in the main square of Jaramana, outside Damascus.
 
One unidentified witness said the explosions came in succession. He said a car filled with explosives blew up before a second explosion occurred near a school.
 
State media accused “terrorists,” the government's term for opposition forces. But several top opposition figures said that the government was behind the attacks.

  • A crowd gathers at the site of a blast in Jaramana district, near Damascus, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA, November 28, 2012.
  • The site of a blast in Jaramana district, near Damascus, is seen in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA, November 28, 2012.
  • A man wounded in the explosions in Jaramana district, near Damascus, receives treatment at a hospital, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA, November 28, 2012.
  • A crowd gathers at the site of a blast in Jaramana district, near Damascus, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA, November 28, 2012.
  • A crowd gathers at a site of a blast in Jaramana district, near Damascus, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA, November 28, 2012.
  • Residents and Free Syrian Army fighters are seen near damaged tents for Syrian refugees after shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on the outskirts of Idlib, near the Syrian-Turkey border, November 26, 2012.
  • Residents pose near damaged wheat sacks after Syrian Air Force fighter jets fired missiles at the town of Ras al-Ain, Syria, November 26, 2012.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters are seen in Daria near Damascus, Syria, November 25, 2012.

Air attacks continue
 
Elsewhere, Syrian forces continued to pound rebels from the air.
 
Video posted on the Internet and aired by pan-Arab television channels showed smoke over the city of Homs after what was said to be bombing by government warplanes.
 
State television reports said government forces “destroyed hideouts of armed terrorists" in two Homs districts.
 
Opposition groups also posted video on the Internet claiming to show a downed warplane and captured pilots in the northern province of Aleppo. The video showed rebel medics appearing to treat the pilots.
 
The video cannot be independently verified. The rebels have come under Western criticism for executing some government captives in recent months.
 
Damascus fighting
 
Arab television channels are reporting that government ground forces have withdrawn from parts of the country to defend the capital, Damascus.
 
Government forces have reportedly lost control of some outer suburbs as well as southern areas of Damascus in recent weeks.
 
Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, said that Syrian rebels have captured a number of positions along the Jordanian border in the past several days. He said a battle for the capital may be drawing near.
 
"The [Free Syrian Army rebels] overran an important headquarters and they now control four checkpoints on the border with Jordan," he said. "When the battle for Damascus begins, you'll find a major thrust of fighters from northern Jordan into Syria to take part in the battle for Damascus.
 
"So, it seems that this is beginning to happen, because the FSA is focusing on the Jordanian border,” he said.
 
Also Wednesday, NATO officials visited neighboring Turkey, scouting out possible sites for a missile defense system.
 
Turkey has asked NATO to deploy the Patriot interceptor missiles to help protect towns near the Syrian border.
 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says violence across Syria has killed more than 40,000 people since an uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began in March of last year.
 
VOA's Jeff Seldin contributed to this report from Washington.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John Hickman from: Georgia
November 28, 2012 10:54 AM
Why is VOA challenging the description of non-state actors who detonate bombs targeting civilian neighborhoods, populated by members of religious minorities at that, as terrorists? If a similar outrage happened anywhere else in the world what would the perpetrators be called? Would it dare describe such an event in the U.S. or the U.K. as the work of "rebels" and "opposition forces"?


by: Anonymous
November 28, 2012 9:35 AM
The rebels are behaving like terrorists, what a surprise. We should oppose these terrorists rather than support them building an Islamic state in Syria.

In Response

by: Anonymous
December 01, 2012 9:30 AM
We are witnessing the birth of an Islamic state.

In Response

by: M Dizzle from: USA
November 28, 2012 11:13 AM
Americans were all terrorists at one time. Terrorism freed our country from Britain, calling it a revolution does not diminish the actuality of what happened on the ground.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid