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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs