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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid