News / Middle East

    US: Syrian Forces Preparing for a 'Massacre' in Aleppo

    A damaged Syrian military tank is seen at the border town of Azaz, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.A damaged Syrian military tank is seen at the border town of Azaz, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.
    x
    A damaged Syrian military tank is seen at the border town of Azaz, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.
    A damaged Syrian military tank is seen at the border town of Azaz, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.
    STATE DEPARTMENT — The United States on Thursday warned that Syrian government forces appear to be preparing to massacre civilians in the city of Aleppo.  Opposition activists say they expect the government to soon launch a major offensive on rebel-held areas across the northern city.

    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the Obama administration has "grave concerns" about the use of tanks and fighter jets in the densely-populated city near the Turkish border.

    "This is the concern, that we will see a massacre in Aleppo, and that's what the regime appears to be lining up for," said Nuland.

    Opposition activists quote sources close to Syrian security forces as saying the government is amassing troops on the southern outskirts of the city, which already has seen helicopter and tank attacks against rebels in the past six days of fighting.

    Watch related video of government violence in Aleppo and Hama
    Related video of government violence in Aleppo and Hamai
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X
    July 26, 2012 3:22 PM
    Related video of government violence in Aleppo and Hama

    Nuland said thousands of people are fleeing the government "onslaught" on the commercial capital.

    "This is another desperate attempt by a regime that is going down to try to maintain control, and we are greatly concerned about what they are capable of in Aleppo," she said.

    Asked what the international community can do to stop the violence, Nuland again blamed Russia and China for vetoing tougher United Nations action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    "The U.N. Security Council has been checkmated in this circumstance, which makes it all the more important, as we have always said we have a two-track policy. We want to work in the U.N. But if not, we will work with those countries who want to support the Syrian opposition in seeing a new day," said Nuland.

    For the United States, that support remains non-lethal. Nuland said the Obama administration believes that arming Assad's opponents would only lead to more violence.

    At a time when more than 100 countries in the so-called "Friends of the Syrian People" group are trying to move toward political transition, Nuland said Iran is taking an "extremely dangerous" position in continuing to supply weapons to Damascus.

    "This is further to the unconscionable actions of the Iranian government that has been supporting the Assad regime all the way through this conflict, and even as the violence escalates, continues to provide material support, training," she said.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is calling for a further extension of the U.N. observer mission in Syria, offering to contribute 30 Russian observers. Nuland said that if the situation in Syria does not improve, the United States believes U.N. observers should be withdrawn.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: Nora Colerine from: UK
    July 26, 2012 11:16 PM
    Another "MASSACRE..." !!!! hey, its Islam... what the hell... let them kill each other
    In Response

    by: dwq from: boston
    July 29, 2012 10:23 AM
    Took 400 years for catholics and protestants to stop killing eachother. From parents to children, then lessons where passed until almost all of them were affected and the Western institution of "free religion" was born. Sunnis and Shiites still have way to go. When they figure out how to like eachother, they will also figure out how to like us.

    by: Bryan from: San Jose
    July 26, 2012 10:54 PM
    You can stop the mass murder President Obama . . you could have saved 20,000 lives .. how many more Mr. President .. ?

    by: Carlos .. from: California ..
    July 26, 2012 10:51 PM
    Right .. US State Dept and White House .. report on the massacres .. but do nothing for 425 days to stop it .. you cowards .. not worthy to be called leaders .. you are despicable President Obama .. a worthless leader .. I have been to Aleppo .. never met a kinder people .. shameful cowardice America ..

    by: Sar Chasm from: World
    July 26, 2012 10:43 PM
    All segments of the Syrian population must coalesce around the protection of Aleppo. Syria, of Syrians, by Syrians, for Syrians.

    by: Steve from: Sydney
    July 26, 2012 10:27 PM
    FUNNY - THE US DID NOT MIND CARRYING OUT MASSACRES IN IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN OVER MANY YEARS?

    by: Josephus from: Sydney, Australia
    July 26, 2012 10:15 PM
    Syria is a dictatorship. Now that there is a revolution, the anarchists and revolutioneries are killing all those who are not like them. This has led to the massacher of christian men and boys. Is this what Barack Obama wants ? Is this why the US is supporting revolutions in Arab countries ? This ethnic and religious cleansing is happening all over the world and yet the US is doing nothing to defend christians, The US has defended muslims in former Yugoslavia. Is Obama a true defender of all faiths ?

    by: talbot
    July 26, 2012 10:03 PM
    What a load of rubbish. The government is not preparing to slaughter anyone, except the foreign funded terrorists that are killing people in the streets. Is this supposed to be news? Anyone with half a brain and access to Google can find out what is really happening. US gov wants to defeat Syria, which leads to Iran, which equates to domination of that region. Big surprise.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    July 27, 2012 2:45 PM
    That's a load of rubbish Talbot, as you can see in the videos the tanks and planes bombing buildings that families live in indiscriminately, just like Assads daddy did, wipe out entire villages, women and children included. It has all to do with human rights Talbot, and defending innocent people, anyone with half a brain and access to google can find out that... Get with the program.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.