October 21, 2014 21:28 UTC

In the News

Clashes Intensify on Turkish-Syrian Border

Read, listen and learn English with this story. Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

Turkey / Syria BorderTurkey / Syria Border
x
Turkey / Syria Border
Turkey / Syria Border

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS in Special English.
 
A Syrian artillery attack this week killed five civilians in Turkey. It was one of the most serious cross-border incidents since the fighting in Syria began a year and a half ago.
 
Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are accused of firing a shell that struck a house in Akcakale on Wednesday. Two women and three children died. Turkish forces shelled Syrian targets to answer the attack.
 
Also, Turkey's parliament passed a one-year measure approving military intervention into Syria if necessary. Under the Turkish constitution, the government needs that permission to operate outside Turkey. 
 
Parliament easily passed the measure, but the main opposition party voted against it. And opinion surveys show that the Turkish public strongly opposes any heavy military action against Syria.
 
Inside Syria, the war continues with intensity. In Aleppo, the country's largest city, the few hospitals that are still open are struggling to treat victims of the conflict. VOA reporter Scott Bobb and cameraman Sebastian Meyer visited one of those hospitals.
 
SCOTT BOBB: "Dar al-Shifa Hospital in Aleppo. Staff treat soldiers of the rebel Free Syria Army wounded in various battles this morning. They are also treating civilians. This boy was hit by a bullet. It went through his shoulder and lodged in his chest. This family arrives in panic and in grief. A mortar shell hit their home. Two babies are among the wounded. A teenager arrives with a shattered leg. He will survive but as an amputee. The father lies on the sidewalk. He died before reaching the hospital, hit by shrapnel in the head."
 
The hospital was heavily damaged and is able to provide only emergency first aid. After treatment, the wounded are sent home or, if they need more attention, to Turkey -- two hours away.
 
The Syrian conflict sometimes spills into Turkey, as the attack on Wednesday showed. Turkey has sent more troops to the border since Syrian anti-aircraft fire shot down a Turkish warplane in June. But Cengiz Aktar, a political scientist at Istanbul's Bahcesehir University, says there is no desire for a war with Syria.  
 
CENGIZ AKTAR: "Turkey is entering quite a difficult period economically speaking and I do not think they would like to add more expenditure to their already very strained budget."

Turkey’s forces are much larger and more modern than Syrian forces. But the Turkish military is battling Kurdish rebels. And it has other issues requiring its attention. Last month, more than three hundred army officers were found guilty of plotting against Turkey’s government.
 
The government has, in the past, said it would not intervene by itself in Syria. But Turkey is finding little international support for intervention from the United Nations or NATO. And political observer Sinan Ulgen says Turkey has been generally dissatisfied with international reaction to the Syrian crisis.
 
SINAN ULGEN: "Turkey feels that it has been left alone to deal with crisis on Syria. The international community, despite having engaged in the rhetoric of the responsibility to protect, did not live up to the bargain."
 
And that's IN THE NEWS in Special English. You can find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs at voasepcialenglish.com. And you can find us on Twitter and YouTube at VOA Learning English. I'm Bob Doughty.
 
___
 
Contributing: Scott Bobb and Dorian Jones
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: Turkey
10/06/2012 8:36 PM
Turkish military is not batlling Kurdish rebels, batlling terrorists. And terrorists are not supporting (defending, backing up, whatever...) Kurdish people.

In Response

by: Karolyn from: UK
10/12/2012 5:20 AM
really...?? with this definition I think Turkey will have difficult time justifying support for Hamas and Hizbullah... don't you think "Michael"...???


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
10/06/2012 2:45 AM
Sounds like there are some reasons that Turkish government couldn't attack Syria like domestic rebels, Straininng budget, military plotting and not support from the U.N. But it seems cool judgement that public polls say they oppose any heavy military action against Syria.

Learn with The News

  • Video Hong Kong’s Protests Show Generation Gap

    Students are leading pro-democracy protests in the Chinese territory. But many of their parents are more willing to express support for calm and security. The protests have shown what observers are calling a generation gap. More

  • FILE - satellite image provided by GeoEye shows the area around the Yongbyon nuclear facility in Yongbyon, North Korea. The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies said shows that North Korea has resumed building wor

    Audio North Korea Plans to Keep Nuclear Program

    A North Korean official says his country plans to keep its nuclear program. He says the North Korean government could re-examine its policy toward the United States if U.S. officials continue raising human rights issues. More

  • ** FILE ** In this photo supplied by the Raytheon Aantarctic Services shows the ice highway stretches as far as the eye can see at the Antartica in this undated file photo. A planned driving trip to Antarctica's South Pole along the ice road built by the

    Audio Fiber Optic Cable Measures Antarctic Ice Melt

    Antarctica is covered with ice that extends past the land and floats on the sea in thick shelves. But those ice shelves are melting quickly. As they melt, the sea level rises, increasing the risk of damaging floods. More

  • Postal Worker Protest

    Audio US Politicians Target Asian American Voters

    Asians are the fastest growing minority in the United States. Political scientists say Asian Americans are starting to have an influence on U.S. politics. There now are more Asian Americans in Congress than ever before. More

  • Bishops attend the beatification ceremony of Pope Paul VI, and a mass for the closing of of a two-week synod on family issues, celebrated by Pope Francis, in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican,  Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014.

    Audio Catholic Bishops Reject Plan to 'Welcome' Gays

    Conservatives had criticized an early document from the two-week-long meeting of bishops in Rome. That document sought to limit criticism of people who have same-sex relationships. The final document approved by the bishops disappoints liberals but pleases conservatives. | As It Is More

Featured Stories

  • Audio San Francisco Radio Stations Ban Lorde's 'Royals'

    The California baseball team, San Francisco Giants, is playing the Kansas City Royals for the 2014 Major League Baseball championship, the World Series. Two radio stations in San Francisco banned the hit song "Royals." In return, another station in Kansas City chose to play the song once every hour. More

  • A neurovascular unit on a chip being developed by Vanderbilt University researchers. (Vanderbilt University Photo/John Wikswo)

    Video Scientists Design Chips to Act Like Human Organs

    Some scientists are now designing silicon computer chips that act like human organs. The scientists think they have found a way to make the process faster and more economical. More

  • Brain Resource Infographic

    Audio Dealing with Distractions and Overreactions

    Five million American children and teenagers have Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. ADHD makes it difficult - if not impossible - to stay with a duty until it is complete. Katherine Ellison knows the problem well. | Health Report More

  • Millions of years of history, which can be found on the ocean floor, are collected and analyzed at the Core Repository in New York.

    Video Scientists Create New Maps of Ocean Floor

    Until recently, scientists had mapped only about 20 percent of the sea floor. But our knowledge of the deep seas is changing because of information from satellites. Scientists have produced a new map that provides a detailed picture of the oceans. More

  • General George McClellan created a strong Union force, but he worried he did not have enough men to defeat the Confederacy.

    Audio McClellan Approaches Richmond ... And Waits

    The North and South clashed in a series of battles called the Seven Days Campaign. The struggle saved the Confederacy but came at a terrible price. But victory came at a terrible price. Twenty thousand Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded. The Civil War was becoming more costly. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs