May 25, 2015 13:15 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

  • Audio Memorial Day: Arlington National Cemetery

    Arlington National Cemetery is “A living tribute to our nation’s past” and the final resting place for 400,000 women and men who gave service to the United States. Slaves, government officials, Supreme Court justices, astronauts, explorers and two presidents are buried there. | As It Is More

  • Video America’s Famous Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

    Thousands walk the National Mall every day. The green space has taken a bad beating as a result. Now, a project is taking place to repair and renew the grassy area lined with famous museums so people can continue to enjoy it for years to come. More

  • Audio China Increases Its Ballistic Missile Abilities

    China is adding several small nuclear warheads to missiles. China says its military is only for defense. Some people question that claim. Especially now, as China becomes more assertive in a dispute with several Asian nations over maritime territory. Some experts worry of a possible Asian arms race. More

  • Pin Phunam a contortionist in Phare, The Cambodian Circus

    Video Cambodia Circus Offers a Better Life to Young Performers

    Many young people in Cambodia dream of joining the circus. For some needy and underprivileged youths some are given an opportunity at the Phare Ponleu Selpak school or PPS to learn circus skills that may help change their lives for the better. More

  • Team Grin plans to race to Alaska in this Etchells 22, currently moored in Port Townsend, Washington. (Tom Banse/VOA)

    Audio Sail, Row, Paddle, All The Way To Alaska

    In less than three weeks the first-ever Race to Alaska will be an exciting and challenging journey for anyone brave enough to enter with their non-motorized boat. One can only race by sailing, rowing, paddling, pedaling or a combination of those activities. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Guide to 2016 Campaign: Money and Super PAC

    Raising money is an important part of any election in America. Candidates for the 2016 race for the White House and Congress are busy lining up dollars to fund their elections. VOA Learning English helps explain how the campaign finance systems work in the U.S. More

  • Audio Hold Your Horses!

    Horses are part of the history and romance of the Old American West. These days, they are popular for sport and entertainment. So, it is easy to understand why we Americans use so many horse expressions. Learn some of the most common and try to answer our horse riddle! More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar - Introducing Conditionals

    In everyday conversation, English speakers often talk about things that are not true. Or, they talk about things that only happen if something else happens. Learn how to correctly use these conditional forms in English. If you write to us, we will let you know if it is correct. More

  • Discover Debate

    Audio Successful Debate for New Learners and Large Classes

    Many students of English engage in debate as part of their training. In Part Two of our Successful Debate series, we learn the kinds of debate topics that work well for English learners. An expert shares tips for organizing a debate in a large class and for answering arguments. More

  • Nina Marranca looks at her phone, June 25, 2013.

    Audio Deaf-Blind Woman First to Use Braille Phone

    New technology allows deaf and blind people to use the telephone. The tests are underway in Australia and the U.S. It could help end isolation that people who cannot see or hear say they feel. Learn about this exciting new technology as well as words like "Braille" and "parallel testing." More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs