ISIS-affiliated Terrorists Assassinate a Mayor in Daraa Countryside

 

ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists assassinate mayor in Daraa southern Syria

ARABI SOURI 

Remnants of ISIS and Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists assassinated the mayor of Al Nuaymah (Elnaymah) town in the eastern countryside of Daraa earlier in the morning today, Thursday, other members of his family were injured in the attack.

Local sources and the reporter of the Syrian news agency Sana confirmed the killing of Alaa Abboud (38 years old) by a bomb planted in his vehicle near the Al-Khirbeh roundabout in the city of Daraa, the center of the province of Daraa.

Family members of the slain mayor were rushed to the National Hospital in Daraa for treatment from injuries they sustained in the heinous attack.

Biden forces illegally deployed in the Al Tanf area in the depth of the Syrian desert at the joint borders with Iraq and Jordan, in addition to holding hundreds of Syrian families in the infamous Rukban concentration camp, continue to sponsor the remnants of ISIS terrorists, especially the so-called Maghawir Thawra, and other Al Qaeda terrorists, the locals who refused to join the reconciliation and foreigners brought into Syria by the CIA through Jordan and Turkey.

The same Biden forces impose a 50 kilometers no-fly zone around their illegal base in which these ISIS terrorists take refuge and launch their terrorist operations against the Syrian people, state officials, and Syrian army soldiers in the southern and central region of the country.

The terrorist group and the US army bragged about carrying out a joint military drill in early December last year!

Today’s assassination of Alaa Al Abboud is the 21st assassination targeting mayors and members of the local city and town councils in the Syrian southern province of Daraa since 2018 when the Russian Reconciliation Center oversaw a reconciliation process that allowed the liberation of most of the province from terrorists without shedding blood in major military operations, however, the rest of the province was liberated by military pressure in September this year.

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5 Kamikaze Drones Bomb Biden Forces Illegally Deployed in Syrian Al Tanf

ARABI SOURI 

US Biden forces in the Al Tanf in the Syrian desert

5 Kamikaze drones loaded with explosives bombed the American illegal Biden forces deployed in the Syrian Al Tanf area at the joint borders with Iraq and Jordan, strong explosions were heard and smoke was seen rising from the targeted base.

Many sources confirm that between 3 and 5 booby-trapped drones bombed the base, the troops housing units, and the military barracks, the drones came from Iraq and Syria, the sources added. Some sources added that in addition to the drones there was bombing by grad missiles that targeted the illegal base.

Using the map of the Israeli bombing from over the US troops in Al Tanf on the 13th of the month:

There’s no immediate news how many of Biden oil thieves mercenary forces were ‘headached’, the new term used by the Pentagon to describe its casualties among its troops in Ain Asad military base in western Iraq after Iran bombed the base early January last year in retaliation to Trump’s war crime assassinating the Iranian top general Qasim Soleimani in the International Airport of Baghdad while he was on an official visit to Iraq 5 days earlier.

The number of US casualties from this bombing is irrelevant, the Pentagon will never reveal the correct number, it never had in all its previous war and military interventions abroad, the main important point is that there was a bombing and there were casualties. Will the US people ask their ‘democratically elected’ officials what they are really doing in Syria? And not the usual line of ‘exporting democracy and freedoms’ to the countries they’re destroying.

US Army Carried out ‘Military Drill’ with ISIS Affiliate in the Syrian Al Tanf

https://syrianews.cc/us-army-carried-out-military-drill-with-isis-affiliate-in-the-syrian-al-tanf/embed/#?secret=28eaEiFffK

An attack on Biden forces in Syria was anticipated in the wake of the joint Israeli – US bombing of a Syrian airbase housing allied forces near Tadmor (Palmyra) on the 13th of the month. The Resistance Axis vowed to strongly retaliate against the blatant joint war crime that led to the killing of Syrian soldiers and members of the allied forces fighting ISIS in the Syrian desert.

The White House junta of Joe Biden continues the policies of the former war criminal Trump who continued the policies of his predecessor the Obama Biden junta in the war of terror and war of attrition against Syria including the theft of Syrian oilwheat, and other resources, sponsoring the separatist Kurdish SDF terrorists and commanding the terrorists of ISIS, Nusra Front, HTS, and other anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in the country. Syria is literally on the other side of the planet from the United States of America, has never carried out against or threatened the USA or its people, yet the US consecutive regimes have repeatedly tried to topple the Syrian state driven by instructions they receive from their Israeli lobby masters.

US Forces in Syria Causing Catastrophic Effects on Civilians Held in Rukban Concentration Camp

https://syrianews.cc/usa-forces-syria-cause-rukban-concentration-catastrophic-conditions/embed/#?secret=7EmeJc5VBL

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 25, 2021

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 25, 2021

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4867149

Question: Which opportunities and risk factors does the new Taliban’s Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan present? Does Russia fear that the presence of Taliban could somehow feed Islamic extremism in the region? If so, what can be done?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, Afghanistan is now on everyone’s mind. We believe, and we did believe from the outset, that what has happened there is a reality. Unfortunately, the hasty pull-out, let’s call it this way, by the United States and other NATO countries of their troops was carried out without any consideration of the consequences. As you are aware, many weapons were left behind in Afghanistan. We all need to see to it that these weapons do not serve any unconstructive purposes.

The reality on the ground is based on statements made by the Taliban who proclaimed their commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda, not to project instability on their neighbours. They committed themselves to respecting women’s rights and to creating an inclusive government. You know all this. What matters the most at the moment is that they fulfil their promises.

The first step to form a transitory government structure fails to reflect the whole gamut of the Afghan society in its ethnic, religious and political diversity. We remain engaged with the Taliban, and these contacts have been continuing for several years now. We are doing this, inter alia, within the expanded troika of Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan. Only recently, Russian, Chinese and Pakistani representatives travelled to Doha, and after that they visited Kabul where they engaged with the Taliban, as well as with representatives of the secular authorities. I am referring to former President Hamid Karzai and former Head of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah. These contacts primarily focused on the need to form a genuinely representative government structure. The Taliban claim to be moving in this direction, and the current architecture is only temporary. What matters the most is to make sure that they keep the promises that they made in public. For us, the top priority is precisely what you just mentioned: it is unacceptable that extremism spills over into neighbouring countries, and the terrorist threat must not persist on Afghan soil. We will do everything we can to support the Taliban in their determination, as you have said, to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups, and to try to make sure that this determination paves the way to some practical progress.

Question: Does Russia consider easing or lifting its national sanctions against the Taliban members who become part of the new Afghan government in order to facilitate contacts with them? What position will Russia take during UN talks on easing or lifting sanctions against the Taliban?

Sergey Lavrov: As things stand at the moment, nothing is restraining or hindering our contacts with the Taliban. Moreover, the UN Security Council sanctions, as set forth in the corresponding resolutions, are not preventing us from engaging in such contacts. On the contrary, UN Security Council resolutions stipulate the need to advance a political process, and without working together with the Taliban this is impossible.

We have been engaged in contacts with this movement for some years now, and these contacts have been primarily geared towards ensuring the safety ofr Russian nationals, facilitating intra-Afghan reconciliation and political process. I have not heard any suggestions within the UN Security Council about the need to ease or lift international sanctions at one of the forthcoming meetings. There is no need for this for us to be able to engage with the Taliban movement at this stage.

We all expect the Taliban to honour all the good-minded promises they made. For this reason, we will see whether the terrorist and drug trafficking threats are actually eliminated.

Question: The UN Secretary-General has warned of disastrous consequences of a putative economic collapse in Afghanistan. What do you think about the idea to unfreeze Afghan assets held by international organisations?

It appears from your remarks that your policy is to judge the Taliban by their deeds. In what way does the Taliban ideology differ from that of other Islamic groups in other parts of the world, such as the groups in Syria, which you are opposing and showering with bombs?

Sergey Lavrov: Syria, as you may know, is where the seat of terrorism is located. Practically the entire Syrian territory has been liberated, but the so-called de-escalation zone in Idlib province is under the sway of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an offspring of Jabhat al-Nusra. All the UN Security Council resolutions point out the nature of these terrorist organisations. I see no problem here from the point of view of destroying the terrorists in Syria.

We are holding talks with our Turkish partners, who signed with us, a couple of years ago now, a special agreement whereby they undertook to fight terrorists in the Idlib de-escalation zone and to separate them from armed groups that are not terrorist ones and to cooperate with the Turkish military. In just a few days from now, President of Russia Vladimir Putin will have yet another meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The presidents will thoroughly analyse how this commitment is being implemented. It is being implemented at a rather slow pace. This is obvious.

As for the Taliban and comparisons between them and other groups, we cannot divide the terrorists into good guys and bad guys. There is a sufficient number of exemptions from sanctions imposed on the Taliban. This has been made on purpose to enable [the international community] to have a dialogue with them. It means that the UN Security Council recognises the Taliban as an inalienable part of Afghan society, which, for Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are not. This is what makes the difference.

We will induce those who have seized power in Kabul following the flight of the foreign contingents to behave in a civilised way.

We have mentioned the unfreezing of the assets. We think that this matter should be given a practical consideration from the positions you have mentioned in quoting the UN Secretary-General.

Question: The Taliban Government have decided on the candidacies for their ambassador to Russia. Will Russia be prepared to issue an agreement to people proposed by the Taliban?

Sergey Lavrov: We have no information of anyone applying to us for an agrement. Serving in Moscow today is the ambassador appointed by the previous government. No one is urging an international recognition of the Taliban. We will proceed precisely from this principle if and when we receive a request regarding the appointment of a new ambassador.

Question: We have heard US President Joe Biden’s statement. He said that the period of relentless war has ended, and that the era of relentless diplomacy has been ushered in. Do you believe this?

What about Russia’s diplomatic property? Has there been any progress?

Even some of the members of the delegation had problems with their visas, let alone the fact that there was a danger that the Russian delegation would not be allowed into the UN General Assembly because of the vaccination requirements, with vaccines that were approved in the United States. Are they just trying to annoy us whenever they can?

Sergey Lavrov: I do not think that this is an attempt to annoy us in any way. Most likely they are just a bit at a loss over the resumption of in-person UN General Assembly meetings. I cannot blame the New York authorities for being overly cautious. This is a serious event, and a lot of people come here from all around the world. There are quite a few different variants of the virus already, so safety measures do not hurt.

It is another question, as you have so rightly put it, that we do not accept any attempts to discriminate against vaccines that are not registered in the United States but have proven time and again to be effective. Sputnik V is a case in point. Several EU countries, for example, Hungary and Slovakia, have approved our vaccines, and this should serve as an example for other EU and NATO members.

As for visas for our delegation, apart from the epidemiological situation, the delay in the granting of visas was obviously caused by political considerations. We have seen through this. A number of our employees have yet to obtain their visas, including State Duma members who are part of the delegation. We will see to it that the UN Secretariat leadership fulfils its duties as to ensuring compliance with all the provisions of the agreement between the UN and the United States, the headquarters host country. Instances of flagrant violation of this agreement and repeated failures to comply with the UN headquarters host country commitments have been piling up, including the confiscation of diplomatic property, as you have just mentioned. The UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country has said that this is unacceptable and wrong. The Secretary-General should have launched arbitration proceedings against the actions by the United States several years ago. We had a meeting yesterday, and I reminded him of this fact. I was glad that his Legal Counsel, Miguel de Serpa Soares, was present at this meeting, since it is his duty to initiate these steps. They have been long overdue.

United States President Joe Biden said that the United States will no longer use force to change regimes abroad. “Never say never,” as the saying goes. We have seen how the Donald Trump administration pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal that was concluded by the Barack Obama administration. Now that talks on fully restoring the JCPOA to settle the situation around the Iranian nuclear programme are underway, one of the questions the Iranians are asking the Americans is whether the agreement to restore this plan can include a clause binding future administrations to respect it? The Americans say that they cannot do this, since this is how their system works. International law is one thing, but their law is a nose of wax, and can be twisted about any way they so desire.

United States President Joe Biden said that an era of “relentless diplomacy” has been ushered in. This means that the Americans will seek to impose on other countries what they deem right for them by other means. This could include colour revolutions. They do not require any use of force, but are equally destructive. Just look at Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine, our neighbour.

We want the United States to make the next step and move beyond the commitment not to use force for reshaping other countries by actually refraining from doing this altogether. They must recognise that we are all different. We have different cultural, civilisational roots, but we share the same planet and must respect each other.

Question: According to our information, preparations for Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria’s Nuland’s visit to Moscow are underway. Where do these talks stand at this point? Can you give us a timeline for the visit? What does Moscow expect to receive in response to the temporary lifting of restrictions from someone who is on Russia’s black list?

Sergey Lavrov: If you have sources of information that let you know about this, I encourage you to ask them this question. The Foreign Ministry and the US State Department are working on a number of contacts. This is not the only matter under discussion.

When both parties decide on a date for contact to take place in order to discuss a specific issue, we will make a corresponding announcement.

Question: I have a question about the JCPOA. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that swift action is needed, because we are running out of time. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said yesterday that they were ready for that. They appear to be receiving mixed signals from the United States, but they should come up with an agreement soon. You were involved in making this deal happen. As a negotiator, have you any idea what will happen if the United States does not return to the agreement and Iran continues its nuclear programme? What is the worst-case scenario?

Sergey Lavrov: Iran is not doing anything illegal, because it is complying with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and an additional protocol to a comprehensive safeguards agreement. Iran is not complying with most of its obligations included in the JCPOA which are now not binding, because the Americans have destroyed the agreement.

The issue is about restoring it in full so that Iran has no reason to make exceptions to its commitments. The IAEA, including in the person of its Director General, is in contact with the Iranians. They have a complete picture of what is happening there. They are not being denied access to the work that Iran is doing as part of its nuclear programme. The IAEA has no reason to believe that the 2015 findings to the effect that there were no signs of the nuclear programme being re-oriented towards military needs have become outdated. They have no reason to revise these findings. They speak about this explicitly.

Of course, we want the talks on the full restoration of the JCPOA to resume as soon as possible. But, first, the government in Iran has just been formed. They say they will need a week or two (hopefully not more) to put together their negotiating team. There have been personnel changes. Second, when the United States withdrew from the JCPOA, Iran, for over a year, had been conscientiously complying  with its commitments under this document in hope that the United States would come to its senses and return to the deal. Of all people, our counterparts in Washington are not in a position to say that time is up. Indeed, it was carried out by the administration which is now gone, but this is the legacy of the current administration, especially since the JCPOA is its brainchild. It is only fair that it deliver bold action in addressing all related issues.

There are also sanctions that the US has illegally imposed on Iran, allegedly for violating the JCPOA. But the sanctions concern not just Iran. They have also imposed sanctions on everyone who carry out legal trade with Iran, including the supply of military products, which are no longer subject to a ban. These sanctions must be lifted as part of the reinstatement of the JCPOA. And Iran’s trading partners across all areas of commercial exchange must not be affected by America’s unilateral move.

Question: Will Iran’s economy collapse if the JCPOA is not restored?

Sergey Lavrov: We are not even considering scenarios like that. There is serious hope and cautious optimism that we will be able to achieve a result. At least everyone wants it, including the United States and Iran.

Question: The calm in the northwest of Syria has changed with Russia’s intense airstrikes in recent weeks, particularly ahead of the summit between President Erdogan and President Putin. Why is Russia stepping up its attacks just ahead of this summit?

And another question on Syria as well. Is there an agreement or consensus between Russia and the US following the meeting between the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and US National Security Council Coordinator Brett McGurk, which took place in Geneva? Thank you.

Sergey Lavrov: We are using force in northwestern Syria in conformity with the requirements contained in UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which provides for an uncompromising struggle against terrorism in Syria.

I have mentioned that there was a special agreement on Idlib between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Our Turkish colleagues have committed themselves to separating the normal and sensible opposition forces from the terrorists. This should have been done long ago. So far, this has not happened. There is slow progress, but the threats of terrorism from the militants in the Idlib de-escalation zone are constantly renewed. These people are attacking the positions of the Syrian army and have repeatedly tried to launch strike drones to attack the Russian Khmeimim Air Base.

Our Turkish friends are well aware that we will not put up with this behaviour and with these militants’ attitude to the role performed by the Turkish military in the Idlib de-escalation zone. We will have detailed discussions as part of preparations for the presidential meeting. The September 29 summit will focus on ways to achieve what we have agreed upon and prevent the terrorists from ruling the roost.

As for contacts with the US regarding the right bank of the Euphrates, they are held periodically. We draw their attention to the fact that the US presence in Syria is illegitimate, to the outrageous situation in the 55-kilometre zone called Al-Tanf, which they have occupied, and to the situation at the Rukban camp located in the US-controlled territory. This is a long story.

The contacts taking place between the foreign ministries and the security councils are mostly about the fact that the Americans are present [in Syria] illegally, illegitimately, but they are there.  This is the reality. Given their tendency to fire all their guns with or without reason, we are negotiating the so-called deconflicting mechanism with them.   It is working. Let me draw your attention to the fact that it is functioning despite the legal bans on contacts between the militaries imposed by the US Congress. Not so long ago, the heads of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff officially announced that this was unreasonable and that the bans on military contacts should be lifted. I think this will do good both to the deconflicting process in Syria and our further arms dialogue as a whole.

Question: Turkey has expressed concerns about the voting in Crimea in the recent State Duma elections. This is despite the fact that Russia has provided humanitarian assistance for COVID-19 to Turkey, as well as military cooperation. My question is: could you address the imbalance, what is your analysis of the imbalance in relations?

Sergey Lavrov: Turkey was not the only one to voice “concerns” or “denounce” the vote in Crimea. I can give you two explanations for this “commotion.” First, five years ago, when the previous State Duma elections were held, no one made any statements of this kind, at least not that strong. Had this been the case, I would have remembered it, but no such thing occurred.

However, now they are pouncing on this issue, including the hectic efforts to convene the so-called Crimea Platform in Kiev, and all the commotion around the election. I think that this is an attempt to divert attention from the fact that Kiev, under President Vladimir Zelensky’s leadership, has shamefully failed to honour its commitments under the Minsk Agreements on overcoming the intra-Ukrainian conflict in the east of the country. It is obvious. The adopted laws have been a de-facto obstacle to granting southeastern Ukraine the status required under the Minsk Agreements.

We drew the attention of our German and French colleagues, as well as the European Union to the fact that their “clients” are negating UN Security Council resolutions, because it was the Security Council that approved the Minsk Agreements. Unfortunately, they are all bashfully looking the other way, while President Vladimir Zelensky understood that all he needed to do was divert attention from his own failures and the fact that the Minsk Agreements were sabotaged. Therefore, they are now playing the Crimean card.

A lack of professionalism in foreign policy is the second reason why they are doing this. Professionals know all too well that the Crimea question is closed once and for all.

Question: My second question is regarding Mali. France has expressed concern about the presence of military contractors from Russia in Mali. They are now being joined by their European allies speaking about this concern. My question is: what is Russia’s position on this?

Sergey Lavrov: I have heard these questions. Foreign Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian, and EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, have raised them with me.

Mali currently has a transitional government. Those authorities are undertaking efforts to restore the constitutional order, prepare elections and return to civilian rule. The elections are scheduled to take place in February under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union.

Mali’s transitional government has emphasised its commitment to international obligations and is combatting terrorism. It has called upon a private Russian military company because, to my understanding, France intends to substantially reduce its military presence there, and these troops were tasked with fighting terrorists entrenched in the north, in an area called Kidal. But they did not succeed, and terrorist are still in control there.

The Malian authorities considered their own capabilities insufficient without support from abroad, but those who had promised to eliminate terrorism in this country decided to draw down their presence. So they went to a Russian private military company. We have nothing to do with this. This activity is legal and consists of a relationship between the host country, which is a legitimate government recognised by everyone as a legitimate transitional structure, on the one hand, and those offering their services as foreign experts.

Let me emphasise that apart from private military companies, the Russian state has been making its own contribution to ensuring Mali’s defence capability and combat readiness for eliminating the terrorist threat and other threats. We do this by supplying military equipment as part of our assistance. We also work within the UN Security Council to devise the best approaches to further peacebuilding efforts.

I do not see any reason to question this. Yesterday I had a meeting with Mali’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, who talked to the press on this matter. There are no questions here. In fact, the problem lies elsewhere. Our colleagues from the European Union, as Josep Borrell told me, are asking us to stop working in Africa altogether, because this is “their place.” It would be better for the EU and the Russian Federation to align their actions in fighting terrorism not only in Mali, but in the Sahara-Sahelian region in general. Claiming that “they were there first, so we must leave” is, first, an insult to the Bamako government that has invited its foreign partners, and second, it is not the way to treat anyone.

Question: Shortly before the Russian parliamentary elections, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to refuse to recognise the results of the vote. Did you discuss this with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell? Will the EU recognise the results of the Russian State Duma elections?

Sergey Lavrov: We have not heard any assessments from the European Union proper because the European Parliament is not a body that determines EU policy. I spoke about this with Josep Borrell; I quoted some of the assessments made during his remarks in the European Parliament, including the absolutely unacceptable statements that the European Union distinguishes between “the regime” in Moscow and the Russian people.

He made some rather awkward and vague excuses. It was quite obvious that he realised the phrasing was lame at the very least. I hope that was just a phrase, not the idea. This happens. Sometimes we let something slip only to regret it later.

We have no information about anyone officially rejecting the results of our elections, which have just been announced.

Question: France calls for a review of the recent nuclear submarine deal between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom to verify its compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). What is your opinion on this matter? What do you generally think of this new triple alliance, which has created such a stir and runs counter to the partnership agreements in NATO and beyond?

Sergey Lavrov: This deal, signed immediately after the flight from Afghanistan, inevitably raises questions from the parties to these alliances. Probably, in addition to a commercial grievance, France is also thinking how reliable these alliances are and how this has increased the relevance of Europe’s strategic autonomy? These are big questions for the Western camp, and they have to address them.

We are not going to interfere in these matters. Yet, we might feel the consequences of what is happening there. This may affect our relations with the European Union, may spur the EU’s interest in cooperating with us, in using the obvious geopolitical and geostrategic advantages of being on one huge continent, especially since the global growth centre is shifting towards Asia.

I have discussed this with many participants here who represent the European Union and who do not like what is happening. Especially when the EU says they should “push back against, constrain, and engage” with Russia. I asked Josep Borrell how they were going to “engage with us,” exactly. Do you know what he answered? “Get out of Mali.” That is all there is to this policy, to this triad. That’s what it is worth. I am being honest. I do not think there is a violation of any ethical norms here because they are also talking about this publicly. I am just giving examples to illustrate their way of thinking.

As regards the Non-Proliferation Treaty, this matter is being discussed a lot on the sidelines in Vienna. The IAEA is responsible for the non-proliferation regime and for ensuring that nuclear research is not diverted to military needs. For a submarine, uranium must be enriched to 90 percent. This is weapons-grade uranium. We will probably have to ask for an IAEA expert review.

A similar attempt to develop such submarines by a non-nuclear country was made a few decades ago. The project was eventually scrapped then, and that settled the whole matter. But now, this deal has been signed. If the IAEA confirms it is in line with nuclear safety and non-diversion to military needs, there will be a queue for such submarines.

Question: In the lead up to the high-level week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a warning that the world might be drawn into a new vastly more dangerous cold war if the US and China fail to mend their completely collapsed relations. He called for the avoidance of a new confrontation at any cost, and also warned that it would be more dangerous than the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States and dealing with its aftereffects would be much more difficult. What does Russia have to say to these statements?

Sergey Lavrov: Make no mistake, we had this issue on our radar screen even before UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres mentioned it. We see that tensions in China-US relations are escalating. We are aware of who is “playing the first violin” in this not too pleasant turn of events. This worries us. Confrontational schemes do not help the people of our planet to live a normal life: be it the recently announced Indo-Pacific Strategy, which explicitly proclaimed containing China, including in the South China Sea, one of its main goals, or QUAD that was formed as part of these strategies, or, by the same token, the purported AUKUS “triple alliance,” the purpose of which is to help Australia contain the “Chinese threat.”

Yesterday and today, I met with a number of ministers representing ASEAN member countries and asked them how things were going. Talks are underway between China and ASEAN to draft a legally binding code of conduct in the South China Sea. Things are not moving fast, but this is the most reliable way to ensure freedom of navigation and everything else that worries our Western partners to the extent that they keep holding provocative and non-provocative naval manoeuvres and creating anti-Chinese geopolitical schemes. We stand for mutually respectful relations between the great powers that never escalate into a nuclear war. The presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden, confirmed the unacceptability of this at the Geneva summit. Any kind of war between nuclear powers is unacceptable, because the risks of it escalating into a nuclear conflict are enormous. Humanity has not come up with anything new in this regard. We must talk and strive to find a compromise and get along. As President Trump put it, we must “make a deal.” This is the right expression to use not only in business, but in politics as well. Politics is needed to create a proper environment for normal life, rather than for someone to promote their ambitions, so that everyone agrees that they are “the coolest guy on Earth.” This is obvious to normal people. Great powers must act responsibly with regard to their people and the rest of humanity.

President Putin proposed holding a UN Security Council permanent members’ summit. The pandemic has delayed this work. We have resumed it now. We aim to come to an agreement with our partners from China and the three Western permanent members of the UN Security Council on specific issues which will then be included in the agenda, and on the format of discussions (we may start out online). Talks are the only way to resolve the issues at hand. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council must set an example to other countries.

Question: In connection with the withdrawal of foreign contingents – official and informal mercenaries – from Libya, disputes arose about over whether it would be better to withdraw them only after the elections, upon receipt of an official request from a new government. Some say this should take place before December 24 to ensure fair and legitimate elections. The spokesman for the Presidential Council said today that you highlighted two points at a meeting with Mohammed al-Menfi: the need for a settlement between the Libyan parties and the withdrawal of foreign troops. Does Russia think it should be done before or after the elections?

Sergey Lavrov: Before or after the elections is not a critical matter. Most importantly, the final document of the second International Conference on Libya held in Berlin in June reads as follows: all foreign armed people must leave Libya. Our Turkish colleagues made a reservation saying they had been invited there by the legitimate leadership in the person of the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj. However, the other part of Libyan society – the Tobruk Parliament – is no less legitimate. Both of these bodies were created under the Skhirat Agreement. The legitimate parliament along with the legitimate Libyan national army invited armed personnel, whom they have on their payroll, to come and join them from abroad. Concurrently, there were people who can be referred to as mercenaries. People are being transferred from Syria (to both sides), Chad and other African countries.

From the outset, the moment it came up in our discussions, we said that we were in favour of doing this. Considering that foreign military forces are on both sides of the Libyan confrontation, we must make sure that they move out in small groups and simultaneously, so as not to create a military advantage on one side at any point in time. A ceasefire has been observed in Libya for over a year now. No one should be tempted to think that they can return to military methods and try to use force to resolve that country’s problems.

Question: Is Russia facilitating the withdrawal of troops from Libya?

Sergey Lavrov: They should deal with this in their 5+5 commission. We are ready to help, but if they continue to address non-priority matters, there will be no elections on December 24, 2021. They have just adopted the legislative framework for the elections. Then the Parliament voted on the legitimacy of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh’s Government of National Unity. They need to be pushed towards an earnest discussion about how to live on. There are already speculations about whether the current leaders can run for office (reportedly, there was an agreement that they would not participate, but they want to). Our colleagues in the Secretariat are trying to create artificial difficulties when it comes to the format of the UN presence in Libya. They had better concentrate on fulfilling what we agreed on a year ago now. Nobody expected this. They should not be trying to change this to promote someone’s interests or advance hidden agendas.

Question: At what stage are the US-Russia strategic stability talks at the moment? As for nuclear weapons, what is Russia’s reaction to the recent missile launches in North and South Korea? What could work as an incentive for Kim Jong-un to return back to the negotiating table?

Sergey Lavrov: I heard that Pyongyang is sending signals about North Korea’s interest in normalising relations with South Korea. We have always stood for a direct dialogue between the North and the South. However, it was not always supported by the previous US administration, which wanted to control the process. I hope that in the new situation, the Biden administration will be ready to make more constructive steps to encourage the resumption of normal contacts between North and South Korea.

Missile launches don’t help. We noticed that this time, Seoul tried not to over-dramatise. I think this is the right thing to do. Once we begin to resort to public condemnation and strong rhetoric, this significantly reduces our incentives for diplomatic, professional, and calm dialogue. The final agreement can only be reached through confidential and quiet negotiations, rather than mutual recriminations through loudspeakers.

As regards the strategic stability talks with the United States, the first round took place in July. The second is due next week.

Question: As the UN General Assembly is meeting in New York, the Southern District Court in New York has again denied Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko’s appeal. He continues to be held in American dungeons, as does Viktor Bout. There have been occasional reports in the media about their possible exchange for Americans. Whose court is the ball in? How realistic is the exchange scenario?

Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult to make any predictions or promises on behalf of the United States. We have tried many times to change our citizens’ situation by invoking the Council of Europe Convention on Transfer of Sentenced Persons. The United States is a party to this Convention, just as we are. They categorically refuse to hear anything, including our arguments that both Yaroshenko and Bout (as well as a number of others) have been actually lured into a trap by provocations. They have been literally kidnapped, which is against the law. In Bout’s case, the Thai laws were violated – not all procedures were followed; with Yaroshenko, it was Liberia’s. There was also a case where they took Roman Seleznev in the Maldives in a gangster manner – they just put him on an aircraft and he was flown away. Nobody knew anything. Such methods of provoked attacks on our people are being used to achieve something. Either to persuade them to cooperate, or for some other reason. This is unacceptable.

About prisoner exchanges – Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden touched upon this matter in Geneva, among other things. They agreed that the respective Russian and US security services in charge of this matter will try to negotiate some mutually acceptable options. So far, we haven’t come to any agreement. The United States is only interested in getting its citizens back and does not seem to take our interests very seriously. They are interested in Paul Whelan, who is convicted of espionage. He was caught red-handed. This crime cannot be even compared with the reasons Yaroshenko and Bout got their sentences in excess of 20 years in prison. We are ready to talk. There are other American citizens as well. For some reason, they are not of interest to the administration in Washington. But talking is always better than not talking.

Question: On the JCPOA, the United States wants to discuss [inaudible] the Middle East. Will this be included into the JCPOA?  And on Syria, why doesn’t Damascus allow the UN to have humanitarian trips there? I know that there is a compromise made in the UN Security Council, but it does not seem to make sense. Does Syria or Damascus think that UN workers are Trojan horses?

Sergey Lavrov: Regarding the JCPOA, all we want is for it to resume without any preconditions. Attempts to add them as a requirement to expand the talks to include the Iranian missile programme or to discuss Iran’s “behaviour” in the region, as our Western colleagues say, have no future. This is like comparing apples and oranges. The agreement on the nuclear programme is a separate subject. If there are any concerns as to someone’s behaviour, Iran’s regional partners are not the only ones to have such concerns. Teheran has its own misgivings regarding them, which is totally normal for any region of the world.

The Persian Gulf countries engage in far-reaching foreign policy activities far beyond their regions. This must be taken into consideration. In this connection, we noted that many years ago Russia drafted a Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf region suggesting a dialogue inspired to some degree by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This included discussing confidence-building measures, military transparency and attending each other’s exercises, as well as engaging in positive joint projects. Political scientists from the region and other countries have already discussed this topic. In August 2021, we updated our collective security approach for the Persian Gulf region and released it as an official UN General Assembly and Security Council document. We believe that it is at a forum of this kind, and we hope that we will succeed in convening it, that we need to discuss concerns over the presence of missiles in this region, since Iran is not alone in this regard, and what kind of policies various parties follow. The conflict in Yemen is a case in point in terms of exposing the interests of Arab countries and Iran. There is a need to reach agreements. We believe that this forum should reach beyond the Gulf region. You cannot separate Iraq, Egypt and Jordan in terms of their engagement in shaping a new common platform for constructive dialogue. The Arab League, and the five permanent members of the UN Security must all be involved. Probably, the European Union will also be interested. We believe this approach to be concrete and realistic, at least I had the impression that our colleagues were interested in it. Yesterday, I met with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and they are interested in this topic. We agreed to make it a priority as we resume our ministerial contacts.

As for humanitarian aid to Syria, yesterday I had a lengthy conversation on this topic with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. We cannot be satisfied with a situation where double standards are being used in the most flagrant and blatant manner. There are six million refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, or maybe even more. In November 2020, Russia and 20 other countries helped Damascus hold a conference on refugees. It focused on creating conditions that would enable refugees to return home, which is what most of them want. The fact that the United States did everything to intimidate those who were expected to attend this conference in Damascus, and the fact that the UN did not take part in the conference was a real shock for us. In fact, the UN representative in Damascus was the only person representing the UN as an observer. At the time, I wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saying that this amounted to a failure to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 that provides a framework for the UN’s activity on the Syrian track. It clearly stipulates efforts to facilitate humanitarian deliveries and creating conditions that would enable refugees to return to Syria.

Early in 2021, the European Union held an annual conference on Syrian refugees in Brussels, without the Syrian Arab Republic, but co-chaired by the EU and the UN Secretary-General. How perplexing. Not only was Syria not present, which is already a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, but the funds collected at the conference went towards paying for the accommodation of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, instead of being used to restore infrastructure in Syria. For this reason, I ask those of our friends from the media who worry about ordinary people in conflict zones, to note that initiatives of this kind make a mockery of international humanitarian law.

We adopted the compromise resolution in July. It is true that it extends the so-called cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism for another six months, with deliveries primarily coming from Turkey to the Idlib de-escalation zone. However, considering that the West clings to this mechanism that has not been agreed with Damascus and runs counter to the international humanitarian law, we have every reason to believe that there is some kind of hidden agenda there. We do not get any information on what is in the lorries heading to the Idlib de-escalation zone. The UN swears that they inspect every lorry, but there is no way this can be verified. Even more so, no one knows how this aid or whatever these boxes contain is distributed in the Idlib de-escalation zone, or whether terrorists from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other unacceptable structures benefit from this aid.

Unless specific measures are taken to unblock humanitarian aid deliveries through Damascus, as required under international humanitarian law, we will put an end to this untransparent cross-border activity. Moreover, since the adoption of the resolution requiring that aid be sent into Syria through Damascus as well, there was only one convoy, and even it was far from complete. About half of the supplies that had been waiting to be delivered for almost a year could not reach their destination. The convoy organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent back in April 2020 remained where it was. Those who care about the starving population must, first, appeal to the Western countries that can influence this situation, and second, reach out to the UN leadership so that it complies with the relevant resolution. Apart from purely the humanitarian aspects, on assisting Syria and humanitarian deliveries, this resolution calls for the so-called early recovery projects, including water supply, electricity, housing, schools and healthcare. This must be done, and the UN Secretariat knows this. Syrians currently face so much hardship. Throughout the Syrian crisis the UN Secretariat did little to create conditions facilitating the return of refugees. However, the UN Security Council Resolution is there. It has been adopted unanimously, and has to be carried out.

Question: Yesterday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the Palestinians would withdraw their recognition of the State of Israel, if Israel did not cease its occupation within one year.  This will lead to chaos in the Middle East. What can the Russian Federation as a friend of the Palestinians and a country maintaining good relations with Israel do to avoid this scenario? After the Palestinians lost faith in the efficacy of the peace process, do they have the right to defend themselves and resist the occupation?

Sergey Lavrov: All right, let’s talk about the Palestinian-Israeli problems. These problems are certainly grave ones. They were not helped by the “casting about” we observed during the previous US administration. I am referring to both their recognition of the Golan Heights and the attempts to promote what was actually an annexation inscribed in the context of the efforts to create a quasi Palestinian state. What is important here is that the Biden administration has confirmed its commitment to the two-state approach. But the Israeli prime minister is not confirming this commitment, although there are politicians in Israel and in the Israeli parliament, who have different views on how to ensure security of the Jewish State without living under constant strain and hitting targets threatening Israel. [According to them], the alternative is to come to an agreement and build a stable and peaceful life through a two-state safe and prosperous coexistence in keeping with the principles of a settlement endorsed by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. The current Israeli leaders are maintaining contacts that mostly boil down to keeping security in the Palestinian territories.

We believe that it would be a major mistake if the processes in the region – Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc. – make us forget about the Palestinian question. After all, it is the outgrowth of this planet’s longest-lasting modern conflict, a conflict that other powers sought to settle through the creation of two states. One state was established in no time, but the other state is still to be created.

I believe that the decision approved by the Arab League at the initiative of the King of Saudi Arabia almost 20 years ago now was a wise decision. I am referring to the Arab Peace Initiative, which said that the Arab countries would normalise their relations with Israel immediately after the creation of a viable Palestinian state conforming to all the UN-defined criteria. That was quite a specimen of statecraft. But the Trump administration attempted to turn everything upside down. The Abraham Accords promoted by a number of Arab countries were based on the logic that the first thing to do was to normalise relations between the Arabs and Israel, with the Palestinian problem to be considered afterwards. We welcome any kind of normalisation between any states. Not at the expense of Palestine in this case. It is gratifying that all the signatories of the Abraham Accords, including Bahrain, the UAE, the Sudan, and Morocco stressed that they were fully committed to the UN decisions on the Palestinian problem. This is where we should stand.

You asked whether they have the right to fight. They will not ask [for anyone’s permission]. The unregulated state of the Palestinian problem is the gravest factor feeding radical sentiments on the Arab “street.”  The extremist preachers are saying that their people have been wronged, that they were promised a state of their own 80 years ago but it was a deception. Young people, particularly uneducated ones, are highly sensitive to this sort of propaganda. But my Israeli colleagues get offended when I explain to them this aspect of the Middle East situation and the impact of the lack of a settlement of the Palestinian problem is exerting on stability in the whole of the region. They say I am wrong and that the problem is not very serious. But this is a shortsighted approach.

This is the reason why we are supporting Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas’ proposal to convene an international conference. But we are confident that it must be thoroughly prepared, for which purpose we would like to resume the activities of the Quartet of international intermediaries consisting of Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations and to recruit for joint work, for example, the foursome of Arab countries – Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, and Bahrain – that have relations with Israel.   Probably Saudi Arabia, the author of the Arab Peace Initiative, should be invited as well. This makes 4+4+1+2 (Israel and Palestine). If some parties believe that it is still too early to meet in this format, we are ready to offer our territory as a venue and support any other invitation for Israel and Palestine to meet for direct talks. The important thing is to avoid procrastination. We will seek to support this approach in every way we can.

Most importantly, while what we have just discussed depends on many factors (some depend on Israel, some on other members of regional organisations), there is one matter that depends on no one but the Palestinians themselves. I am referring to Palestinian unity. Attempts were being made to restore it a couple of years ago now. Certain agreements seemed to be reached and a circle of elections was announced. But eventually nothing came of it.  The lack of rapport between Ramallah and Gaza carries a negative charge. If the Palestinians restored their unity, it would be easier and more effective for them to talk to Israel at future negotiations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once said that he did not know who to hold talks with, when it was unclear whom Mr Abbas was representing.  It looked like he had Ramallah alone, while Gaza was controlled by other people. These matters have a strong influence on any attempts to achieve major political results. The Palestinians are unwilling to restore unity. But we are actively working with all the Palestinian factions. I repeatedly invited them to Moscow. During the discussions they agree they should reunite, but later it all somehow goes amiss.

Question (retranslated from English): This week, the European Commission accused Russia of engaging in hacker attacks against European politicians and media representatives, in particular, German politicians and officials, in the run-up to tomorrow’s election in which they are participating. What is your response to these accusations? Do you have any expectations regarding the outcome of elections in Germany?

Trevor Reed’s family believes he was unjustly indicted and sentenced to an unreasonably long term. Could you comment on these statements as well?

Sergey Lavrov: I have already covered Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan, for that matter. Paul Whelan was arrested on espionage charges. He was caught red-handed. Trevor Reed was arrested for attacking and hitting a police officer several times. I am not sure how many years in prison people in the United States would get for violent attacks against a police officer. I think, many. Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout were simply lured by deception into a deal where they used an aircraft for some purpose, which got them implicated into a case of arms and drug smuggling. They were sentenced to over 20 years in prison without having hurt anyone or having any intention to violate international rules for trading in particular types of goods. So, our US colleagues need to be consistent, if they are offended over someone being arrested here. The same standards should be applied to all situations. In the case of an attack on police officers, see what is happening at the trial on the “Capitol attack.”

With regard to the accusations advanced by the European Commission, we are willing to review the facts, but they simply will not give us any. We are being unfoundedly charged with the alleged poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with polonium in London in 2007. They have not yet provided a single piece of evidence, but closed the process to the public and made it “official,” meaning that the judges can now consider secret materials behind closed doors. Now, they want to do the same with the process regarding the woman who died in Salisbury in the context of the Skripal case. They also want closed hearings on the causes of her death in order to avoid disclosing some secret documents. Nobody is making them available to us, but they blame us for everything. As with the Skripal case, they are also blaming us for the Malaysian Boeing case. The court in The Hague ruled that they had reason to believe the United States, which stated it had satellite images to prove that Russia had done it. But they did not show these images to anyone. The Dutch court considers this normal. They believe whatever the Americans say. Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said “trust me” in one of his films, and Ronald Reagan added “but verify.” So, we want to conduct verification. In the case of the MH17 flight, we provided the data from the radars and much more. The Ukrainians refused to share the data from their radars. Allegedly, they “went dead” during the crash. They refuse to provide the exchange between the air traffic controller and the pilots. This speaks volumes. And much more.

We’re being accused of interfering  in the US elections. I discussed this matter with my colleagues on many occasions, in particular, with former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He once said they had irrefutable evidence of Russia’s interference in the 2016 US elections, and I asked him to show it to me. He said they would not let us see it and that we should contact our special services for they would know what it was all about. That was all that was said. Is that okay?

The same goes for cyber attacks. The US authorities accused us (President Biden brought this issue up at a meeting with President Putin) or, rather our ransomware hackers, of attacking a meat processor and a fuel pipeline in the United States demanding them to pay ransom. Nobody showed us any evidence. President Biden, however, said their data show it is not the Russian Government that is doing this, but some people who are based in  Russia.

We let them know that most (about half) of the hacker attacks on our resources over the past year were carried out from the United States. Some originated in Germany and other countries. We have sent 45 official inquiries to our US colleagues indicating concrete facts that needed investigation. We received nine replies. We have received about 10 official inquiries and answered every one of them. I am heartened to know that the Americans agreed to move away from sporadic accusations and complaints and to begin systematic work on this matter after President Putin discussed this issue with President Biden in Geneva. The services that deal with cyber security have established dedicated communication channels. We hope that things will get going now.

With regard to the election in Germany, we wish every success to all its participants.

Question: Last week, the preliminary results of an investigation conducted by Justice Department special counsel John Durham into “Russiagate” were made public in the United States. The indictment mentioned one of the probe’s initiators. It is not the first paradoxical situation reported in the United States. American officials are overturning the US accusations against Russia.

The paradox is that the sanctions adopted against Russia have not been lifted despite the refutation. What is Moscow’s position on this score and what are its American partners saying?

Sergey Lavrov: You have answered your own question. It was unreasonable to do this before pondering the matter or investigating the situation. And it is a pity that after the situation was clarified they have not retraced their steps so as not to harm our bilateral relations. This is what American manners are all about. We have become accustomed to this. We will never ask for the sanctions to be lifted. The “limit” has been exhausted by neighbouring Ukraine, which continues making requests, unable to get its bearings of what is happening.  We are not going to act in this manner.

We do not have any other partners [in the US]. However, dialogue is gradually taking shape in some spheres, such as strategic stability and cybersecurity, which gives hope that we will bit by bit develop dialogue based on mutual respect at least in some spheres of international relations.

Question (retranslated from English): My question concerns Palestine. Many people say that Palestinian settlements are occupying too much land, that there are already half a million settlers. Do you think it’s time for the international community to settle the problem by creating one state for two peoples? Could you comment on this please?

As you are aware, WFP Executive Director David Beasley said just two days ago now that at least 50,000 Yemenis are starving and millions need humanitarian aid and food. Do you think that the international community, which includes Russia, has let the Yemeni people down by failing to put sufficient pressure on all the conflicting parties, including Saudi Arabia?

Sergey Lavrov: I would not say that the international community is not doing enough to convince the conflicting parties to sit down at the negotiating table not only to exchange accusations but also to come to some agreements.  There are a number of factors involved here, which are, regrettably, absolutely subjective and have to do with the desire of certain individuals to remain in power as long as possible, which is having a negative effect on the negotiating process and the possibility of compromise. I will not go into any details right now, but Yemen is indeed a country with the world’s largest humanitarian disaster, which was pointed out long ago, when the conflict had only just started and was in the hot phase.

We are involved through our Embassy. Our ambassador to Yemen is currently working from Riyadh, where a group of ambassadors are acting together to support the process and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen. I hope that everyone will gradually come to see the futility of trying to put off the necessary agreements.

As for the [Palestinian] settlements, we have always condemned the settlement policy, saying, just as you have so rightly pointed out, that this would create facts on the ground that will prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. I have heard about the one state solution where all people would have equal rights. I believe that this is unrealistic. Many academics say that this, if this should happen, will undermine the Jewish nature of the State of Israel. But if equal rights are not granted to everyone in Israel, it might become an apartheid state.

I am quite sure that the two-state solution is the only option. I would just like to point out that many people in the Israeli political elite share this same view and believe that this option must be promoted more actively.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Blowing Up the Gas Pipeline near Damascus

 ARABI SOURI 

Maintenance teams repairing the Arabian gas pipeline near Deir Ali station blown up by ISIS

US-sponsored ISIS terrorists claimed responsibility for blowing up the Arabian Gas Pipeline feeding the Deir Ali thermal power station in Damascus countryside the day before yesterday, as we anticipated in our report.

Syrian minister for oil confirmed that the maintenance teams have concluded the repairs to the sabotaged gas pipeline and resumed the supplies through it as per SANA.

The ISIS statement circulated by its media and the media of its sponsors referred to the attack on the electric power generating facilities as part of its ‘economic warfare’ against the Syrian people:

‘Within the economic warfare, ISIS ‘soldiers’ managed to booby trap and blow up the gas pipeline between Tishreen and Deir Ali thermal stations and two electric towers of the Deir Ali station yesterday, this resulted in the disconnection of the electric power supplies to the entire southern region…’ the ISIS statement read.

ISIS claiming responsibility for blowing up gas pipeline feeding Deir Ali thermal power station near Damascus
ISIS Statement
Maintenance teams repairing the Arabian gas pipeline near Deir Ali station blown up by ISIS
Maintenance teams repairing the gas pipeline
Maintenance teams repairing the Arabian gas pipeline near Deir Ali station blown up by ISIS

In our post reporting on the terrorist attack when it happened we pointed the fingers at ISIS remnants operating from the At-Tanf area in southeastern Syria, the only area in the southern region with US illegal military presence where these terrorists benefit from the protection provided to them by their sponsors, and they also enjoy the generosity of the US taxpayers who provide them with the 4×4 machinegun-mounted brand new Toyota pickups, and the other weapons and munition.

In the Al-Tanf area where the infamous Rukban concentration camp for Syrian families held hostage and human shields, the ISIS terrorists are called ‘Maghawir Thawra’, or ‘Commandos of the Revolution,’ the US-led regime change ‘revolution’, that is.

US Army carrying out a military drill with ISIS terrorists in Al Tanf area in southeast Syria!
an ISIS terrorist of the Maghawir Thawra thanking the USA for its generosity for providing them with the Toyota pickups

Syria can eliminate ISIS in less than a week as per top Syrian officials if it wasn’t for the direct support these terrorists receive from NATO countries and the direct protection the US military provides them, many among the US military do not distinguish between ISIS terrorists and real rebels, it’s understandable when we know that the US military is incapable of distinguishing between an ISIS terrorist commander in a car and 7 children and 3 adults when it drone-bombs them into non-existence.

‘The Syrian Arab Army can eliminate ISIS in 3 Days – Dr. Bashar Jaafari

The Syrian Army had already defeated ISIS in Syria before July 2014 and the terrorist remnants were regrouped and shipped to Iraq, beefed up, and then sent back to Syria by the US, Jordan, Turkey, Saudi, Qatar, and the rest of the alliance against the Syrian people as per this top Al Qaeda commander, founder of ‘Jihad’ in Egypt and close friend to Zawahiri, Al Qaeda commander in a July 3, 2014 interview:

The same was confirmed by John Kerry, among other top US officials 5 years later:

The Pentagon Threatening to Revive ISIS

For the past 10.5 years, the United States of America has led a number of its stooges in NATO, Western European countries, some new Eastern European countries seeking to join NATO, the Gulfies, among others, and a host of numerous terrorist groups to destabilize Syria, destroy Syria, slaughter as many Syrian people as they could, displace millions of other Syrians from their homes, and suck dry Syrian oil, gas, and food resources, not because the US needs any of these resources or they need the Syrian land described once by Trump as the land of sand and blood, nor because the Syrians have invaded, attacked, or harmed US citizens, not at all, in the matter of fact, whenever the US regimes since Reagan and maybe before needed help to rescue their ‘innocent’ citizens who always find themselves caught up in the middle of conflicts, they would ask Syria for help and Syria was helping within its capabilities, experience in combatting terrorists groups, and by exchanging favors with its allies who can help, it was rewarded by the US regimes with only the bloodshed we’re living in, all of this just that the US serves Israel’s interests in the region and tries desperately to materialize the so-called Greater Israel Project.

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سوريا لم تنتظر دعوتها: أيّ جوار من دوننا؟

الأربعاء 18 آب 2021

سوريا لم تنتظر دعوتها: أيّ جوار من دوننا؟
قالت الخارجية العراقية إنها غير معنيّة بأيّ دعوة لا تُقدّم باسم الحكومة (سانا)

العراق

محمود عبد اللطيف

دمشق | لم يقتصر نفْي توجيه دعوة عراقية إلى سوريا لحضور قمّة بغداد على الجانب العراقي، بل إن نفياً مبطناً جاء من الرئاسة السورية نفسها، التي لم تتحدّث عن حمْل رئيس «هيئة الحشد الشعبي»، فالح الفياض، دعوة إلى دمشق للمشاركة في القمّة، بل أشارت إلى أن الفياض نقل إلى الرئيس بشار الأسد رسالة من رئيس الحكومة العراقية، مصطفى الكاظمي، حول اللقاء المزمع عقده أواخر الشهر الجاري، والمواضيع المطروحة على جدول أعماله. ويؤكد مصدر دبلوماسي عربي في دمشق، لـ«الأخبار»، أن الحكومة العراقية لم تُوجّه دعوة رسمية إلى نظيرتها السورية لحضور المؤتمر، الذي تصفه بأنه «سوريّ الفكرة بالأصل»، موضحة أنه «على الرغم من الترويج للمؤتمر على أنه الأوّل لدول جوار العراق، إلا أنه سبق وانعقد مؤتمر من هذا النوع في العاصمة السورية إبّان الحرب الأميركية على العراق»، مستغرباً أن «تنعقد هذه القمّة من دون حضور جارٍ أساسي لبغداد». ويشير المصدر إلى أن «دمشق تراقب اليوم ما قد يصدر عن هذا المؤتمر، من دون أيّ أمل في تحسّن سلوك تركيا في شمال العراق، أو حتى سلوكها تجاه ملفّ الأنهار المشتركة مع سوريا». كذلك، لا تتوقّع دمشق أن تُحدث القمّة تحوّلات في طبيعة العلاقات التي تجمع العراق مع بقيّة دول جواره، أو أن تثمر نتائج تفضي إلى تهدئة المنطقة المشحونة بعدد من الملفّات الساخنة.

ويشير الأستاذ الجامعي والكاتب عقيل محفوض، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، إلى أنه لم تكن هناك توقّعات في الأوساط السياسية السورية بأن تُدعى دمشق إلى مثل هذا المؤتمر، لأن ذلك سيؤثّر على مواقف بقيّة الدول المَدعوّة التي لم يَزل مسؤولوها غير جاهزين للجلوس مع مسؤولين حكوميين سوريين على أيّ طاولة سياسية، على الرغم من كون هذه الدول على تنسيق أمني مع دمشق في عدد من الملفّات. ولا يَتوقّع محفوض أن يؤثّر غياب دمشق عن المؤتمر على «العلاقات الثنائية التي لم تنقطع منذ بداية الحدث السوري، والتنسيق المشترك بين الحكومتَين في الملفّات المتعلّقة بالاعتداءات الأميركية والإسرائيلية على نقاطٍ في أراضي البلدين، وتبادل المعلومات الاستخبارية في محاربة تنظيم داعش، بما يحقّق الأمن الوطني والقومي لكلّ منهما، ويضاف إلى ذلك التعاون المشترك في ملفّات ذات طابع اقتصادي، وعلى هذا الأساس لن يكون غياب دمشق عن مؤتمر جوار العراق مؤثّراً على مسار العلاقات الثنائية مطلقاً».

لم تكن هناك توقّعات في الأوساط السياسية السورية بأن تُدعى دمشق إلى مثل هذا المؤتمر


من جهته، يعتقد أستاذ القانون العام في جامعة دمشق، عصام التكروري، أن «عدم دعوة دمشق مسألة تبدو أنها ناتجة من فيتو للمحتلّ الأمريكي، لم تعارضه أو تعترض عليه أيّ من الدول المجتمعة حتى الآن، كما أن غالبية المدعوّين ليسوا جاهزين لتطبيع العلاقة مع دمشق خارج المظلّة الأميركية، وهذا يؤكد اعترافهم الضمني بالدور المحوري الذي يمكن أن تلعبه دمشق في حلّ مشاكل المنطقة، والتي يساهم عدد من الدول المجتمعة في تكريسها». ويرى التكروري، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، أن عدم توجيه الدعوة إلى دمشق «يتجاهل الحقيقة الجغرافية المتمثّلة في أن سوريا هي أهمّ جيران العراق، وتتقاسم معه ملفّات وجودية يأتي على رأسها وجود الاحتلال الأميركي وتنظيم داعش الإرهابي في كلا الدولتين»، معتبراً أنه «في ما لو كان المجتمعون يريدون تحقيق زخم لمؤتمرهم، فكان من الضروري بمكان أن تتمّ دعوة دمشق قبل غيرها، وذلك بحُكم الجغرافيا والتهديدات الوجودية المشتركة ما بين الدولتين».

هموم مشتركة
يبلغ طول الشريط الحدودي السوري مع الجار الشرقي (العراق) نحو 599 كم، وهو شريط شهد معارك مشتركة بين الجيش السوري وقوات عراقية ضدّ تنظيم «داعش» في صيف العام 2107، انتهت بتحرير مدينة البوكمال السورية في تشرين الثاني من العام 2018، بما أفضى إلى تأمين الحدود، وإنهاء إمكانية تنقّل التنظيم بين طرفَيها. ويُعدّ قطْع طريق دمشق – بغداد من معبر التنف أحد أهمّ أسباب البقاء الأميركي في سوريا، لما يمثّله من عنصر حيوي في عملية منْع قيام طريق برّية بين العاصمتَين الإيرانية واللبنانية، تَعتبره إسرائيل تهديداً لها. وعلى هذا الأساس، اعتمد الجانبان السوري والعراقي معبر «البوكمال – القائم» في عملية انتقال الركّاب والبضائع. وتنتشر القوات الأميركية في منطقة التنف، بشكل مشترك مع القوات البريطانية التي تواصلت خلال الشهرَين الماضيَين مع الفصائل المسلّحة المنتشرة في مخيم الركبان، الواقع بالقرب من الحدود الأردنية جنوب شرق سوريا، والذي كانت دمشق عرضت غير مرّة استقبال قاطنيه، إلّا أن واشنطن عرقلت ذلك لكون الحُجّة المُعلَنة لبقائها في التنف هي تقديم الحماية لسكّان المخيم، ومحاربة تنظيم «داعش» في البادية السورية.

أمّا في ما يخصّ ملفّ الأنهار، فقد كانت الحكومة السورية فوّضت نظيرتها العراقية بالحوار مع تركيا في شأنه، في ظلّ قيام الحكومة التركية بخفْض الوارد المائي عبر الأنهار المشتركة مع سوريا والعراق، من دون تقديم مبرّرات واضحة. ويكشف مصدر هندسي، لـ«الأخبار»، عن كون الجانب التركي عاد إلى تخفيض مستوى التدفّق المائي لنهر الفرات إلى أقلّ من 350 متر مكعّب في الثانية، علماً أن الاتفاق المُوقَّع مع الحكومة التركية في العام 1987 يجبر أنقرة على الحفاظ على مستوى تدفّق لا يقل عن 500 متر مكعّب في الثانية، الأمر الذي انعكس على مستوى تخزين السدود السورية، لكون دمشق ملتزمة بالاتفاق المُوقَّع مع الجانب العراقي في العام 1989، والذي يوجب عليها تمرير ما نسبته 58% من الوارد المائي نحو الأراضي العراقية. وكان وزير الموارد المائية العراقي، رشيد الحمداني، أعلن، في أواخر الشهر الماضي عقب زيارته دمشق، أن سوريا وافقت على تفويضه بالنيابة عنها للنقاش مع تركيا حول الحصص المائية، حيث سيتمّ تزويده بكتاب رسمي عن طريق الخارجية السورية، لإصرار الجانب التركي في معظم الجلسات التفاوضية بشأن الحصص المائية على وجود الجانب السوري. واعتبر الحمداني، حينها، أن هذا التخويل سيقطع الطريق أمام حجج تركيا، وسنصل إلى تفاهمات.

مقالات مرتبطة

Three More Civilians Killed in the Al Hol Concentration Camp in Hasakah

 ARABI SOURI 

Al Hol concentration camp for displaced Syrians - Hasakah, Syria

Three civilians were murdered in the infamous Al Hol (Al Hawl) concentration camp in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah, the camp holds thousands of Syrians in an open prison in miserable conditions and is run by the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists.

Local sources reporting on this latest crime said that a woman and two men were killed using a gun with a silencer in the camp, the victims were not immediately identified nor the killer, no party declared responsibility for the crime.

Not only the living conditions in this concentration camp are beyond horrific and inhumane, not only thousands of families are held against their will and are kept near the families and individuals of the ISIS terrorist group in the same camp, but the security situation in the camp is also loose and crimes are never investigated properly as if the human lives there has no meaning.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1XuD_X6jBB3jMwgaDskcGDyAkeCpZadPw

International organizations which are always very loudly critical against the Syrian state for any claim by any individual from the opposition remain completely mute toward the suffering of thousands of families in concentration camps run by terrorists under the direct protection of the US army which itself is illegally deployed in Syria to steal the Syrian oil as their former commander in chief Trump who authorized their mission stated more than once.

The USA rejects calls to allow the Syrian citizens to return to their homes from the concentration camps in Al Hol which is run by the Kurdish SDF separatist terrorist in the northeast of Syria and the Rukban concentration camp which the living conditions in are even worse than Al Hol and it’s located on the joint Syrian – Iraqi – Jordanian borders in the depth of the desert and is run by an ISIS affiliate terrorist group under the protection of the US troops in At Tanf area.

The repeated crimes against the Syrian people averaging around 10 each month, the spread of diseases due to the lack of clean running water and proper hygiene, the locking up of people against their will in open prisons with hundreds of children among them, and the blackmailing of the Syrian state in exchange for the freedom of these people are all features of the ‘America is Back’ slogan raised by the demented long-serving Biden and his junta.

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European Countries Abandon Tens of Thousands of their Children in Syria

ARABI SOURI 

abandoned European children in Al Hol (Hawl) Concentration Camp Hasakah Syria - Kurdish SDF

European countries have invaded and destroyed an endless list of other countries claiming they’re spreading ‘democracy’ and promoting ‘human rights’ in the targeted countries, the practice of these western countries, in reality, is everything but related to human rights or democracy, it’s pure evil.

Tens of thousands of women and children members of families of European terrorists who practiced the ‘Western values’ in the killing, maiming, uprooting, and displacing hundreds of thousands of Syrians, are now abandoned by their countries. These are women who were married to European terrorists and bred tens of thousands of children while their husbands were demonstrating western values in Syria.

The Kurdish SDF terrorists are holding tens of thousands of those family members in addition to thousands of Syrians in concentration camps in regions under their control in the worst inhumane conditions ever imaginable. The captives in the Kurdish-run concentration camps under the US forces’ supervision hail from 57 countries, 24 of those countries are western countries.

Moussa Assi has more in this report for the Lebanese-based Al Mayadeen news channel, followed by the transcript of the English translation:

Their number is 64 thousand, they are members of the families of terrorists who came from 57 countries to fight in Syria, 80% of them are women and children whose countries, most of which are Western countries, refuse to take them back in contradiction to the stipulations of human rights laws that require states to bear the responsibility of their citizens outside their lands, just as it is the case of the other citizens and regardless of any consideration.

The result is tens of thousands of children and women who are held in very harsh conditions in the camps controlled by the Qasd militia in northern Syria.

Fionnuala D. Ni Aolain – Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism: Thousands of children have been convicted on charges that classify them as adults because of their belonging to the families of which they were born. We see countries that have taken an arbitrary line towards them, saying that they are not actual children because they were born into similar families, and this is clear to Western governments.

Western countries present various arguments for not taking their citizens back, including that they must stay close to the place where the crimes were committed in order for them to receive a fair trial.

Fionnuala D. Ni Aolain – Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism: The idea of holding tens of thousands awaiting trial is unrealistic and intended to keep these people away from their home countries. As for saying that they pose a threat to societies, let me say that the long-term risks are of leaving these children there.

Out of more than 250 French children born from marriages of ISIS terrorists in Syria, France agreed to take back only 35 children, and these are either orphans or their mothers agreed on the condition that they abandon them and remain in the Syrian camp.

Western human rights countries [sic] refuse to take back the children of their terrorists who fought in Syria. They issued a final judgment on these children that they are terrorists from birth and represent a later danger to Western societies.

Moussa Assi – Geneva, Al-Mayadeen.

End of the transcript.

FSA Terrorist Aakef Zaki Killed by Unknown Gunmen in Daraa Countryside

 ARABI SOURI

NATO terrorist Aakef Zaki killed in Daraa

FSA terrorist and top wanted by the Syrian authorities in Daraa the so-called Aakef Zaki was killed in East Karak town in the eastern Daraa countryside south of Syria.

The NATO terrorist and former commander of the so-called ‘Martyrs of Eastern Karak’, one of the armed groups of the Al Qaeda FSA terrorist organization was shot dead in front of his house yesterday 7th of December, by unknown gunmen.

Aakef refused to join the large-scale reconciliation efforts in the southern Syrian province, the reconciliation led by the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria returned thousands of people to their normal lives, some of the radical commanders refused to join the reconciliation and continued their attacks against the Syrian authorities, civilians, and notables in the region, taking advantage of the protection provided by Trump forces in the Tanf area southeast of Syria.

The killed terrorist was responsible for a number of attacks, kidnaps, field executions, and lootings in the southern Syrian provinces of Daraa and Sweida. On the 8th of last month, November, an armed terrorist group carried out an attack against a Syrian Army checkpoint to the west of the Eastern Karak town.

There were at least 34 terrorist attacks in the southern region post the reconciliation, they included the assassination of 24 persons, wounding of 8 others, two failed assassination attempts, including 18 of his former colleagues of the FSA fighters who joined the reconciliation. The terrorists shot dead 22 of the targeted victims while committed field execution of two others who were shot after being kidnapped.

Trump maintains a large number of his forces in Syria, mainly in the northeastern region bordering Iraq, and the southeastern region of Tanf in the depth of the Syrian desert bordering Iraq and Jordan. The Trump forces in the Tanf area protect members of the ISIS-affiliated group Maghawir Thawra which also runs the infamous Rukban concentration camp where thousands of Syrian refugees are held against their will in horrific conditions. Trump forces illegally positioned in Tanf also facilitated some of Israel’s bombings inside Syria and Iraq.

ISIS terrorists who committed the heinous massacre in the remote desert villages of Sweida province in the early morning hours of July 25th, 2018 fled to the same protected area by the Trump forces in Tanf. The Sweida massacre resulted in slaughtering 215 residents in their houses, injuring 180 others, and kidnapped 27 women and children.

The killing of Aakef Zaki will not help in uncovering much of the information needed by the Syrian authorities about the massacres and crimes committed in the southern region, it would have been much better if he was arrested to expose his accomplices and tell their whereabouts.

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US Army Carried out ‘Military Drill’ with ISIS Affiliate in the Syrian Al Tanf

  ARABI SOURI

US army military drill with ISIS affiliate in Al Tanf southeast of Syria

A terrorist group affiliated with ISIS carried out a joint ‘military drill’ with Trump forces in the Syrian desert area of al Tanf, the ISIS affiliate group bragged on their social media accounts.

In the ‘military drill’, US fighter jets bombed targets in the desert followed by moves of the ISIS-styled 4 x 4 machine-guns mounted SUVs shooting at the same targets.

‘Maghawir Thawra’ is an armed terrorist group affiliated with the ISIS terrorist organization, supposed to be on the US list of terrorist organizations, but instead is a beneficiary of US military aid, part of the US ‘exceptionalism’ and ‘pragmatism’ in its illegal operations worldwide.

The video is also available on YouTube and BitChute.

The spokesman for the US-led International Coalition to aid the ‘Islamist State’ ISIS, Colonel Wayne Maruto, wrote on his Twitter account on November 30 commenting on the exercises: “We will continue to work with our ‘partners’ to protect our gains against ISIS and deter any future aggression. We remain committed to the enduring #DefeatDaesh in designated areas of Iraq and Syria.”

US army officer tweet about military drill with ISIS in southeast of Syria

We’re not sure whether the officer in Trump forces knows from his seat hundreds of miles away that his ‘partners’ are in fact ISIS and he’s part of the Pentagon’s propaganda team, or he’s fooled by the CIA agents in charge of the ISIS division; we do know that top US officials like John Kerry admitted they work in ‘partnership’ with ISIS to pressure the Syrian leadership into concessions.

Trump forces are based illegally in the depth of the Syrian desert on the cross borders between Syria, Iraq, and Jordan in the Al Tanf area, they’re tasked to prevent the escape of thousands of Syrian refugees held in the infamous Rukban concentration camp in miserable conditions, also to offer logistic support to Israeli bombing against Syrian targets from the air corridor they provide, in addition to their role making sure their ‘partners’ of ISIS and its affiliates can move freely and attack Syrian remote villages, commit massacres against the Syrian farmers in their homes, and carry out terrorist attacks then retreat safely to the 55 square kilometers area protected by the US army.

Rukban Concentration Camp:

ِAmerican forces occupying Syrian territory entered the country illegally and their presence impedes efforts to restore peaceful life to the country and constitutes an obstacle to stability in southeastern Syria and causing the catastrophic conditions of the residents of al-Rukban camp who are being forcibly detained by terrorist groups controlled by the United States. A statement by the Syrian and Russian coordinating bodies on the return of the displaced Syrians.

Following video report by Syrian Sama TV:

The statement issued by the two bodies indicated that the information of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent doctors who examined people who came out of the camp shows that they have chronic diseases, some of them suffering from tuberculosis and skin diseases, while many are underweight due to hunger and in children lack of vitamins and intestinal infections and viral infection.

The statement pointed out that Syria and Russia are taking unprecedented measures to save the inhabitants of Al-Rukban, which led to the departure of 13337 people since March 23, 2019 from the camp where tens of thousands of displaced people live in catastrophic conditions and many of them do not have money to pay to terrorists in the camp to allow them to leave the camp.

Tens of thousands of Syrians who fled their homes in towns and villages, mainly in Eastern Homs countryside, upon the expansion of the US-sponsored ISIS terrorists were pushed towards the southeast of the country instead of towards the capital Damascus to their southwest.

Magahaweer Al-Thawra, among other terrorist groups, led those civilians into a makeshift supposed to be refugee camp in Al-Tanf area near the borders of Jordan and Iraq deep in the open desert. It was a trap to hold them in a very remote area and under the cover of the US-led coalition of aggressor states defying international law and against everything humanity represents. Since then, the ISIS-affiliates Maghaweer Al-Thawra under the US protection kept the civilians in dire conditions under their mercy in what’s now described as Rukban Concentration Camp in order to pressure the Syrian state into concessions.

Trump Exploits the Suffering of Thousands of Syrian Refugees in Rukban Camp

Source

July 18, 2020 Arabi Souri

US Exploits the Suffering of Thousands of Syrian Civilians Held in Rukban Concentration Camp
US Exploits the Suffering of Thousands of Syrian Civilians Held in Rukban Concentration Camp

The infamous Rukban Concentration Camp continues to hold up to ten thousand Syrian civilians living in inhumane conditions, by all standards, and the regime of Donald Trump refuses to allow the families to go back to their homes or allow proper flow of humanitarian aid into the camp, similarly to what the US-led a hysteric campaign against Syria, China, and Russia, for al-Qaeda in Idlib.

Where are the Western criers for humanity when one needs them? Over months, the hypocrite representatives of NATO member states at the United Nations Security Council were pressuring to allow new crossings into Al-Qaeda controlled areas in Idlib, despite that their territories have shrunk considerably. But we see no action, at all, by the same NATO representatives when there is real horrific suffering of thousands of Syrian civilians held hostage by a US military base and two terrorist groups affiliated with ISIS in the depth of the Syrian desert at the border crossings with Iraq and Jordan.

The following report by Muhammad Al-Khader of the Lebanese-based Al Mayadeen news channel sheds further light on the issue:



The video report is also available on BitChute.


Transcript of the English translation of the above video report:
Thousands of displaced Syrians in Rukban camp on the Jordanian border have become a tool of American for pressure on Damascus, the suffering of the camp’s residents, estimated to number more than 10,000 civilians, is getting worse every day.
A harsh reality exploited by the American base in Al-Tanf in the face of the Syrian and Russian demands to tackle the camp file, refusing to open safe corridors that allow entry of Syrian relief and health convoys or even the exit of civilians to their homes in Tadmor (Palmyra), the Badia (plain desert) of Homs, and in Deir Al-Zour.
A number of the (US-sponsored) Maghawir Thawra militants who recently fell in the grip of the Syrian security units revealed even more.
They talked about imposing the American base through its agents in the Maghawir Thawra faction and the Ahrar Asha’ir on the males to join the two factions in order to obtain money and always depend on the American decision.
Osama Danoura – writer and political analyst: This aid is distributed only in a way that causes the citizens there who are detained in Rukban to become militia workers for these terrorist organizations, and it (the USA) has practically replaced the influence of ISIS in the region with the influence of these terrorist groups created by it.
A confession that provides further evidence of American involvement in keeping the camp file open, Russian and Syrian efforts have succeeded over three years in evacuating about 20,000 civilians from the camp’s residents to their areas, and by cooperating with international agencies, they have managed to bring aid convoys into the camp.
The US hold of the Rukban camp file and obstructing its return to the Syrian government provide an excuse to justify the illegal US presence in al-Tanf, and more importantly, it turns it into a blackmail and pressure paper on Damascus, which has achieved an important recovery in the south file.
End of the English transcript.
Every person can help these innocent people, you can help right now by sharing this post with your friends, asking your ‘democratically-elected’ supposed to be officials and representatives in your country about the actions to this issue just like how they spent your tax money and their time you pay for on supporting al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
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US Launches Campaign to Accuse Syria of Inability to Curtail Coronavirus, Claims Syrian-Russian Joint Statement

By Sputnik

Source

The Nation 22 April 2020

The United States has launched a propaganda campaign by accusing Damascus of its inability to effectively combat the spread of COVID-19 in Syria, the Russian and Syrian coordination centres said in a joint statement

According to the statement, the United States has influenced the development of a UN plan for sending a humanitarian medical mission to the camp.

“We believe that the document proposed by the UN was developed under the influence of the United States that had launched a propaganda campaign to accuse Damascus of its inability to effectively counter the spread of coronavirus in the [Syrian Arab] Republic. Obviously, the delivery of humanitarian aid to the [Rukban] camp is necessary for the US solely to achieve its goals..” the statement said.

According to the statement, the reception centre for people in the Al-Waha region is equipped with everything necessary to organise quarantine for Rukban residents before they are transported to temporary accommodation centres in the province of Homs.

Moreover, given the critical humanitarian situation in the Rukban refugee camp, and in order to study the real situation with the spread of COVID-19 there, the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent an official request to the UN to conduct an evaluation of medical mission in the camp.

Russia Blames OPCW for Sacrificing Reputation for West’s Ambition in Syria

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has sacrificed its reputation to serve the West’s geopolitical ambition in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

“The OPCW reputation as an authoritative expert body in the field of chemical disarmament has actually been sacrificed to the Middle East geopolitical ambitions of a small group of countries”, the Russian ministry said in a statement.

It argued that the investigative body had been set up in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Only the UN Security Council has the right to apportion blame for chemical attacks.

“[The] activity of this quasi-prosecutor structure, which is dominated by representatives of Western countries, encroaches on the exclusive powers of the UN Security Council and is aimed at the solution of odious political tasks to discredit legally elected authorities of Syria”, it said.

The Truth About Syria: A Manufactured War Against An Independent Country

Russia sees the decisions to create the investigative team and fund it with money from the OPCW’s regular budget as illegitimate, the ministry said. It refuses to cooperate with the investigators or finance their activities.

The OPCW published the first report of its newly created investigation and identification team two weeks ago, blaming the 2017 chemical attacks in the Syrian town of Al Lataminah on the country’s government, which denied ever using chemical weapons.

Syrian Ceasefire Guarantors to Hold Ministerial Meeting Via Video Conference on Wednesday

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will discuss the latest developments in Syria in an online meeting with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the sides would hold the meeting in the Astana format.

The previous summit in this format was held in December when the three Syrian ceasefire guarantors reaffirmed the importance of preserving the country’s sovereignty and the implementation of the 1998 Adana agreement between Turkey and Syria, which allows Turkish troops to temporarily enter Syria as far as 5 kilometres (3 miles) to fight the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Another meeting in the Astana format was scheduled to be held in Iran in March, but it was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Zarif met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Monday and informed him that the trilateral talks would focus on Syria’s Constitutional Committee and the situation in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said that tensions in Idlib were again on the rise, accusing the Syrian government of being behind it and warning of a potential military response to the developments.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee is a product of long-standing efforts by international mediators to reconcile the Syrian government and opposition. The 150-member body with equal representation of the government, opposition, and civil society was launched on 30 October to work toward drafting a new constitution.

The committee failed to reach a mutually beneficial solution to the Syrian crisis during the two sessions convened so far due to disagreements between various factions. A third round of talks is currently being planned.

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Militants Surrendered to Syrian Army Were Trained on US Military Base

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

Idlib, Syria

Sputnik-World
The surrendered militants said that US instructors had been preparing them for terrorist acts and sabotage at oil and gas and transport facilities, according to the information provided by the Russian military’s centre for the Syrian reconciliation.

A group of 27 militants who surrendered to the Syrian army said they had been trained at the US military base, Rear Adm. Oleg Zhuravlev, the head of the Russian Defence Ministry’s centre for the Syrian reconciliation, said during a briefing on Wednesday.

The US also provided them with weapons and vehicles, he added.

“As a result of the clash, the militants who broke through lost three pickups, 27 people escaped, they are currently under the protection of Syrian government forces in Palmyra. They surrendered dozens of small arms, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns, including Western-made ones”, Zhuravlev said.

On the night from 13 to 14 April, a group of militants, who were trained at the US forces’ base in the vicinity of the Rukban camp, tried to get out of At-Tanf area. The militants planned to surrender to government and return to civilian life, Zhuravlev said. On the border of the 55-kilometer security zone, they were attacked by a detachment of the US-backed Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra (“Revolutionary Commando Army”) radical group.

“According to the testimony of the members of the illegal armed groups who surrendered to the government, the Americans provided them with pickup vehicles and weapons. US instructors trained them to carry out sabotage at oil and gas and transport infrastructure, as well as organise terrorist acts in the territory controlled by the Syrian government forces”, he said.

The armed conflict between the Syrian government and opposition groups, including terrorists, began in 2011. By 2016, terrorist forces were significantly subdued, while the government and opposition concluded a ceasefire, with Russia, Iran, and Turkey acting as its guarantors.

Militants remain in control of a small pocket of areas in the Idlib province in northwest Syria.

Syria Faces Critical Shortage of Artificial Lung Ventilators Amid Pandemic – Military

Sputnik

Artificial Lung Ventilator

MIDDLE EAST 07:15 GMT 15.04.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Syria is facing a critical shortage of artificial lung ventilators amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Western sanctions hinder the delivery of medical equipment, the heads of the joint Russia-Syria coordination centre on refugee repatriation said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“Despite the implemented effort, the authorities’ abilities regarding diagnostics and treatment of coronavirus-infected people are severely restricted: around 100 tests are conducted in the country daily, there are only 25,000 beds in Syrian medical facilities, and there is a critical shortage of artificial lung ventilators,” the statement read.

The country’s health care system has been significantly undermined during the conflict and can only be restored through foreign support. However, Western sanctions hamper deliveries of needed medical equipment and medication, the centre specified.

“The sanitary and epidemiological situation in the Rukban refugee camp, located in the US-controlled At Tanf zone, is of a special concern today. According to former residents of the camp, medical facilities there are closed, there is no medication and no qualified doctors, no one provides medical assistance. If an epidemic starts, people will have nearly no chance to survive”, the Russia-Syria centre warned.

Syria has reported 25 cases of the coronavirus and two deaths as of 15 April, 9:00 am CEST.

In March, the United States added Syrian Defence Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub to its Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List.

Last year, the US Treasury sanctioned 16 individuals and entities associated with the Assad administration. The restrictions prohibited material support to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, including shipments of oil to Syrian government-controlled ports, as well as material support to designated terrorist groups.

Syria has repeatedly condemned US and EU sanctions, noting that the damage caused by them was more palpable than that caused by jihadists.

US Forces Use Rukban Camp as ‘Assembly Line for Training Extremists’

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

 Syrian refugees gather for water at the Rukban refugee camp in Jordan's northeast border with Syria (File)

Oleg Burunov
The Syrian government and the Russian reconciliation centre have repeatedly assisted those seeking to leave the Rukban camp, located in the US-controlled zone around its unauthorised military base at At-Tanf.

In a joint statement on Saturday, the Russian and Syrian interagency coordination headquarters stressed that the current disastrous situation in the Rukban refugee camp is a result of the illegal occupation of the area by American forces.

“We believe that the American side’s reluctance to exert influence on their militants to ensure unhindered departure of people from the Camp and the safe work of humanitarian representatives in the At-Tanf zone they occupied is clear evidence of their intention”, the statement pointed out.

The headquarters stated that the US military’s “true intention” with regard to Rukban is to use it as an “assembly line for training extremists used to maintain hotbeds of tension in Syria”.

According to the headquarters, the only solution pertaining to the Rukban camp’s humanitarian problem is its final disbandment, the pullout of American forces from the occupied area of At-Tanf, and the transfer of territory to the legitimate Syrian government.

This, the statement pointed out, will help guarantee “the return Syrians to normal life in their homes”.

The statement also underlined that the Russian and Syrian sides had completely fulfilled all their obligations in line with the UN plan for evacuating the remaining refugees from Rukban.

“We consider that further attempts to justify their inaction on the part of the United States and UN humanitarian agencies are unreasonable”, the document emphasised.

The headquarters recalled that there are currently 13,500 refugees in Rukban, including 6,000 militants and members of their families.

The rest remain in the camp “due to bullying by US-controlled militant groups” which claimed that if these residents return home, they will allegedly face “the Syrian authorities’ arbitrariness”.

“Once again, we declare with all responsibility that for every Syrian who wishes to enter the government-controlled territory the doors are always open. All the necessary conditions for decent accommodation have already been created. Refugees from the At-Tanf zone will be provided with the necessary humanitarian, medical, and social assistance”, the headquarters noted.

They signaled Damascus’ readiness to test all those leaving Rukban for coronavirus and, “if infected, to organise their hospitalisation and treatment”.

Syrian Militants Use Civilians as Human Shields in Rukban

The statement comes after the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement in October 2019 that Washington should end the occupation of the At-Tanf border crossing in Syria’s Homs Governorate.

“US service members are stationed illegally in this area…blocking the road that connects Iraq and Syria. We demand an end to their occupation”, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin told journalists.

Earlier, the Russian Centre for Syrian Reconciliation said in September 2019 that the so-called “camp administration, controlled by illegal armed units” refused to let UN buses inside to evacuate those in need, with an intention of keeping the refugees at Rukban as a human shield.

The remarks followed a significant amount of cargo delivered by the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to Rukban being seized by militants and moved to a base belonging to the militant group Kuwat Shahid Ahmad al-Abdo, located to the north of the Rukban camp.

Despite Washington’s previous pledge to withdraw its forces from Syria, US troops are still in place in various parts of the country, where they operate without permission from either the United Nations or Damascus. As far as Rukban is concerned, American forces established the camp in the area of the occupied Homs Governorate near Syria’s borders with Iraq and Jordan.

SDF Releases Tens Of ISIS Members In Eastern Syria. Turkey, Russia Struggle With Idlib De-Escalation

South Front

On March 23, Russian and Turkish forces carried out a second limited joint patrol in southern Idlib. The patrol involved six armoured vehicles and took place along a short chunk of the M4 highway west of the government-controlled town of Saraqib. This part of the highway remains the only safe place within the entire security zone, which was set to be established in the framework of the Russian-Turkish de-escalation agreement.

After the March 23 patrol, the Turkish side got additional time to neutralize terrorists and radicals entrenched in the agreed to buffer zone. This was the second time when Moscow provided Ankara with such an opportunity. However, Ankara seems to be taking very little or no efforts to do so.

Over the past days, the Turkish Army established observation points near Khattab and Msheirfeh and made a formal attempt to de-block the highway removing earthen mounds made by terrorists. Despite these heroic efforts of the Turkish military, the M4 remains in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked groups and the security zone there exists only on paper. Such a situation on the ground is slowly but inevitably leading to the resumption of hostilities in the region.

Humanitarian conditions are deteriorating in the Rukban refugee camp within the US-controlled zone of al-Tanf. According to media reports, people in the camp have to pay money for tents and the bare necessities, and are forcefully recruited into the ranks of US-backed militant groups. Additionally, militants sabotage the evacuation of refugees from the camp.

A series of IED attacks rocked the town of Tabqah, controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), on March 21. IED explosions targeted positions, vehicles and personnel of the SDF next to the Andalusia pool and the Maysalun roundabout. 6 SDF members were reportedly killed. Pro-opposition sources immediately blamed ‘Assad agents’ for the attack. Kurdish sources blame ISIS and Turkey.

On March 22, the SDF released 80 ISIS members that had been captured during the combat operations along the eastern bank of the Euphrates. All the released individuals are reportedly Syrian citizens, from the governorates of Raqqa, al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor. During the last few years, the SDF has released hundreds of ex-ISIS fighters.

The group often does this for money or upon request from influential figures, like tribal leaders, businessmen and local commanders. This SDF behavior likely contributed to the reemergence of ISIS cells in eastern Syria. Last week, ISIS announced that its fighters had assassinated 40 people in the province of Deir Ezzor during the last 3 months alone.

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Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at a UN Security Council Briefing on Syria

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

Mr. President,

We closely followed the briefing by Under-Secretary-General Mark Lowcock; however, apparently, he did not have time to listen either to us or to Syria. It is a pity. We believe it would make sense to listen to what we have to say. I hope colleagues will convey what we say to him.

Despite the fact that stabilization has become a steady trend at the major territory of Syria, peaceful life has started to get back to the country, the social and economic infrastructure is restoring, there still remain hotbeds of tension, and the population needs humanitarian assistance. In this regard we point out active partaking of UN specialized bodies, the ICRC, the SARC, and non-governmental organizations in providing assistance to the population in coordination with the Syrian authorities.

The situation remains worrisome at the territories that are out of control of the Syrian government – in Idlib, in the East bank of the Euphrates, and in the ‘Al-Tanf’ zone.

Early in January, the Russian and Turkish military made yet another attempt to establish ceasefire in Idlib. However, radical groups under ‘Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’ that has been recognized as terrorist, again ignored that and continued firing at the positions of the Syrian troops and adjacent human settlements, in the first place – Aleppo. The density of attacks reaches up to 60 incidents a day. This month alone, such armed provocations have taken dozens of lives and entailed injuries for hundreds of civilians. This cannot go unretaliated. Syrian governmental forces have to react to terrorist raids, therefore they carry out limited operations to neutralize terrorist activity and mitigate threats that are coming from Idlib.

Today we heard statements that almost copied one another: about bombardments of schools, hospitals, marketplaces, places of IDP gatherings. We were cited exact figures of how many died and were wounded. We already heard that before. Word-to-word. Let me ask you once again: Where from do you get your verified data? Where did you find that many medical facilities that had been bombed? You were speaking of dozens, if not say hundreds such facilities in Idlib alone. Escalation in Idlib is not caused by operations of Syria’s armed forces. It is caused by constant deliberate provocations by terrorists. Starting from 13 January three humanitarian corridors have been functioning to help peaceful population leave the de-escalation zone. Those who have no permanent place of residence can be received in temporary accommodation facilities in Hama province. Unfortunately, terrorists continue to use people as a “human shield”, keep civilians hostages, prevent them from exiting, and fire at crossing points. This is yet another point that proves our position that we articulated earlier: the problem of Idlib cannot be resolved as long as those whom the Security Council has recognized as terrorists are running those territories.

Mr.President,

The situation in the Euphrates region has improved, in no small part due to the implementation of the Turkish-Russian Memorandum dated 22 October. Now Turkish-Russian patrols monitor the agreed sections of the border. Besides, the Russian military make energetic efforts to restore the devastated infrastructure, provide medical assistance to those who need it, deliver food and basic necessity items.

The direst problem is the humanitarian situation in the biggest refugee and IDP camps that are situated at the U.S.- controlled territories: “Rukban” in the South and “Al-Hawl” in the North-East. Implementation of the UN evacuation plan for the remaining inhabitants of the camp was due five months ago, but has been postponed ever since because militants refuse to guarantee safety of UN personnel. The problem of “Rukban” cannot be solved through humanitarian convoys alone, it is even more so, because assistance often fails to reach the refugees and ends up in the hands of militants. It is important that we continue and finalize efforts to resettle the camp.

Mr.President,

Today USG Lowcock gave a poor assessment to cross-line assistance. However, let me remind that a lion’s share of assistance in Syria is provided through this mechanism, including assistance for the province Al-Hasakah in the North-East. All humanitarian UN agencies, apart from WHO, deliver assistance to the North-East from the territory of Syria.

Let me also address effects of adoption of resolution 2504. The effects are that this resolution is both explicit and implicit. It steers the United Nations towards search for solutions and cooperation with the legitimate government of Syria according to resolution 4682, as should be the case under the international law. Instead of inflaming passions, the UNOCHA should rather hurry to establish effective cooperation with the legitimate authorities in Damascus. This is what meets the interests of the UN and us all.

We expect the UN report for the month of February to provide information about alternative routes of humanitarian deliveries to Syria. As we said, alternatives to “Al Yarubiyah” and delivering humanitarian assistance to “Al-Hasakah” really exist. We would like to be briefed about the steps taken at this track and the results that have been achieved.

Now to statistics which is known to be a stubborn thing. 1 million people in Idlib are covered by the cross-border mechanism, 9-10 million more are covered by regular humanitarian programs. It is what the recent report of the Secretary-General says. I am saying this to respond to the words that the Syrian government allegedly does not cooperate with the UN. The number of humanitarian convoys that are agreed with Damascus is growing month-to-month. Representatives of the UNOCHA cited this statistics at the meeting of the Humanitarian Task Force in Geneva.

What remains stable is the financial situation of the Syrian humanitarian plan. This indicator has stalled at 60%. Here is an interesting thing: the bigger is the territory that gets back under control of the Syrian government, the less is financing that donors allocate for the Syrian humanitarian plan. You have cited humanitarian principles: humanity, impartiality. Where are they?

We agree with those who said today that the humanitarian topic is over-politicized. This is also true for the post-conflict recovery. Some of our colleagues boast that they manage to politicize this issue by putting forward ever-increasing requirements to the Syrian authorities.

We call upon the global community to join projects for post-conflict recovery of Syria and lift unilateral sanctions in order to normalize the life of Syrians. Of course, if you are truly interested in the country’s well-being.

Thank you.

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 20, 2019: RUSSIA GAVE SYRIA ‘GREEN LIGHT’ TO USE S-300

South Front

On September 19, the Syrian Air Defense Forces shot down an unidentified unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the town of Aqraba, south of Damascus. Pro-government sources claim that the intercepted UAV was likely operated by Israel.

On August 25, two Hezbollah members were killed by Israeli strikes in the same area. These strikes and the incident with Israeli drones in Beirut led to a local escalation between Hezbollah and the Israeli military at the Lebanese-Israeli contact line on September 1. Since then and until September 19, the situation around Damascus and in southern Lebanon have remained relatively calm.

The al-Qaeda-affiliated militant coalition Wa Harid al-Muminin announced that its forces had shelled positions of the Syrian Army near the area of al-Mashari’a. In a separate development, Idlib militants shelled the Abu al-Duhur humanitarian corridor with mortars in an attempt to prevent civilians from leaving the militant-held area.

On September 18, the joint Russia-Syria Coordination Center on Refugee Repatriation announced that work to resettle refugees from the Rukban camp the US-controlled zone of al-Tanf will begin late on September 27. During the last two years, the camp was in a constant state of humanitarian crisis due to the lack of aid, clean water and food. Nonetheless, the US-led coalition and coalition-backed militants sabotaged previous attempts to evacuate civilians from it.

Russia has given Syria a green light to use the S-300 missile defense system against Israeli targets, according to reports in Russian media citing own sources. Reports claim that the Syrian military received permission to use its air defense systems in response to Israeli actions. However, in this case the Syrian side would bear full responsibility for such a move.

Since the start of the week, positions of Iranian-backed forces near al-Bukamal have come under at least two aerial attacks that are commonly attributed by Israel. Some mainstream media speculated that the September 18 strike may have been delivered by the Saudi Air Force. However, this version was immediately denounced by Saudi Arabia itself.

SYRIAN ARMY INTERCEPTS ARMED, BOOBY-TRAPPED DRONE NEAR ISRAELI-OCCUPIED GOLAN HEIGHTS (PHOTOS)

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) brought down on September 21 a large quad-copter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near the separation line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the army was able to take control of the hostile UAV and land it once it reached the town of Erneh, 8km north of the separation line. Electronic warfare means were apparently used to control the UAV.

“While inspecting and disassembling the UAV by specialized engineer teams, it became clear that it was armed with submunitions on top of being booby-trapped with a C4 explosive charge, in order to prevent its dismantling and protect its secrets,” a security source told the SANA.

The state-run agency said that the UAV came from the western direction. The SAA controls the entire region, while Hezbollah controls the nearby Lebanese villages. This suggest that the UAV came from the Israeli-occupied areas in northwestern Golan.

Photos of the UAV reveal that it was armed with two small-diameter submunitions, both equipped with a parachute.

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Last month, two quad-copters equipped with explosive devices attacked a center of Hezbollah in Beirut’s Southern Suburb. The incident was blamed on Israel, which appears to be using such drones in its covert operations.

SYRIAN ARMY SHOOTS DOWN ARMED DRONE NEAR HELICOPTER BASE IN NORTHWESTERN HAMA

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shot down on September 21 an armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that attempted to attack its positions in northwestern Hama.

Local sources said that the UAV was shot down near the town of Jubb Ramlah. The drone was reportedly armed with several munitions.

The UAV was likely heading to attack a large helicopter base of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) to the west of Jubb Ramlah. The base has been supporting the SAA’s operations in Greater Idlib for months now.

Syrian Army Shoots Down Armed Drone Near Helicopter Base In Northwestern Hama

Click to see full-size image. Via Google Earth.

No side has claimed responsibility for the failed attack, so far. However, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is known for manufacturing and operating this kind of armed UAVs.

The failed attack is a violation of the current ceasefire. Such provocations could force the SAA to resume its ground offensive in Greater Idlib.

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A SYRIAN LEADER TELLS HIS COUNTRY’S STORY: AN INTERVIEW WITH SAA GENERAL HASSAN HASSAN

In Gaza

20190620_203559

Eva Bartlett sits down for an exclusive interview with the head of the Syrian Arab Army’s Political Administration, General Hassan Hassan.

August 5, 2019, Mint Press News

For years, international headlines spotlighting Syria have claimed that the Syrian government, army, and its allies were guilty of a variety of atrocities. Yet as time has passed, many of the accusations levied at government and its allies have been shown to have been either falsified, staged (as in the case of allegations of chemical attacks in eastern Ghouta), or actually committed by the myriad terrorist groups operating in the country.

For their part, Syrian leadership has maintained from the start that the demonstrations in their country were not peaceful, from 2011 and on. Media in the West and the Gulf vilified Syria’s leadership, featuring story after story of government-imposed violence while ignoring or whitewashing the violence of the burgeoning armed groups flooding into Syria.

From as early as 2011, armed groups were throwing civilians from rooftops and committing beheadings, kidnappings, and massacres. The year 2011 alone saw multiple massacres of civilians and security forces committed by what the media called “unarmed protesters” and later by the “Free Syrian Army.” This was the same year that many in the media were insisting that a “peaceful revolution” was underway.

Since that time, those same armed groups, as well as the many iterations they spawned, have starved, tortured, imprisoned, murdered, maimed and even harvested the organs of Syrian civilians, in addition to killing Syrian and allied soldiers and journalists and destroying much of the country’s infrastructure.

To give a voice to the often ignored “other side” — those Syrians that have been working to defend their country since 2011 —  Eva Bartlett interviewed the Syrian Arab Army’s Head of Political Administration, General Hassan Hassan. General Hassan’s shelves and large wooden desk are covered with stacks of books, family photos, and various homages to the country he serves — the general holds a Ph.D. in geopolitical studies. The following is a transcript of Bartlett’s interview with Hassan following the 74th anniversary of the founding of the Syrian Arab Army.

 

Eva Bartlett (EB) | I would like to begin by asking you your thoughts on how honest Western and Gulf media’s reporting on Syria has been, especially regarding their choice of lexicon — for example, regarding the Syrian Army, the Syrian Government, what they call rebels — and the events in Syria in general.

General Hassan (GH) | Media has been one of the weapons of mass destruction used in this war on Syria. The biased media, in addition to the takfiri [Salafi] fatwas — especially the fatwas — have been the weapons that contributed most to the destruction taking place in Syria, including the destruction of human beings, vegetation, civilization,…everything.

President Bashar al-Assad emphasized more than once the necessity of countering the rhetoric used. I can elaborate for two or more hours on the terms used. However, I will limit myself to some examples.

The Free [Syrian] Army is among the lexicons used. What “army” and what “freedom” are they talking about? Every army is known for its discipline, hierarchy, fighting strategies in both defense and attack, and the cause it fights for.

The so-called Free Syrian Army has none of these qualities, except for the ability to kill. The media tried to put into circulation the term Assad’s Brigades or Assad’s Forces. Our army is the Syrian Arab Army, which includes in each of its formations soldiers from all Syrian governorates, with no exception.

I’ll give you an example. Almost three months ago, the militants supported by Turkey targeted a Syrian army position to the north of Latakia. Twelve soldiers were martyred as a result. Each soldier is from a different governorate. This is the Syrian Arab Army.

They used the term “defection.” There is no defection in the Syrian Arab Army; defection did not really occur in the Syrian Arab Army but there are some cases of soldiers running away. The term “defection” is used when a brigade or a squad defect from a certain army. Until now, the Syrian Arab Army has not witnessed what might be called defection even within its smallest units.

In order to spread the idea of defection they resorted to unsophisticated lies. In 2012 they said that General Mohammad al-Rifa’i, commander of the Fifth Squad, had defected from the army. This lie was circulated through the media. Yet, Syrian TV interviewed the general, who had retired in 2001, 11 years prior.

Gangs would stop civilian or military vehicles on highways, hold soldiers hostages, film them and force them at gunpoint to declare that they had defected [from the army].

I’ll give an example available from the internet of their lies regarding the term the Free Syrian Army. Anyone can check the Free Syrian Army term through Google. We type Abu Saqr al-Asadi — right here, I have typed Abu Saqr al-Souri [the Syrian]. We now find [the result] “face to face with the fighter Abu Saqr al-Asadi who ate the heart of a soldier.” (Abu Saqr is also transliterated as Abu Sakkar, as per the BBC article referred to by General Hassan).

That was in 2013 when he was filmed cutting into the chest of the soldier and eating his heart. It is here on Google from the BBC Arabic website. This is not a Syrian media outlet. It is a Western outlet. It is not a pleasant sight to watch him chewing the soldier’s heart.

Abu Saqr al-Asadi was a fighter in the Al-Farouq Brigades, which was an armed rebel organization formed by the Free Syrian Army. When he died he was a member of the Nusra Front. So, he was a member of the Free Syrian Army, used to be with the Farouq Brigades, and then joined the Nusra Front.

I could speak for hours about the issue of lexicon. For instance, they talked about what is called the armed opposition. How could opposition be armed?! Opposition is a political term. Opposition is a political party that did not win elections. Such a party plays the role of opposition in the parliament. These militant groups want to govern the country, the people and everything by armed force. Does this sound normal? Never was there a term called “armed opposition,” except when they spoke about these terrorist gangs.

 

EB | So in the article you’ve just shown, the English version, the BBC did not report it as an act of carnage. They humanized Abu Saqr and asked him what drove him to do such a desperate act?

GH | This is the media war. Either they say he is violent or they say he is an angel; hasn’t he demonstrated how he cut out an organ and ate a piece of it? When the BBC describes a man who ate the heart of a dead soldier as a peaceful man, how then would they describe beasts?

 

EB | Regarding events in Syria in 2011, both Western and Gulf media called it a peaceful unarmed uprising for many months, even for up to a year. Do you have an example of attacks by what the West called unarmed protesters against the Syrian army, police or security forces in 2011?

GH | In 2011 they said the reason behind the first spark was that the army, or another security body, pulled out the nails of some children in Dara`a. Over the past eight years, it has become clear that all of the armed groups are equipped with video cameras and live-streaming devices. Can any of them provide us with a video of one child whose nails were pulled out? Where are these children? Why couldn’t the media that fabricated such lies film the pulled-out nails?

Let’s go back to the peaceful uprising. On April 10, 2011, less than a month after the beginning of the so-called uprising, an army convoy transporting soldiers back to their homes was intercepted on the highway from Tartous to Banias. Nine people were martyred: two officers, five warrant officers, and two civilians. They also fired at the ambulances that tried to reach the wounded.

Other examples are the Nawa massacre in Dara`a, the Jisr al-Shoghur massacre, and the Asi River massacre — where they live-streamed the dumping of people into the river. All these massacres were perpetrated before the end of June 2011.

That is the peaceful [Arab] spring the Western and Gulf media talked about.

Are these examples enough, or should I cite more? It’s important to me that Western readers know how many lies and how much deception there has been, especially by the media.

I’ll give you another minor example. Usually, the BBCAl-Jazeera and France 24, etc. would broadcast that an explosion took place in a certain area. However, there was no explosion. But 15 to 30 minutes later an explosion would take place in the same area. It was like a code to the armed groups to carry out the explosion.

I’ll provide you with a more comprehensive example. When the area of Ma`raba [near al-Tal, a suburb of Damascus] was targeted by the Israeli enemy, cameras were focused on the targeted area even before the missiles hit.

 

EB | So, they were ready?

GH | The cameras were aimed at the area where the missiles were supposed to hit. At the moment that the missiles hit the targeted area, members of armed groups began cheering “Allahu Akbar… Allahu Akbar.” This was documented by their cameras; definitely not Syrian media cameras. At the same time, armed groups in eastern Ghouta attacked Damascus from seven fronts.

As an ordinary person — not as a military figure– I could tell it was a role carried out by three. First, the one who carried out the aggression, and that is the Zionist entity [Israel].

Second, the media outlets that were assigned to broadcast the aggression before it was carried out.  And third, the armed groups who attacked Damascus. Therefore, the cameraman and those militants are substitute recruits of the Israeli enemy. I cannot call them but the substitute army of Israel and the United States.

According to confessions by Israeli and American officials, including previous U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ISIS was made by America. Later on, ISIS was classified as a terrorist organization.

Thus, those terrorists made in the U.S. are the rebels of the peaceful [Arab] spring later circulated in the region by means of the foreign media outlets.

 

EB | According to Israeli media, Israel is fighting terrorism, Muslim extremists. However, there are reports of Israel treating militants or terrorists in Israeli hospitals. Can you please outline Israel’s role in the war on Syria?

GH | Everything that has taken place in Syria and in the region — all the blaze erupting in the region,  under what they falsely called the Arab Spring — serves the interests of Israel. These are not my own conclusions; rather, it is the Israeli media who talk about this. The Israeli prime minister appeared on television when he visited wounded terrorists, injured while fighting the Syrian army, being treated in Israeli hospitals. This is number one.

The other issue is that every time the Syrian Arab Army is making an apparent advance, Israel conducts an aggression [airstrike]. When Israel is unable to achieve its objective, it seeks the help of the United States, just as it did when the U.S. Air Force targeted the Tharda Mountains in Deir ez-Zor as the Syrian army was en route to clear Deir ez-Zor of terrorists.

I hope that you underscore the following statement: Those who sponsor terrorism don’t fight it.Israel is an entity based on both killing and falsehood. When Palestine was already inhabited, they claimed that Palestine was a land without people and wanted to give it to people without a land. Thus, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, gave what the U.K. didn’t own to those who didn’t deserve it.

In 2019, Trump did the same and gave the Golan to Israel as if Trump inherited it from his own father. Who gave Trump the right to give other people’s property to others? The issue here is that international law needs power to protect it. Unfortunately, the United States is still the superpower of the world and the financial and economic despot of the world. U.S. officials are indifferent to falsehood, humanity, law or human rights. All this means nothing to them.

I would like to remind foreign readers that Iraq was destroyed under the pretext of having weapons of mass destruction. The whole world still recalls Colin Powell when he presented what he called a satellite image as evidence of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction. When Powell left office, he admitted to U.S. media outlets that that moment was the darkest in his lifetime. The question is: When did he admit it? How many innocent victims were killed as a result?

How come a sovereign state was occupied without international legitimacy? American officials don’t care about this. Wherever the U.S. has interfered around the world, the result has been more killing, destruction, and suffering and successive U.S. administrations are competing to serve Israel.

 

EB | Syria has been accused of using chemical weapons against civilians. Does the Syrian army use chemical weapons against civilians?

GH |  An official mission came to Syria and demanded that the Syrian government carry out an official investigation. They delayed for years before the mission arrived. And those who came submitted an untruthful report.

Syria signed the agreement and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) visited Syria and checked all places and the existing stockpile [of chemical weapons] was destroyed on a U.S. vessel. Accordingly, The OPCW announced that Syria was chemical weapons-free.ve

The Syrian Government has been accused of using chemical weapons many times, in eastern Ghouta and in other areas. Under this pretext, [th U.S. and its allies] launched their aggression on Syria. Syria affirmed many times through statements by Syrian officials, both before and after the agreement was signed, that Syria does not in any way intend to use chemical weapons and that Syria has not used nor will it use chemical weapons.

After the declaration of this organization [OPCW] that Syria is free from chemical weapons, how could Syria use something that it does not have? Despite evidence that chemical substances and weapons entered into areas under the control of militant groups in Syria through Turkish borders, investigations were not resumed.

There are a number of videos showing how the armed groups were the ones using chemical weapons themselves. Each time Syria was accused of using chemical weapons, the Syrian army was on the verge of finishing a military operation. Is it logical they’d use chemical weapons — which would prevent the declaration of victory?

With regard to their claim of using chemicals in Ghouta, the areas there are interconnected. Those who use chemical weapons cannot protect themselves. When those terrorists used chemicals there, both the civilians and the military were hit, as was the case in Khan al-Asal and elsewhere. This was exposed in the [UN] Security Council by Bashar al-Ja’afari.

Syria does not possess chemical weapons. Syria has never used chemical weapons before. Syria cannot use a chemical weapon for a simple reason, or for two reasons in fact: Ethically, Syria does not believe in using chemicals [weapons]. This is number one. Second, Syria does not own chemical weapons.

 

EB | The Rukban Camp is near the U.S. base of al-Tanf. One question is about the U.S. relationship with ISIS in that area and whether or not America has been fighting ISIS in the area. Also, according to Western media, refugees evacuated from Rukban to centers in Homs, for example, are taken and thrown in prison.

For example, the Canadian Globe & Mail, citing a Qatari-based organization, said that from 2017 to 2019 around 2,000 Syrians who returned to government-controlled areas (in general and not from Rukban specifically) were detained and 784 are still in prison. How would you reply to accusations that people returning home were detained or forced to serve in the Syrian army?

GH | In relation to ISIS and the U.S., I can say that a mother does not eat her own son. ISIS is a U.S. product, according to American confessions. However, America sometimes becomes a cat and eats some of its own kittens when they become a burden.

America uses ISIS, fights with ISIS, not against ISIS. Whenever the role of some armed ISIS fighters comes to an end, the U.S. abandons or gets rid of them. The U.S. does not care whether those members get killed or not.

However, when the U.S. needs them, it sends helicopters to evacuate them, just like what happened when Deir ez-Zor was liberated. American helicopters would land and evacuate ISIS leaders together with their families and fly them somewhere else.

Rukban Camp is within the sight of the Americans in the Tanf base. U.S. surveillance can distinguish a hen from a rooster on a street anywhere in the world. How is it that ISIS members are able to move at the Tanf border without being observed by the U.S. military there? How can the U.S. convince the world that it is fighting ISIS when the latter’s members move freely under U.S. observation?

Four months ago, I was working with the Head of the Russian Reconciliation Centre, General Victor Kopcheshen. He told me that the Russian government received an official reply from the Americans that they would not allow any Syrian or Russian to come close to the 55-kilometer line around Rukban Camp to help evacuate people from the camp.

Less than four months ago we first began evacuating a few hundred [people] from Rukban. Now, the number of people who returned from Rukban Camp has exceeded 15,000 (As of July 31, that number has reached 17,458 according to Russia’s Ministry of Defense). Can anyone provide me with the name of even one person who left Rukban and got detained? These claims are flagrant lies.


Author’s note | 

I asked officials at the UN about the accusation that the Syrian government was imprisoning former residents of Rukban, I detailed their reply in a separate article for MintPress:

“David Swanson, Public Information Officer Regional Office for the Syria Crisis UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs based in Amman, Jordan, told me regarding claims of substandard conditions and of Syrians being forcefully held or mistreated in the centers that:

‘People leaving Rukban are taken to temporary collective shelters in Homs for a 24-hour stay. While there, the receive basic assistance, including shelter, blankets, mattresses, solar lamps, sleeping mats, plastic sheets, food parcels and nutrition supplies before proceeding to their areas of choice, mostly towards southern and eastern Homs, with smaller small numbers going to rural Damascus or Deir-ez-Zor.

The United Nations has been granted access to the shelters on three occasions and has found the situation there adequate. The United Nations continues to advocate and call for safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian assistance and access to Rukban as well as to all those in need throughout Syria. The United Nations also seeks the support of all concerned parties in ensuring the humanitarian and voluntary character of departures from Rukban.’

Hedinn Halldorsson, the Spokesperson and Public Information Officer for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) based in Damascus, told me:

‘We looked into this when the rumours started, end of April, and concluded they were unfounded – and communicated that externally via press briefings in both Geneva and NY. The conditions in the shelters in Homs are also adequate and in compliance with standards; the UN has access and has done three monitoring visits so far.’”


GH | I would like to stress a point concerning military service in the army. Several presidential decrees have been issued. Any Syrian citizen [living] abroad who wishes to settle his status and return to Syria can benefit from those decrees, which invalidate any other verdict issued against that Syrian citizen.

These decrees do not nullify a Syrian citizen’s rights nor their duties. Syrian citizens who return to Syria are still Syrian citizens and therefore still have the duties of Syrian citizens. The decrees granted them a grace period of six months to settle their legal status.

For example, a person who lost their official ID, or army service registry or anything, can settle their legal status during this period. It is a normal official procedure to call for duty those who are subject to mandatory or reserve military service. This procedure has been applied to all Syrian citizens in all provinces, not only those who return.

I cannot say just respect the rights and ignore the duties. Everyone is equal before the law. They have to obey what Syrian law states and the majority of them are loyal and doing their duties enthusiastically.

But the people who have their status settled do not have the right to commit a crime. If I had a son living abroad who returned and settled his status, does it give him the right to commit an offense against his neighbors or to kill somebody or commit a crime? The law is the law and must be adhered to.

 

EB | Western media say that Iran and Russia’s presence in Syria is an attempt to occupy Syria and control it. What are the roles of Iran and Russia in Syria?

GH | Before I answer your question, let us decide what logic we’re using. Are we using the logic of international law or the law of the jungle? Who has the right to speak in the name of the Syrian people? It is only the Syrian state that has the right to speak in the name of the Syrian people. No other side has the right to speak for them. Surely, those who are speaking in the name of the Syrian people do not know the Syrian people. It is really strange that the governments of those who kill the Syrian people are acting as if they were advocates of the Syrian people.

According to international law, it is the right of any state to defend itself when such a country faces hazards endangering its own existence. Such a country has the right to defend its existence and sovereignty by using all means possible. In this respect, this country has the right to rely on its relations with friends and allies as well, no matter whether those allies are Russian, Iranian or any other ally. Neither the U.S., Israel nor the Gulf states have anything to do with this. It is a matter of Syrian sovereignty.

The other thing has to do with the military presence of any country on the territory of another state. Such a presence can be legal in one of the following two cases: when invited by the state concerned, or through a resolution issued by the [UN] Security Council. Otherwise, such a presence is an occupation.

Therefore, there is no reason for the Syrian state to be ashamed of its stance on the presence of Iran or Russia in Syria. The Syrian State declares its stances clearly and explicitly: that the presence of Iran, Russia and Hezbollah is based upon an official invitation by the Syrian government. Thus, their presence is legal according to international law. Can anyone in the West — or the media outlets who claim to be neutral — convince any Syrian citizen that the U.S. presence or the Turkish presence is legal?

The Syrian State says they are forces of occupation. There is no [UN] Security Council resolution allowing them to be present in Syria. So what is the meaning behind their presence? They are using the law of force, rather than the force of law. Thus, they are referring back to the law of the jungle and not to the force of international law.

Those occupiers support terrorism, created terrorism, and are still financing it according to a confession made by the former Qatari prime minister that his country spent $37 billion to arm and finance armed groups in Syria. The Qatari PM confessed that his country and the armed groups had agreed to destroy Syria. Yet, they disputed when things went out of their control. They paid the armed groups to hunt the prey. However, they disputed among themselves when the prey escaped.

 

EB | Syria welcomed Palestinian refugees and has supported the Palestinian resistance. Could you please explain the role of some Palestinians in the events in Syria within the past few years, whether in fighting terrorism or supporting it.

Will Hamas Challenge Fatah in the West Bank?

GH | The Syrian State does not deal with people and does not take stances based on reactions. The Syrian state has its own constants and principles, and it [continues to] adhere to these constants and principles even in its ninth year of war. Syria still believes that the cause of Palestine is the central cause of the Arab world.

So, when some Palestinian groups choose to affiliate themselves with the Muslim Brotherhood rather than being loyal to the Palestinian cause and to Syria, it makes Syria [even] more committed to its principles. Especially as these days, the world knows well that the Muslim Brotherhood [has become] the basis of evil since they’ve adopted terrorism.

The Palestinian cause remains the central cause. Syria will always take interest in the Palestinian cause, in spite of the fact that some [Palestinians] were eager to be part of the war on the Syrian State. Even though weapons that were supposed to be used to fight Israel were used in the war on Syrian citizens.

The Syrian State is now recovering and history will remember those [Palestinians] as traitors. History will show that Syria has been, and will be, loyal to the Palestinian cause.

The Yarmouk Camp is back under Syrian sovereignty. The camp is now free from those who carried weapons and used them against Syrian citizens, whatever names they used — ISIS, Nusra or otherwise — and regardless of their nationality, Palestinian or otherwise. All of them are now gone, thanks to the sacrifices made by the Syrian people the heroism of the Syrian Arab Army and the wisdom of our leader, President Bashar al-Assad.

 

EB | Some Palestinians remained loyal to Syria, including in fighting terrorism, like the Quds Brigade…

GH | Yes, of course. Surely. There are loyal people even inside occupied Palestine. Not all people are ungrateful to those who help them. Not all people bite the hand that is stretched out to help them. Only traitors bite that hand.

 

EB | When eastern Aleppo and eastern Ghouta were being liberated, Western and international media said that the Syrian army was massacring and raping civilians there and that both the Syrian and the Russian militaries were bombing hospitals. Now, they are saying that 29 hospitals in Idlib have been targeted. What would you say about these accusations?

GH | We have liberated eastern Ghouta. We have also liberated eastern Aleppo. In both locations, a number of field hospitals were shown on television with piles of medicine. This implies that these hospitals were not bombed. This is very briefly.

The other point is that when a building is selected as a command center for armed groups under the pretext of its being a hospital, does this mean we should let those positioned in eastern Ghouta target Damascus on a daily basis with their shells?

Didn’t the world watch those angels of mercy, when they entered Adra industrial town, burning people alive in ovens and throwing civilians off fourth and fifth floors?

We’re talking about war here, we’re talking here about armies of terrorists equipped with light, medium and heavy weapons and empires of media around the world, in addition to the regional and world powers supporting them.

It is the duty of the Syrian State, before being its own right, to provide the Syrian people with protection against terrorism. The problem with the national Syrian media is that it does not reach the West.

Crossing points are identified as corridors for the exit of civilians before any military operation gets started in a populated area. Such corridors are then equipped with ambulances, medical services and every other need. Who targeted the nurses, doctors and civilians on their way out when citizens were evacuated from eastern Ghouta?

Has anybody seen the photo of the Syrian soldier carrying an old woman on his back and a child on his arm? That soldier knew he could drop as a martyr carrying this heavy load. Other soldiers fell as martyrs while they were helping civilians escape.

That number, 29 hospitals, is a lie in itself. It is more than the number of [national] hospitals available all over Syria. Do they allocate a hospital for every twenty or thirty people? This is illogical.

There is also something strange about all the field hospitals that we discovered. Saudi, Israeli and U.S. medicine was found in these hospitals. How did such medicine reach the terrorists? Did it come from underneath the ground?

And those who had been targeting Damascus and Aleppo are all of sudden depicted as angels of mercy, peace and freedom advocates calling for democracy?

It’s worth pointing out to people in the West that it has been proven that only a limited number of the fighters in armed groups came from western Europe and North America, while tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, came from other countries.

The Turkish president declares that such terrorists are free to leave Syrian territory whenever he gets upset with Europe or the U.S. Subsequently, EU countries and the U.S. get so horrified at the possibility of those terrorists returning home.

The EU countries and the U.S. do not want any of those terrorists to return. Why is it that they do not want them to come back? Are they not their own citizens? They say that such terrorists will spread terrorism, so they spread terrorism there while they plant roses and flowers here? Is it okay for terrorists to spread terror here while they’re forbidden to return to their own countries?

Briefly, these are the types of lies spread by the West.

I’m calling on each and every citizen of Western countries, as I am absolutely sure that they have pure human emotion, not to believe the Western media. I want them to be certain that their governments have participated in the killing of the Syrian people and in the killing of Syrian children. Their governments participated in the killing of Syrian women and the killing of the Syrian elderly and convinced them [Western citizens] that they were promoting something else [freedom].

 

EB | Recently, journalists from CBS and Sky News were in Idlib. I believe one of the two groups, Sky News, claimed that it was targeted by the Syrian army. Could they be reporting independently of al-Qaeda or any of the other terrorist groups in Idlib? They claim they are not [embedded] with al-Qaeda. Is this feasible? Is this realistic? 

GH | It’s a funny question. You’re a journalist. Surely, this is not the first time you have visited Syria. Have you faced any obstacles while entering Syria as a journalist? Do any Western or European countries accept the entry of foreign journalists illegally into their countries?

Sky News, the BBC, and Al Jazeera teams conduct live transmissions while embedded with armed groups — the terrorists. I wish that the mental power of the Syrian soldiers could become super advanced so that they can order shells to avoid foreign correspondents who are side by side with terrorists. The army is responding to attacks launched by terrorists — soldiers and officers of the Syrian army cannot give orders to an exploding shell to avoid this or that.

The most important question is this: What are they doing there? How did they enter? Who is in control in Idlib? Isn’t it the Nusra Front? How are they [the journalists] allowed to be there? They are there under the protection of the Nusra Front. They are under the protection of an internationally-designated terrorist organization. Their countries should hold them accountable for communicating with terrorist groups before asking why the army is targeting them.

 

EB | How can Idlib be liberated when Turkish forces occupy northern Syria and there are civilians in Idlib, in addition to the 70,000 al-Qaeda and other terrorist fighters?

GH | There were civilians and armed groups in Homs. There were civilians and armed groups in Ghouta as well. There were civilians and armed groups all over Dara`a.  All these regions have been liberated. The majority of citizens remained there while the terrorists were wiped out. Idlib is no exception. Eastern parts of the Euphrates are no exception either.

Each square centimeter of Syrian land is part and parcel of Syria as a whole. It is the duty and the right of the Syrian State to eradicate terrorism.

Unless under an invitation by the Syrian government, any foreign military presence on the Syrian territory is a force of occupation. The Syrian State is entitled to face such an occupation with every possible means.

The Syrian State has opened the door wide for reconciliation. The Syrian State trusts the wisdom of Russian and Iranian friends and relies on its relations with Turkey.

Surely each Syrian citizen, civilian or military, wishes that not even one drop of blood be spilled. This does not mean to yield to occupation in any way.

Idlib will be freed either through reconciliations or a political agreement. Otherwise, the Syrian State will find the means to liberate Idlib in the same way it liberated all other regions. I am absolutely certain — not as an officer but rather as a citizen — I know how Syrian citizens think; they believe that Idlib will be freed, as will each and every inch of the Syrian territory.

The presence of U.S., Turkish, or any other occupation force does not mean such a force is a destiny that cannot be faced. As long as we [the Syrian State] spare no effort or means — whether military, political, economic or diplomatic —  to win this war [against terrorism] by God’s will, and I hope it is not going to be through military action. But if things reach a dead-end, Idlib will not remain under occupation.

 

EB | Can you speak to the importance of liberating Idlib, not only for Syria’s territorial integrity but also for the villages in Northern Hama that are affected by terrorists in Idlib? The media is not talking about Mahardeh, Sqailbiyeh and other places being attacked by terrorists.

GH | When Mhardeh and Sqailbiyeh are targeted, as a Syrian citizen, I do not see these two towns as less important than Damascus. Likewise when the neighborhoods of Homs were targeted.

All areas inhabited by Syrian citizens under the control of the Syrian State have been targets for those armed terrorist groups that are supported by the West, which claims it is standing by human rights and cares about the interests of the Syrian people.

For Syrian citizens, the liberation of each centimeter, or rather each grain of sand, is as important as the liberation of Idlib. Of course, the existence of armed groups in Idlib leads to abnormal circumstances that cause dysfunction in citizens’ daily lives. Thus, it is important to liberate Idlib to guarantee the return of normal life in Mahardeh, Sqailbiyeh and other areas.

At the same time, it is important to end the occupation by the U.S. and its allies.

I hope that each European or American citizen will ask: Why do Syrian citizens return to areas that have been liberated? Why do citizens welcome the army? Why do citizens — except those who are held hostage by terrorists — flee from areas under the control of terrorist groups?

The civilians residing in terrorist-held areas are helpless hostages. A year ago all of the neighborhoods in eastern Ghouta were populated by terrorists. If the Syrian army had been shelling civilians in the past, why not do now? Why are people now living in peace there?

These are questions that I put forward to people living in the West. I hope they are human enough to ask [themselves] these questions.

 

EB | Regarding misinformation from international media on the Syrian Arab Army, portraying them as murderers and rapists. Can you speak about the sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army throughout these eight years of war?

GH | I will answer your question with a question. Syria is an area of 185,000 square kilometers. According to United Nations documents, 360,000 armed terrorists infiltrated Syrian territory.

I would like to draw an example other than Syria. I’ll give the U.S., the superpower of the world, as an example. Let’s suppose that 36,000, rather than 360,000, terrorists infiltrate any state of the United States. That’s 10 percent of the number of terrorists who made their way into Syria. Let’s also suppose that such terrorists are supported by world powers. What would have happened to the U.S.?

The achievements of the Syrian Arab Army are not ordinary; these achievements are miraculous accomplishments.

The two greatest armies in modern history have failed to achieve what the Syrian Army has accomplished. In Afghanistan, fewer than 10 percent of the number of terrorists in Syria were able to defeat two armies: the Red Soviet Army and the U.S. Army.

But, the Syrian Army defeated such terrorism. According to military theory, any fight between an army and terrorist militia of armed gangs will end with the armed gangs winning. This has been evident throughout military history.

For the first time in the history of humankind, a traditional army has defeated armies of militant groups. The Syrian Army fought battles that can be classified as new in military science. The Syrian Army fought above ground and underground battles in addition to their battles against the media war, intelligence war, information war, economic war, gang and street-to-street wars. Despite all of that, the Syrian Army achieved victory. Therefore, can we imagine the magnitude of the sacrifices made in this respect by the Syrian Army?

In the first months of this war, the Syrian leadership realized that the terrorists wanted Syrians to be used to seeing blood everywhere. So, soldiers were forbidden from carrying weapons, even handguns, when they went to areas of so-called demonstrations to prevent demonstrators from destroying infrastructure.

For months the soldiers confronted the militants knowing that they could be martyred. However, the discipline of the Syrian army pushed the soldiers to do their missions without carrying a weapon.

Let any Western citizen imagine how it would be for a soldier with no weapons facing armed militants to stop them from destroying infrastructure and targeting civilians.

This is the Syrian army. The Syrian army cleared most of the Syrian regions occupied by the fiercest types of terrorism ever witnessed in the history of mankind.

 

EB |  Thank you very much for your time and for the interview in general.

GH |  I also would like to thank you all for what you’ve done so far and for all of the questions you raised. I kindly request that you share my replies with foreign readers.

Personally, I think your role as an objective journalist transcends the traditional role of journalism. It reflects an ethical responsibility of telling the truth about what you’ve seen. If you want to help the Syrian people, the greatest help you can offer the Syrian people is to tell the truth you have seen with your own eyes, not just what is said all over the internet.

Again, anyone can look up Abu Saqr al-Souri and see how he ate the heart of a dead soldier. He was a member of the so-called peaceful group of the Free Syrian Army, when he was killed — he was with the Nusra Front. This can be enough to convey the message.

INTERVIEW ON LAST AMERICAN VAGABOND: RUKBAN CAMP (SYRIA)

In Gaza – Eva Bartlett

Ryan Cristian of The Last American Vagabond had me on his show to discuss Syria & Palestine.
“In this interview we go over the US-run al-Rukban internment camp in Syria and what these people have been forced to endure even as the MSM ignores their plight, as well as some of what Eva saw while living in Palestine, the parallels between the two atrocities, and the governmental ties that bind them.”
*Note: As I update (July 25), Ryan informed me that Youtube has demonitized this particular upload on his channel.Consider supporting Ryan on his Patreon account.

Links Related to Things Discussed:

Nobody is Talking about the Sanctions against Syria!

 

Panama registered Grace 1 oil tanker carrying crude oil en route to Syria seized by Britain Pirates near occupied Gibraltar
Panama registered Grace 1 oil tanker carrying crude oil en route to Syria seized by Britain Pirates near occupied Gibraltar

In the News Coverage of the British Theft of Iranian Oil Tanker, Nobody is Talking about the Sanctions against Syria.

In the news: The smart US regime discovered an oil shipment heading from Iran to Syria and ordered their British ever-loyal servants to steal a large Iranian oil tanker carrying oil to Syria and crossing half of the world around Africa to avoid sabotage by other US satellite entities in the normal route it would take around Saudi and the blocking of the Suez Canal by the Egyptians.

Also in the news: The justification of this broad daylight piracy is that the targeted country, Syria, is under EU sanctions.

Side note: Calling themselves ‘British Royal Marines’ does not give them any legitimacy for any act of piracy around the world.

Not in the news: The draconian US and EU sanctions against Syria.

I’m trying to find where the pundits covering this news and their ‘professional’ guests are not addressing the main reason behind this story which is why Syria is under this complete blockade that it cannot purchase any single drop of oil for its 18 million inhabitants inside the country to generate electric power, to bake their bread, to harvest their crops, to fuel their cars, their heaters, to run their hospitals and factories, to live?

I’m also not aware of any other country under such severe sanctions and complete blockade by the US and its lackeys on one side, and the silent accomplices from the non-US camp. North Korea, the demonized country in the US media is allowed to import 500,000 barrels, Gaza Strip under the Israeli blockade manages to get in the minimum for their power generating station. Cuba and Venezuela, both under the US embargo, neither is suffering similar blockade.

Even ISIS, yes, ISIS the worst terrorist organization known to humankind after the Jewish Stern, Irgun and Haganah gangs in Palestine, ISIS were allowed to export the oil they stole from Syrian oilfields through NATO member state Turkey to Israel!!!

After a media photo-op, ISIS changed flags with SDF, both work for the US, and now the SDF is occupying Syria’s rich oil fields in northeast of the country. It’s a double embargo one from the Humanitarian Bastards in the West and their regional stooges, and the other by the Kurds from inside the country under the protection of the US itself.

Dr. Bashar Jaafari, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations repeated more than once in his statements at the UNSC meetings discussing the ‘humanitarian situation’ in Syria that the Syrian Ministry of Health is not allowed to purchase threads used by surgeons to sew open wounds in medical-surgical operations…

One of the main obstacles impeding the return of the Syrian displaced refugees from neighboring countries is the total embargo against Syria by the ugly criers for the humanitarian suffering in Syria. For them, it’s fine that the Syrian refugee families live in miserable inhumane conditions in the shelters in the Rukban Concentration Camp run by the US or those living in tents provided by the host countries, in order to use them for political pressure against Syria.

Suffering of Displaced Syrians in the Rukban Concentration Camp

Suffering of Displaced Syrians in the Rukban Concentration Camp

Suffering of Displaced Syrians in the Rukban Concentration Camp

Rukban

Rukban Concentration Camp for Syrian Displaced Refugees

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon in Horrible Conditions

Syrian refugees in Lebanon were placed in horrible conditions

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon – Horrible Conditions

US-based high-tech companies are allowed to cooperate with China, the US-self created enemy, but are not allowed to have Syria as a country of origin for their users in the drop-down menu as if the oldest inhabited country in the world does not exist.

US-based high tech companies removed Syria from their systems
Where did Syria go?

No financial transactions are allowed to go to Syria even by Syrian expats to their families and from their families to them like in the case of Syrian students studying in the West.

To top it up, US-sponsored Kurdish separatist militias the SDF and their notorious security forces Asayish are burning wheat fields for Syrian farmers after years of drought and terror and after Erdogan, the Turkish pariah and Caliph wannabe stole the wheat from its silos before destroying the silos itself. He also stole thousands of Syrian factories from Aleppo, Idlib, Deir Ezzor and Raqqa with the help of the FSA forces with its heart-eating commanders.

Kurdish PYD Asayish SDF Torching Wheat Farms in Qamishli, northeast of Syria
US-sponsored Kurdish militia burning wheat fields in Qamishli

Iran is under the US sanctions and the US regime wants to bring their exports to nil but has been extending the waivers for a number of countries. The reason in the stealing of the oil tanker stated by the British pirates was: Syria, where the oil is intended to, is under EU sanctions which prohibits the country from buying oil. Has nothing to do with Iran.

The importance of the lately announced 8 years delayed Iran – Iraq – Syria railway project cannot be further emphasized than in this incident and the US sponsoring of various terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, including ISIS, just to block the land connection between these three neighboring counties.


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