But Oueidat refused to be summoned, claiming Tuesday that Bitar "has no jurisdiction."
Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Marada leader chief Suleiman Franjieh met Thursday with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkerki.
"I'm not Hezbollah's candidate, I'm seeking to be a consensual candidate," Franjieh said.
He added that he would accept to be elected with 65 votes, and that he would announce his candidacy once he senses that he can secure enough votes.
"I don't want to be a confrontational president," Franjieh said, asking if MP and presidential candidate Michel Mouawwad is consensual.
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Syria's ambassador to the United Nations denounced the United States' destructive policies toward his nation, saying the US occupation has taken a toll on the security and stability of the Arab country.
In his address to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Bassam Sabbagh said that the US's actions toward the rest of the world and the region, particularly Syria, had seeded "instability and insecurity" in his country and undermined decades-long developmental gains.
According to Sabbagh, the US's harmful acts caused a significant portion of Syrians to become internally displaced, refugees, and food insecure.
Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on the political and humanitarian issues in Syria, Sabbagh said that some countries continue to take advantage of the UNSC to continue their defamation campaigns against Syria without looking for solutions to the dire humanitarian situation they put the Syrian people in.
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Russian Military Says Militants Preparing for Acts of Sabotage in Syria’s Idlib - Tasnim News Agency
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russia has warned that foreign-backed terrorists are planning a series of sabotage and terror strikes in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.
Their aim is to implicate Syrian and Russian forces and create pretexts for military action in the war-torn Arab country.
Major General Oleg Yegorov, deputy head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, stated on Tuesday that the center had received information that foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists were attempting to escalate tensions in the Idlib de-escalation zone and disrupt joint patrols conducted by Russian and Turkish military forces by attacking Syrian government forces and Russian troops.
The announcement came at a time when the people of the Yarmouk camp are calling for decisions to complete the camp's cleaning operations and remove the rubble, including the areas of Al-Urouba and Al-Taqaddum, and the neighbourhoods that were not included in the operations that took place on Yarmouk and Palestine Streets, as well as some of the camp's neighbourhoods in September 2021.
İran ile Suriye arasındaki ilişkileri ‘stratejik’ olarak nitelendiren Cumhurbaşkanı Reisi, ‘bu ilişkilerin, iki halkın ortak inançlarının yanı sıra sahip oldukları direniş ruhuna dayandığını’ söyledi.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is making efforts to restore Syria’s relations with the Arab World, specifically with Saudi Arabia, Syria’s Al-Watan reported on January 24.
Sources familiar with the matter told the government-aligned newspaper that UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan discussed the Syrian-Saudi rapprochement with President Bashar al-Assad during his surprise visit to Damascus earlier this month.
The sources noted that Abdullah bin Zayed send a message to his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, just a few hours after returning from Syria.
Initially, the minister’s visit was linked to Russia’s ongoing efforts to restore ties between Ankara and Damascus. This has been denied by Al-Watan.
On January 25, a drone strike killed a senior commander of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement who is close to al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
The commander, Saddam al-Musa, was reportedly targeted by an unidentified combat drone near his house in the Turkish-occupied town of al-Hadath, which is located in the northern countryside of Syria’s Aleppo.
Al-Musa was the commander of Ahrar al-Sham’s Eastern Sector, which is allied to HTS. The commander was very close to HTS leader Abu Mohamad al-Julani and it is said that he had pledged his allegiance to the terrorist group, which occupies the Greater Idlib region, in secret.
Syrian opposition activists said that al-Musa, also known “Abu Uday Aulan,” was threatened by the Turkish military prior to his assassination over his role in spreading HTS influence in Turkish-occupied areas.
Earlier this month, the commander refused Turkish orders to withdraw from al-Homran crossing in the northern Aleppo countryside, which links Turkish-occupied areas with the territory of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. The crossing is one of the key oil smuggling routes in war-torn Syria.
The M4 highway is considered a major crossing for the international shipping route that connects Turkey, Iraq and Jordan via Syria
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
In a meeting with the Syrian defense minister, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has said the Islamic Republic is ready to help Damascus financially in rebuilding the country.
Raisi also described the relations between the two countries as strategic stating that Iran will always stand by Syria.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a true friend of the Syrian nation because it stood by the Syrian nation and government during the period of resistance against terrorism and is ready now to stand by them during the reconstruction period by boosting all-round economic cooperation,” Raisi told the Syrian minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas.
The comments by Raisi comes at a time when Iran is facing one of its most severe economic crises with the national currency at a historic low, with tens of millions hit by unexpected poverty.
Meanwhile, in a separate meeting, Commander of the Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami told the Syrian official that Tehran is ready to help Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces in the required fields.
Türkiye’s sharp shift in its Syria policy has become the centerpiece of the recent diplomatic traffic regarding Syria.
İdlib’in güneyinde ve batısında bulunan başlıca ilçeler ile Hama kırsalındaki Gab Ovası'nın kuzey kesiminde yaşayanlar, yakınlarından geçen M4 Halep-Lazkiye uluslararası karayolunun açılması ve rejim güçlerinin yolun güneyine ilerleyip kontrol etmesi ihtimalinin basında yer almaya başlamasının endişeye kapıldı. Halk, Moskova’nın girişimleriyle Ankara ile Şam arasında normalleşmeye dair ilk adımların atılmasından korkuyorlar.
İdlib'in güneyindeki Eriha ilçesinde ikamet eden 58 yalındaki Ebu Hasan şu açıklamada bulundu:
“Eğer Türk basınında yer alan ve ‘M4’ adıyla bilinen Halep-Lazkiye uluslararası karayolunun Rusya ve Suriye rejiminin katılımıyla açılmasına yönelik hazırlıklara işaret eden haberler doğruysa bu, bölgenin başına yeni bir felaketin gelecek demektir. Cisr es-Şuğur ve Eriha gibi yolun kuzeyindeki ve güneyindeki kasabalarda ve Cebel ez-Zaviye’deki 20’den fazla köy ve kasabada yaklaşık 250 bin kişi, geçim kaynağını ve çiftliklerini kaybedecektir. Aynı şekilde muhalifler de Suriye'nin kuzeyindeki birçok tarım ürününü güvence altına alan bir tarım ambarı olarak kabul edilen Gab Ovası'nın kuzey kesimini ve er-Ruj Vadisi’ni kaybedecek. Çünkü Türkiye ile Rusya arasında yapılacak bir anlaşma ile karayolunun açılması, Suriye rejim güçlerinin bu bölgelere doğru ilerleyeceği ve kontrol altına alacağı anlamına geliyor. Sonuç olarak, bölge sakinleri kaçmak ve mülteci kamplarına gitmek zorunda kalacaklar.”
ALEPPO, Syria: At 2:30 a.m. on January 22, Sheikh Maksoud, a Kurdish-majority neighborhood in Syria’s Aleppo, was struck by tragedy. A five-story residential building collapsed, burying dozens of residents under a mountain of rubble.
After round-the-clock rescue efforts, 16 bodies were recovered and two survivors were brought to the neighborhood’s hospital for treatment. According to state media, the structure’s foundations had been weakened by water leakage.
For residents of Sheikh Maksoud, this is just the latest in a litany of disasters as the neighborhood struggles to survive under a crushing siege imposed by opposition and regime groups alike.
Over the past decade, Aleppo has been transformed from a once-thriving trade, travel and cultural hub into a battleground, leaving much of the city in ruins.
"If the current political and economic status quo continues to prevail throughout 2023, it is likely that the lira to dollar exchange rate will double at the end-of-year horizon," an expert warns.
Lebanon’s public prosecutor and head of its domestic intelligence agency also are charged in connection with the 2020 explosion, which killed at least 218 people.
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Tuesday designated a Lebanon-based network accused of facilitating financial activities for Hezbollah and helping the militant group profit from the country’s economic meltdown.
The man at the center of the network is Hassan Moukalled, a Lebanese money exchanger and economist who the US Treasury Department said “plays a key role in enabling Hezbollah to continue to exploit and exacerbate Lebanon’s economic crisis.”
In a statement, the Treasury said Moukalled works closely with the previously sanctioned Hezbollah finance official Muhammad Qasir, including on business deals involving Russia and in obtaining weapons for Iran-backed Hezbollah. He also played an intermediary role in negotiations between the country’s Central Bank and Hezbollah in 2016.
The department also blacklisted Moukalled’s Beirut-based money-services business, CTEX Exchange, which it said functions as a financial front company for Hezbollah.
“As Lebanon and its economy faced a dire and ongoing financial crisis in mid-2022, Hassan Moukalled was working with Hezbollah officials to capitalize on investors’ and expatriates’ efforts to make money in the Lebanese financial sector and transfer cash out of Lebanon,” Treasury said in a statement.
The Treasury further designated Moukalled’s sons Rayyan Moukalled and Rani Moukalled, who are accused of helping enable his financial activities, and two additional companies that are owned or controlled by Moukalled.
“As corruption undermines economic growth and the ability of individuals to provide for their families, the United States is committed to holding accountable those who exploit their privileged positions for personal gain,” Brian Nelson, the Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.
Özgür Yurtsever Hareketi lideri Cibran Basil ile Hizbullah Genel Sekreteri Hasan Nasrallah’ın siyasi danışmanı Hüseyin Halil başkanlığındaki bir heyet, aralarındaki siyasi gerilimin ardından bir görüşme gerçekleştirdi. ‘Samimi’ ve ‘kapsamlı’ bir toplantı yapıldığını belirten Halil, Mar Mihail Mutabakatı’nın yürürlükte olduğunu vurguladı.
Çatışma içerisinde oldukları iddialarını yalanlayan Halil sözlerini şöyle sürdürdü:
“Görüşme çok açık ve netti. Cumhurbaşkanlığı ve hükümet oturumları konusunda birçok fikir sunduk. Bu son görüşmemiz olmayacak. Görüşmenin detaylarına fazla girmeyeceğim. Zira tavsiyeleri medya önünde değil, kapalı kapılar ardında yapıyoruz. Mar Mihail Mutabakatı yürürlükte. Biz ve Özgür Yurtsever Hareketi, biri diğerinden hızlı olsa dahi birbiriyle çarpışmayacak iki araba gibi tek yönde ilerliyoruz. Basil'den bu hususta bir kırgınlık görmedik.”
Aralarındaki farklılıkları doğal olarak nitelendiren Halil ayrıca “Biz tek parti değiliz. Bazı konulara farklı yaklaşımda bulunan iki partiyiz. Ancak her zaman ortak noktalarda çalışıyoruz” ifadelerini kullandı.
Liman patlaması konusunda adli soruşturmacı Tarık Bitar'ın görev başına dönmesi hususunda da şunları söyledi:
“Hizbullah'ın yargı konusunda bir görüşü var. Yargının beyaz olması gereken kıyafeti, liman dosyası da dahil olmak üzere pek çok kara noktayı gözler önüne serdi.”