"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

Lübnan Marunîleri / Yasin Atlıoğlu


Friday, March 31, 2017

Jumblat Says Won't Accept an Electoral Law that 'Divides Lebanese, Terminates Partnership'- Naharnet

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat stressed Friday that he will not accept any electoral law that "divides the Lebanese."
"An electoral system that divides the Lebanese and terminates partnership and diversity cannot be accepted," Jumblat tweeted.
The PSP leader has rejected the proportional representation system, warning that it would "marginalize" his minority Druze community, whose presence is concentrated in the Aley and Chouf areas.
Hizbullah has repeatedly called for an electoral law fully based on proportional representation and a single or several large electorates.

RT spots US ‘advisers’ on Raqqa frontline on visit to Syria’s strategic Euphrates Dam- RT

An RT crew has gained access to the strategic Tabqa dam, partially recaptured by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces with the help of US troops who were deployed to Syria to “train, advise and assist” but who were spotted just miles away from Raqqa frontline.

Russia Today, Rakka yakınlarındaki ABD askerlerini görüntüledi- Sputnik News

Russia Today (RT) televizyonu, Suriye'nin kuzeyindeki Rakka kentinin yakınında bulunan ABD askerlerini görüntüledi.

Russia Today (RT) ekibi, ABD askerlerinin görüntülerini IŞİD'in 'başkent' olarak kabul ettiği Rakka'da, Tabka Barajı'nın bulunduğu bölgede kaydetti.

Israel-Lebanon maritime dispute explained- Al-Jazeera

Lebanon will not yield its maritime territory to Israel, Lebanese officials say.

Nikki Haley: Assad's overthrow no longer a priority- Al-Jazeera

While acknowledging the Syrian president is a 'hindrance' to peace, US ambassador to UN says he is no longer the focus.

The United States has said that it is no longer focused on ousting President Bashar al-Assad as it seeks a new strategy to end Syria's civil war.

American officials have been shifting away for some time from their former insistence that he must go, but now they have made it explicit.

"Rejim Hama'da ilerledi"- Al-Jazeera Turk

Suriye İnsan Hakları Gözlemevi, Rusya destekli rejim ordusunun geçen hafta Hama’nın kırsalında muhaliflere kaptırdığı bazı bölgeleri geri aldığını söyledi.

Muhalifler geçen hafta Hama’nın kırsalında operasyon başlatmıştı. Adını Şam’ın Fethi Cephesi olarak değiştiren Nusra Cephesi’nin başka muhalif gruplarla birleşerek oluşturduğu Tahrir Şam Heyeti de bu operasyonda yer almıştı.

Kısa süre içinde rejimin aleyhinde hızlı bir ilerleme sağlayan muhalifleri durdurmak için rejim bölgeye takviye göndermişti.

Rejim güçleri bölgeye yoğun hava saldırıları ve top atışları yapmıştı.

Muhaliflerin Hama’daki operasyonu, Şam’da başlatılan başka bir operasyonla eş zamanlı başlatılmıştı. Her iki Saldırı da Cenevre'de düzenlenen müzakerelerin hemen öncesinde düzenlenmişti.

Army Regains Territory Lost in Central Syria- Naharnet

Syria's army and allied fighters have regained most of the territory they lost during an assault launched by rebels and jihadists earlier this month in the country's center, a monitor said Friday.
"The regime has recaptured 75 percent of the territory it lost in the north of Hama province," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.
An array of factions, including an alliance headed by a former Al-Qaeda affiliate, launched an assault on government positions in Hama province on March 21, seizing several strategic areas.
But after a string of losses, the regime sent significant reinforcements to the region, the Observatory said, and has been able to reverse most of its losses, backed by heavy air strikes from ally Russia.
The factions involved in the assault still hold a handful of newly gained areas, including the town of Suran, which has changed hands several times since the Syrian war began in 2011.
Hama province is of strategic importance to President Bashar al-Assad, as it separates opposition forces in the northwestern province of Idlib from Damascus to the south and from the regime's coastal heartlands to the west.

Hariri to Start European Tour Next Week- Naharnet

After concluding a visit to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Saad Hariri is preparing for a European tour that will begin next week and includes France, Germany and Brussels, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.
The daily obtained information that French President Francoise Hollande, who will receive Hariri on April 3, will honor him from the rank of Knight to the rank of Commodore at a ceremony at the Elysee Palace.
The PM is expected to travel the next day to Germany for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then moves to Belgium to attend a Brussels conference on helping Syria's neighboring countries cope with the burden of Syrian displacement and to present Lebanon's plan in this regard.
Hariri will present during his tour a new Lebanese approach to the file of the Syrian displacement and the needs of Lebanon to shoulder its burdens.
It will be announced that Lebanon hosts a large number of displaced people as a humanitarian and moral duty pending a political solution to the Syrian crisis so they can return safely to their country.

Syrian Army derails ISIL’s offensive in Deir Ezzor- Al-Masdar News

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:00 P.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIL) launched another offensive in the Deir Ezzor Governorate this week, targeting the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) defenses around the provincial cemetery and Panorama Roundabout.

ISIL began the offensive by simultaneously storming the Syrian Arab Army’s western flank at both the Panorama Roundabout and provincial cemetery; this would result in a series of intense clashes that would last for most of the day on Thursday.

Unable to infiltrate the Syrian Arab Army’s defenses, the Islamic State militants were forced to withdraw their assault in order to avoid anymore casualties.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

How the Syrian Civil War Has Transformed Hezbollah- The Nation

The Lebanese Shiite militia, which has played a central role in defending the Assad regime, is now a powerful regional player.

Syrian opposition rejects 'any role' for Assad- FRANCE 24

The Syrian opposition to the Damascus regime said Thursday it rejected "any role" now or in the future for current President Bashar al-Assad, even though the United States now says Assad's departure is no longer a priority to end the conflict.
"The opposition will never accept any role for Bashar al-Assad at any phase... there will be no change in our position," said Monzer Makhos, a spokesman for the opposition High Negotiations Committee, composed of key Syrian opposition groups in Geneva.
For the past week, a fifth round of UN-sponsored negotiations seeking to halt Syria's six-year war has been under way in the Swiss city.

Syria, Russia Prepare For Operation To Lift ISIS Siege From Deir Ezzor- South Front

A military meeting was held in the capital Damascus to discuss a possible operation to lift of the ISIS siege of Deir Ezzor through the capture of the strategic Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway.
Representatives of the Russian military, high-ranking commanders of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), leaders of the newly-formed 5th Storming Corps, heads of Deir Ezzor tribes (like Fares Dagheem, Asa’ad al-Issa, Daham al-Jarad, and Mohammad Saleh) were involved.
The discussion focused on the possibility of launching a military operation to recapture the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway and to lift the siege from the embattled city.
It was suggested to launch a volunteer campaign to recruit the sons of Deir Ezzor from camps for internally displaced persons, tribal youth, and retired veterans to the 5th Storming Corps and pro-government tribal forces deployed in Palmyra and its countryside.
It is expected that Russia will support this campaign financially. Moscow has been already dooing this for some time providing a variety of weapons and equipment including the T-62m tanks to local tribal forces involved into the battle against ISIS.

Hundreds Flee Clashes for Control of Syria's Tabqa- Naharnet

Hundreds of civilians fled their homes Thursday as fresh clashes erupted between Islamic State group jihadists and a Kurdish-Arab alliance near the town of Tabqa in northern Syria. 
Women, children and men crossed through the village of Suwaidiya Saghira on tractors, pickups, motorbikes and donkeys to take shelter in areas seized by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to close in on the jihadists' Syrian bastion of Raqa.
Hundreds of civilians also fled Tabqa and nearby villages by boat, crossing to the north of the Euphrates River, said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

Four Perspectives on Syria, Round II- The Century Foundation

The Century Foundation’s fellows have closely followed the conflict in Syria through another year of major developments, which have affected strategic relationships not just in the Middle East but across the world. TCF fellows Thanassis Cambanis, Michael Hanna, Sam Heller, and  Aron Lund joined an online discussion to assess the latest developments in Syria and prospects for the future.

Rusya Dışişleri'nden Fırat Kalkanı açıklaması: Aktif biçimde çalışıyoruz-

Rusya Dışişleri Bakanlığı Sözcüsü Mariya Zaharova, haftalık basın toplantısını düzenledi. Zaharova, Türkiye'nin Fırat Kalkanı operasyonunu bitirmiş olmasına ilişkin olarak "Türkiye ile Suriye konusunda hem ikili olarak hem de Moskova, Tahran ve Ankara üçlüsü olarak temas halindeyiz. Türk meslektaşlarımızla aktif biçimde çalışıyoruz" dedi.

2 Syrians Killed as Blast Rips through Their Pickup in Arsal- Naharnet

Two Syrians were killed on Thursday when a blast ripped through a pickup truck they were riding in the Bekaa border town of Arsal, media reports said.
The agency identified the dead as Hawwa al-Zuhouri, 20, and Nour al-Husseiki, 25, saying they hail from the Syrian town of Qusayr.
A Lebanese woman from the Kranbi family and two other Syrians who hail from Qusayr were also wounded in the blast, NNA added.
Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) meanwhile said the explosion was caused by the accidental detonation of a suicide vest that Husseiki was wearing.
Lebanese officials said the blast on the outskirts of Arsal burned the small truck that the five people were using.

BM: Suriyeli sığınmacıların sayısı 5 milyonu geçti- Al-Jazeera Turk

Birleşmiş Milletler, çevre ülkelerdeki Suriyeli sığınmacıların sayısının 6 yıldan bu yana ilk kez 5 milyonu geçtiğini açıkladı. Türkiye yaklaşık 3 milyon sığınmacı ile en çok Suriyeli ağırlayan ülke konumunda.

US air strikes on Tabqa Dam- aldinabazovic.wordpress.com

The Tabqa Dam is largest dam in Syria and its located on the Euphrates river, 40 kilometers West from city of Raqqa in Raqqa Governorate.
Nearest city to the dam is Al-Tabqa and its located South of the dam itself.
During the Syrian Civil War on 11 February 2013 the dam was captured from government forces by the Opposition fighters, and during the late 2014 Islamic State took control of the dam facilities.
In late January 2017 Kurdish-Arab alliance known as Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) started advancing toward Tabqa dam facilities. During that time ISIS started threatening that it will open floodgates, hoping to stop SDF advances or at least slow them down.
On 26 March SDF confirmed that they managed to capture most parts of the dam from ISIS, the dam itself was reported to have become inoperable.

Hariri Meets Saudi Defense Minister in Riyadh- Naharnet

Prime Minister Saad Hariri held a meeting on Thursday with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman at the latter's office in Riyadh, Hariri's press office said in a statement.
The meeting with the Saudi deputy, who is leading a massive campaign to introduce reforms to the world's largest oil exporter, reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries as well as latest developments in the Middle East.
In an indication of warming relations between Riyadh and Hariri, the PM had accompanied Saudi King Salman to Riyadh aboard a royal Saudi plane after the end of the Arab Summit in Jordan on Wednesday.
Hariri had also traveled with the monarch onboard a helicopter that carried them from the Arab Summit's venue in the Dead Sea region to the Jordanian capital Amman.
President Michel Aoun, Economy Minister Raed Khoury, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil and Hariri attended the Arab League Summit at the Dead Sea in Jordan.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

U.S. War Footprint Grows in Middle East, With No Endgame in Sight- The New York Times

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The United States launched more airstrikes in Yemen this month than during all of last year. In Syria, it has airlifted local forces to front-line positions and has been accused of killing civilians in airstrikes. In Iraq, American troops and aircraft are central in supporting an urban offensive in Mosul, where airstrikes killed scores of people on March 17.

Two months after the inauguration of President Trump, indications are mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames.

Rather than representing any formal new Trump doctrine on military action, however, American officials say that what is happening is a shift in military decision-making that began under President Barack Obama. On display are some of the first indications of how complicated military operations are continuing under a president who has vowed to make the military “fight to win.”

Turkey Announces Successful End of 'Euphrates Shield' Operation in Syria- Sputnik News

The Turkish National Security Council announced the end of the 'Euphrates Shield' military campaign in northern Syria.

On August 24, Turkish forces, supported by Free Syrian Army rebels and US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed the Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area from Daesh terrorist group.
The campaign was the first Turkey's incursion into Syria, however, earlier Turkish forces attacked Kurdish positions in Syria from its side of the border. The operation has been widely criticized both by the Syrian Kurds and Damascus, who have accused Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.

Aoun Warns on Refugee Burden, Urges End to 'Wars among Brothers'- Naharnet

President Michel Aoun warned Wednesday that tiny Lebanon is reeling under the impact of the presence of around two million Syrian and Palestinian refugees on its soil, as he called for an end to the “wars among brothers” in the region.
“Lebanon, which started to recover after its institutions returned to normalcy, is still haunted by anxiety and concern and it has not yet known relief or reassurance, and today it is addressing your conscience,” Aoun said in a speech at the 28th Arab Summit in Jordan, his first since being elected Lebanon's president.
“It is true that the flames raging around it have not reached it, but it is suffering the repercussions and reeling under their burden. We are seeing the misery and pain around us and we are trying to help as much as possible, but when the needed exceeds our capacity, we drown in the burdens and they start to pose a threat to us,” Aoun warned.
He noted that today Lebanon is hosting “Syrians and Palestinians whose numbers are equivalent to half of its Lebanese population,” adding that “the numbers are increasing.”
“As you know, Lebanon with its nature, small territory and scarce resources is a migration and not a resettlement country,” the president told the summit.

Arab Leaders Denounce 'Foreign Interference'- Naharnet

Arab leaders meeting Wednesday at a summit in Jordan denounced "foreign interference" in their affairs, in reference to Iran, and called for the settlement of conflicts that are tearing the region apart.
As at previous summits, the leaders of the 22-member Arab League criticized Iran, but without naming the Shiite-dominated main regional rival of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.
"We reject any intervention in the internal affairs of Arab countries," they said in a declaration at the end of their one-day meeting in the Jordanian town of Sweimeh on the Dead Sea coast.
In their statement, they also called for a revival of "serious and productive peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians" and renewed their commitment to a two-state solution.
Since taking office in January, U.S. President Donald Trump has sent mixed signals over how his administration will address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including a break with decades of U.S. policy by saying he would be open to a one-state solution if it meant peace.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the leaders he would refuse to accept "temporary or regional" attempts to solve the conflict.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

İdlib'de iki köyün tahliyesi için anlaşmaya varıldı- Sputnik News

Lübnan merkezli El Mayadin televizyonu, İdlib'de yoğunlukla Şiilerin yaşadığı Fua ve Kefraya köylerinden önümüzdeki günlerde yaklaşık 8 bin sivilin tahliye edileceğini bildirdi.

Suriye yönetiminin silahlı gruplarla vardığı anlaşmaya göre, İdlib bölgesinde kuşatma altında olan Fua ve Kefraya köylerinin sakinlerine bölgeyi terk etme şansı verilecek. Karşılığında 8 bin militan, Rif-Dimaşk bölgesindeki Madaya ve Zabadani kentlerinden çıkma hakkı alacak.

Silahlı grupların kontrolündeki Madaya ve Zabadani kentleri ile kuşatma altındaki Fua ve Kefraya köyleri, lokal ateşkes anlaşması kapsamında yer alıyor.

Arab Foreign Ministers Finalize Summit Documents- Asharq Al-Awsat

Dead Sea (Jordan) – Arab foreign ministers put the final touches on the main documents, which will be discussed by the Arab League Summit leaders in the Dead Sea on Wednesday.

Arab ministerial sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that an “unprecedented atmosphere” prevailed over the preparatory meetings, as all parties have agreed on the need to overcome crises threatening the future of the Arab region and to find Arab-made solutions away from foreign interference.

Tehran: Russia Can Use Iranian Military Bases ‘On Case By Case Basis’- South Front

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tuesday that Russia can use Iranian military bases for airstrikes in Syria on a “case by case basis.”

The Russian Aerospace Forces used the Iranian Hamadan Airbase to conduct airstrikes against terrorists in August 2016. Iran reportedly granted Moscow permission to deploy an undisclosed number of Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bombers and Sukhoi Su-34 strike fighters.

Dışişleri Bakanlığı: Kerkük'te Kürt yönetimi bayrağının asılması, Irak anayasasına aykırı- Sputnik News

Dışişleri Bakanlığı, Irak'ın Kerkük kenti valisi Necmeddin Kerim'in tüm kamu kurumlarına Irak Kürt Bölgesel Yönetimi (IKBY) bayrağının asılması kararına tepki gösterdi.

Rusya-PYD nereye?- Al-Jazeera Turk

Son haftalarda yaşanan gelişmeler, PKK’nın Suriye kolu PYD ile Rusya arasındaki ilişkilerin boyutunu, içeriğini ve geleceğini gündeme getirdi. Moskova-PYD ilişkilerini uzmanlara sorduk.

IS Counter-Attacks to Defend North Syria Stronghold- Naharnet

Clashes raged around a key northern Syrian town on Tuesday after the Islamic State group launched a counter-attack to fend off a US-backed advance near the jihadists' stronghold Raqa. 
Backed by air power from an international coalition bombing IS, the Syrian Democratic Forces are laying the groundwork for an assault on the heart of the jihadists' so-called "caliphate".
A key part of the campaign is the battle for the IS-held town of Tabqa on the Euphrates River, as well as the adjacent dam and military airport. 
The SDF seized the Tabqa airbase late Sunday and began pushing north towards the town itself, but IS fighters doubled down on their defenses on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.  
"The fighting is a result of IS launching a counter-offensive to exhaust the Syrian Democratic Forces around the Tabqa military airport," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman. 

Russia, Iran Ink Economic Deals as Rouhani Visits Moscow- Naharnet

Russia signed Tuesday a string of bilateral agreements with Iran as President Vladimir Putin hosted his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani for his first official visit to Moscow. 
The meeting between Putin and Rouhani, who have grown closer through their mutual support of Syrian president Bashar Assad, mostly focused on flourishing economic ties in the fields of energy and industry. 
Putin said in televised comments after the meeting that trade between the countries had "grown more than 70 percent" last year. 
"This is truly a good result considering that it was achieved in unstable global conditions and amid persistent volatility on the commodity and currency markets," Putin said. 
A joint statement published by the Kremlin said that "special attention" had been paid to cooperation in energy, with both sides pledging to continue efforts to stabilize the international market.
In addition to cooperation on Syria, energy and defense ties have deepened between Iran and Russia in recent years. 

Former Presidents, PMs Forward Letter to Arab Summit- Naharnet

A new difficulty has surfaced on the eve of the Arab summit after reports said that five former presidents and premiers of Lebanon have sent a letter to head of the Arab summit including negative positions of Hizbullah -which was interpreted as bypassing Lebanon's position, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.
Lebanon's participation in the summit is keen on highlighting the image and consistent position of the country during the new term of President Michel Aoun with PM Saad Hariri's participation. But what drew the attention was a message sent to the summit by five former presidents and prime ministers which perturbs Lebanon's stance during the summit, said the daily.
Credible sources told the newspaper on condition of anonymity that “ex-Presidents Amin Gemayel, Michel Suleiman and ex-PMs Fouad Saniora, Tammam Salam and Najib Miqati have sent a letter to the Arab summit.
“The three-page letter focused on five issues: Emphasizing the Taef Accord, emphasizing commitment to international resolutions particularly UN resolution 1701, illegal arms, the Baabda Declaration, the dissociation policy, spreading of the state authority and cessation of external involvements in the Syrian crisis.”

Monday, March 27, 2017

De Mistura'dan 4 başlıklı belge- Al-Jazeera Turk

BM Suriye Özel Temsilcisi Staffan de Mistura, Esed rejimi ve muhalefetin heyetlerine siyasi geçiş müzakerelerinin içeriğine ilişkin belge sundu. Geçiş yönetiminin güvenilir, kapsayıcı, kamu kurumları ve hizmetlerinin devamlılığını sağlayan, insan haklarını koruyan bir yapıda olması öngörülürken, anayasanın kapsayıcı, yetkili, şeffaf ve katılımcı olarak tasarlanacağı ifade ediliyor. Belgede ülke dışına çıkan ve ülke içinde yerinden edilmiş Suriyelilerin de oy vermesi gerektiğine işaret ediliyor.

US-backed Syria forces pause operations near Tabqa dam- Al-Jazeera

US-backed Syrian fighters on Monday paused their offensive for a key dam held by ISIL to allow a technical team to enter the complex, a spokeswoman said.
There have been fears about the integrity of the dam after fighting in the area forced it out of service on Sunday, following earlier UN warnings that a collapse would be "catastrophic".
With air support from the US-led coalition against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are fighting to seize the town of Tabqa and the adjacent dam on the Euphrates River, as part of their battle to take the hardline group's self-declared capital of Raqqa.

Jumblat: Save Lebanon's Electricity Sector from Corruption- Naharnet

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat voiced calls on Monday to save Lebanon's notoriously ineffective and costly electricity sector from plagued “corruption” and described the persisting power crisis as the result of failed political polices a “crime.”
“Stop dividing electricity spoils and save Lebanon's electricity sector from shabbiness, corruption and those avaricious for money and politics. What is happening today is a crime,” said Jumblat on his Twitter account.
“All the matter needs is a clear decision to build a new power plant with $1 billion, equal to the annual deficit. We might as well stop distributing (leasing power generating) Turkish ships,” lamented Jumblat.
The Democratic Gathering leader's comments came after reports that energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil suggested a new project to lease three power generating Turkish vessels, instead of two already present in Lebanon, to supply the country with needed power before the summer season begins. The step comes amid anticipations that Lebanon expects to receive favorable number of tourists this year.

Kurdish leader expects Raqqa to join federal system in Syria- Al-Masdar News

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:58 P.M.) – The northern Syrian city of Raqqa is expected to join a decentralized system of government being set up by Syrian Kurdish groups and their allies once it is captured from ISIS, a leading Kurdish politician told Reuters on Monday.
The U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are closing in on the ISIS de facto capital of Raqqa.
Saleh Muslim, the co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish PYD party, claimed it would be up to the people of Raqqa to decide their future once the city is purged of ISIS, but he thinks the city will join the “democratic federal” system, Reuters reported.

Rakka operasyonuna katılan ABD askerleri'ABD, Rakka operasyonuyla Suriye'yi bölmeye çalışıyor'- Sputnik News

Suriyeli Baas Partisi yetkilisi Halef El Muftah, ABD'nin Rakka operasyonunu, 'Suriye'yi bölme planını gerçekleştirmeye yönelik' bir araç olarak kullandığını iddia etti.

Sputnik'in sorularını yanıtlayan Muftah, ABD'ninSuriye'de terörle mücadele etmediğini savundu.
Muftah, şöyle konuştu: "ABD öncülüğündeki koalisyon, Suriye'de terörle mücadele etmiyor. Koalisyonun amacı, Ortadoğu'daki sınırları değiştirmek, Suriye'nin toprak bütünlüğüne son vererek federal bölgeler kurmak."

290 gunmen and their families leave al-Waer neighborhood in Homs- SANA

Homs, SANA- At least 290 gunmen and their families have left al-Waer neighborhood on the western outskirts of Homs in implementing the reconciliation agreement and according to the set program which extends between 6 to 8 weeks, SANA reporter said Monday.
The reporter added that the process of evacuation of gunmen from the neighborhood to the northern countryside is continued until completing the evacuation of the second batch which is set to include about 1500 gunmen.
Al-Waer agreement aims at evacuating the neighborhood of weapons and gunmen so that state institutions can operate once again. It was accomplished by the Syrian sides without foreign interference.
On March 18, 423 gunmen, who rejected the reconciliation agreement, and 1056 members of their families left the neighborhood, while about 625 persons had their files settled according to the amnesty decree No. 15 for 2016 .

Russian frigate Admiral Grigorovich heads for Syria- SANA

Moscow, SANA – The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Monday that Russian frigate Admiral Grigorovich left the port of Sevastopol in Crimea heading for the Syrian coast.
The Ministry added that the frigate will cross the Bosporus Strait in the Black Sea on Tuesday and will join at the same day a group of Russian warships deployed near the Syrian coast in the Mediterranean Sea.
The frigate Grigorovich entered service in the Russian naval fleet in 2016 and is armed with Kalibr cruise missiles and anti-aircraft systems, in addition to torpedoes and anti-submarine weapons. The frigate participated in 2016 in the operations against ISIS terrorist organization in Syria as one of the Russian warships operating in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Syrian Arab Republic delegation headed by al-Jaafari arrives at UN HQ for talks with Ramzy- SANA

Geneva, SANA- The Syrian Arab Republic delegation headed by Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari arrived at the UN HQ in Geneva on Monday to hold talks with UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy in the framework of the fifth round of the intra-Syrian dialogue.
On Saturday, The Syrian delegation held the second session of talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura at the UN headquarters.
A source close to the UN said that the delegation presented a paper on combating terrorism during the talks.
In a press conference on Friday, al-Jaafari asserted that there’s no division of the four baskets of the Geneva talks, but there are necessities that will be resorted to such as starting discussing the counter-terrorism basket because the main and prevailing issue on the Syrian scene now is terrorism.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Syria U.S.-Backed Fighters Enter IS-Held Airport- Naharnet

Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance on Sunday entered a military airport held by the Islamic State jihadist group in northern Syria, a spokesman said.
The advance on Tabqa airbase comes as the alliance prepares an attack on IS' de facto Syrian capital Raqa, seeking to effectively surround the city before launching its assault.
SDF forces are also battling for the nearby Tabqa dam, held by IS, which was forced out of service on Sunday after its power station was damaged, a technical source there told AFP.
SDF spokesman Talal Sello said clashes were ongoing at Tabqa airbase, which IS captured in 2014.
"The SDF has taken control of more than 50 percent of Tabqa military airport. Fighting is ongoing inside the airport and its surroundings and full control of the airport is expected within the next few hours," he said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said IS forces had withdrawn from the airbase under heavy artillery fire and U.S.-led coalition air strikes.
IS seized the base from government troops in August 2014 and carried out one of its worst massacres there, killing up to 200 government soldiers.

Russia ready to take part in restoring oil production in Syria - energy minister- TASS

KUWAIT CITY, March 26. /TASS/. Russia is discussing its oil companies’ participation in restoring oil extracting infrastructure in Syria, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Seyassah.

"We constantly contact with our Syrian partners on the possible participation of companies from Russia in implementing oil and gas projects or restoring the already existing projects on Syria’s territory," Novak said.

Novak said he discussed this issue at the meeting with Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ghanem. "We discussed in detail the issue of participation of major Russian companies in projects on prospecting and producing oil and gas in Syria, paying special attention to security," he added.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Russia's Defense Ministry says US-led coalition unlikely to launch battle for Raqqa soon- TASS

MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s words that a battle to recapture the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State will start in the coming hours are not based on true understanding of the situation "on the ground," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.

Raqqa is believed to be an unofficial capital of Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia) in Syria. On Friday, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, "Raqqa is encircled and the battle for Raqqa will start in the coming days."

"Friday’s optimism of the French defense minister, who announced Raqqa is encircled, has some specific national sources of inspiration which are not related to reality and situation ‘on the ground’," Konashenkov said.

"These rosy slogans about the encirclement and speedy victory of the (US-led) coalition in Iraq’s Mosul have ended up with heavy casualties among Iraqi forces and a growing humanitarian disaster," he added. "Even the biggest optimists have stopped hoping that Mosul will be fully recaptured from Islamic State this year. It is evident for any military expert that liberation of Raqqa will not be an easy stroll for the international coalition."

Syrian, Russian air force runs rampage, smashes militant reinforcements in rural Hama- Al-Masdar News

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:37 P.M.) – As the Syrian Army intensifies their counterattack against jihadist forces in rural Hama, the Syrian and Russian air force has been playing a pivotal role in smashing their positions and reinforcements.
Syrian war choppers have destroyed numerous jihadi vehicles, killing an undisclosed number of militants. The concentration of the helicopter attacks were in Taibat al-Imam, Halfaya, al-Latamneh, Maarakbeh and Kafer Nbouda in northern Hama countryside.
Meanwhile, in Hama’s southern countryside, Russian airstrikes have targeted jihadist locations in the village of Aqrab. The small town of Aqrab became known because of a Free Syrian Army massacre where they bombed and killed 300 civilians, mostly Alawites, in the village.

Nusra Official Held in Baalbek after Surveillance- Naharnet

A member of the jihadist group al-Nusra Front was arrested Thursday in the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek, state-run National News Agency reported.
NNA said the man was arrested by State Security agents after “a close surveillance operation.”
“He is an official of the so-called al-Sham Brigades, which operate in Arsal's outskirts and are affiliated with al-Nusra Front,” the agency added.

Hariri Says Electoral Law Talks 'Positive', Israel Mustn't Blame Lebanon for Hizbullah 'Regional' Ties- Naharnet

Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced Thursday that Lebanon is not headed for a crisis regarding the electoral law, while noting that Hizbullah's presence as an armed group is a “regional issue.”
“The atmosphere is positive and I believe that we are not headed for a crisis... I'm confident that we will reach an electoral law that represents all Lebanese,” Hariri told Lebanese reporters accompanying him to Egypt at the end of a two-day official visit.
Asked whether the large number of agreements that Lebanon has signed with Egypt during the visit were aimed at compensating for the decrease in cooperation with the Gulf countries, Hariri said: “No, not at all.”

Friday, March 24, 2017

Syrian Army Kills Tahrir al Sham Extremists' Commander in Western Hama Province- Sputnik News

Syria's government army has killed a field commander of the Tahrir al-Sham militant group in the north of Hama, the capital of Syria's western province of the same name.

DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — According to al-Mayadeen television broadcaster, the commander of the group subordinate to the Jabhat Fatah al Sham (al-Nusra Front) terrorist organization was identified as Abu Ahd Isham.

Gemayel: Proportional Representation Radically Changes Political System,Taef- Naharnet

Kataeb party leader MP Sami Gemayel emphasized that the party still prefers to hold the upcoming parliamentary elections using individual districts --one person, one vote--or proportional representation in small districts, al-Joumhouria daily said on Thursday.
“We are still on our position as for staging the elections using individual districts or proportionality in small districts,” Gemayel told the daily.
Whether he believes an agreement on a new law will be reached in April as reports say, he said: “God willing. But frankly, I personally see nothing of that sort. I have not sensed any serious suggestion.”
On proposals calling to stage the elections under a proportional representation system, the Kataeb chief said: “Proportional representation means a radical change in the political system, the Taef Agreement and the Constitution. I don't know if they will go that far.”
The political parties have intensified their efforts in a bid to agree on a new electoral law before the expiry of the deadlines.

UN-Backed Syria Peace Talks to Restart in Geneva- Naharnet

Syrian rivals were to resume UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva on Thursday, with escalating violence and deadlock on key issues dimming hopes of a breakthrough. 
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura tried to strike an optimistic note when the previous round ended last month.
He insisted government and rebel negotiators had agreed on a "clear agenda" and that "everything is ready" for the talks to move forward. 
On the agenda for this round are issues of governance -- a political transition, the constitution and elections, as well as counter-terrorism at the request of Damascus.
But an already-fragile ceasefire has deteriorated further in recent days after rebels and allied jihadists launched two surprise offensives on government positions in Damascus and central Hama province.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's air force has responded with raids on rebel targets, further threatening negotiations which have yielded little in four previous rounds.
The UN talks aim to find a solution to end a six-year conflict that has killed more than 320,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with protests against Assad's regime.

Army General Command: Army reclaimed all points and blocks of buildings north of Jobar after eliminating hundreds of al-Nusra terrorists- SANA

Damascus, SANA – The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces announced on Friday that army units reclaimed all the points and blocks of buildings which were infiltrated by terrorists north of Jobar.
In a statement, the General command said that army units, in cooperation with the supporting forces, reclaimed all points and the blocks of buildings that had been infiltrated by terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra and groups affiliated to it in the factories area in the northern part of Jobar neighborhood at the eastern outskirts of Damascus.
The statement said that army units are still pursuing the remnants of the fleeing terrorists in the depths of Jobar, while engineering units are dismantling and removing explosive devices and bombs planted by terrorists in the area.
The General Command pointed out that during the past 48 hours, the factories area north of Jobar has become a graveyard for successive waves of terrorists in which hundreds of them were killed, adding that the success of the Syrian Armed Forces in crushing the successive waves of terrorists in the factories area confirms the terrorists’ foolishness on one hand, and the insistence of their operators and sponsors to use them as fuel and push them to suicide to serve their agendas and goals on the other hand.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why Israel is 'Deeply Interested' in Continuation of Syrian War- Sputnik News

Israel is likely to try to retain the existing status quo in Syria since it has benefited from the ongoing conflict in the war-torn neighboring nation, political analyst Sergei Balmasov asserted, saying that Tel Aviv's combat missions are not aimed at President Bashar al-Assad, but are rather meant to prevent the crisis from being resolved.

ISIS Reportedly Redeploys Forces From Deir Ezzor To Raqqah- South Front

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) continues its military operations in order to secure the cemetery area in Deir Ezzor. The SAA seeks to secure the area to prevent the Islamic State terrorist group from launching attacks against the Deir Ezzor military airport.
Troops of the Republican Guard led by Issam Zahreddine are the main force protecting the airport encircled by ISIS terrorists. The government troops in the area mostly depends on air-delivered supplies. Russian and Syrian planes carry out daily supply missions to provide ammunition, food and replacement pieces for heavy weapons.This allowed to refurbish a large number of armored vehicles in operated by troops in the airport.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Secretary of the Ba’ath Party Hilal Hilal visited the besieged city to get an overview of local living conditions and works on increasing vital supplies.

Bogdanov, Haddad discuss fifth round of Syrian-Syrian dialogue in Geneva- SANA

Moscow, SANA- Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov discussed on Thursday with Syria’s Ambassador in Moscow Riyad Haddad the fifth round of the Syrian-Syrian dialogue in Geneva.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the two sides discussed the current situation in Syria and exchanged viewpoints around the outcomes of Astana meeting which was held in on March 14-15.
The two sides also held talks on the main aspects of the resumption of the Syrian-Syrian talks in Geneva under UN supervision in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution No.2254.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Army foils attempts by al-Nusra to break siege imposed on terrorists north of Jobar- SANA

Provinces, SANA- Army and Armed Forces units on Wednesday repelled attempts by terrorist groups to break the siege imposed on terrorists trapped in the textiles factories north of Jobar at the eastern outskirts of Damascus city.
A military source said that army units repelled repeated attempts by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and groups affiliated to them to break the siege imposed on terrorist groups trapped in the textiles factories north of Jobar.
The source said that army units are engaged in violent clashes with terrorist groups north of Jobar, and that they are shelling the terrorists’ gatherings and movements in the depths of Jobar and surrounding areas.
The source added that the operations in Jobar resulted in the death of more than 150 terrorists, including foreigners and some of their leaders, in addition to injuring hundreds of them, destroying 3 car bombs, and killing 7 suicide bombers before they could reach army positions.
In the same context, SANA’s reporter said that the Syrian Air Force carried out since dawn a number of airstrikes targeting the terrorists’ movements and supply routes coming from the Eastern Ghouta towards the north of Jobar neighborhood, inflicting heavy losses upon them in personnel.
The reporter said that clashes continue between army units and terrorists that infiltrated the factories area on the northern outskirts of Jobar neighborhood on Tuesday, leaving many of their members dead and injured and destroying large amounts of their weapons and equipment.