"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)
Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)
Friday, May 10, 2019
The Russian side of the Russian-Turkish commission monitoring the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire has registered five truce breaches in the country over the past 24 hours, while the Turkish side has recorded 15 ceasefire violations, the Russian Defence Ministry's Centre for Syrian Reconciliation said Thursday.
The number of areas that have signed reconciliation agreements in Syria remained same and totals 2,518. The number of armed formations that have pledged to observe the ceasefire also did not change, standing at 234.
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Militants fired 12 rockets, from Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone on Wednesday, toward Russia's Hmeimim air base in Syria, head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s center for Syrian reconciliation Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin said Wednesday.
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Monday, May 06, 2019
Sunday, May 05, 2019
Friday, May 03, 2019
BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian government is scrambling to deal with its worst fuel crisis since the war began in 2011, aggravated by U.S. sanctions targeting oil shipments to Damascus.
There was temporary relief when reserves or smuggled oil made their way to the market. Long lines outside gas stations slightly receded, as did public panic that had translated into widespread criticism of government policies.
But more dramatic measures are necessary for the government of President Bashar Assad, which needs to procure more than 75 percent of its fuel from outside sources.
Experts say Damascus either has to regain control of oil-fields in the east, currently controlled by the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, or replace oil supplies that used to come from Iran with new ones from Russia — at a political cost.
Government forces and their allies could make a quick move on the east if Washington goes ahead with talk of withdrawing its troops based there and working with the SDF. A U.S. withdrawal would also offer Turkey a chance to launch its own assault to push away the SDF, which it considers a threat, and extend its borders. There are signs, however, the U.S. may be reconsidering its plans.
Eventually, an offensive on the east is inevitable, said Fabrice Balanche, a Syria expert at the University of Lyon.
“When Turkey (attacks) the Kurds, Assad’s forces will (re)take al-Omar oil field. After 3 months? 6 months? One year?”
For now, Syria needs oil. Domestic production this year reached 24,000 barrels a day — only around 20-25 percent of total needs — down from 350,000 barrels a day before the war. Government officials say they need $2.7 billion worth of subsidized fuel every year.
Iran, which offered vital military support to Assad, was the main provider. But Tehran is feeling the heat as the U.S. squeezes sanctions tighter.
The credit line Iran extended to Damascus since 2013 to supply oil has run dry and its oil shipments stopped late last year. This followed U.S. Treasury sanctions imposed in November on a network that spanned Syria, Iran and Russia and was responsible for shipping oil to the Syrian government. The Treasury also issued a global advisory warning of sanctions for illicit oil shipments, naming specific vessels and pressuring insurance companies. At least one tanker with Iranian oil headed to Syria remains docked outside the Suez Canal since December, according to TankerTrackers.com.
The Syrian pound dropped to one of its lowest values in years, going for 590 liras to the dollar on the black market compared to the official rate of 430 liras, and prices have skyrocketed.
Thursday, May 02, 2019
The relation between the Progressive Socialist Party and Hizbullah has “never” experienced a “break-like stalemate” and a “unilateral” decision taken by Hizbullah without prior “warning,” Asharq al-Awsat said on Thursday.
Ties between the two have reportedly been tense against the backdrop of a decision taken by PSP Industry Minister Wael Abou Faour, cancelling a cement factory permit in Ain Dara -in the district of Aley not far from the Chouf cedar reserve- issued by his predecessor Hizbullah ex-Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan.
Political sources following on the course of relations told the newspaper that the PSP leadership has “informed Hizbullah of Jumblat’s will to meet Hizbullah secretary-general's political aide, Hussein Khalil, to discuss the political developments and the relationship between the two parties.”
The sources said that Jumblat’s desire was “conveyed” to Khalil but the latter did not give an answer despite knowing that Jumblat was ready to meet him, they said. “It turned out that Abou Faour's permit cancellation was considered an insult to Hizbullah and to its Minister.”
This cement project has long been controversial between its owners of the Fattoush family, on the one hand, and the Ain Dara municipal council and many citizens and activists, on the other.
Jumblat and former minister Nicolas Fattoush are at loggerheads over the cement factory in Ain Dara area.