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.”
Monday, January 23, 2023
Amid new sanctions by Western countries on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard for human rights violations and other mischiefs, the multi-role organization is ramping up Syria’s air defense system, despite rampant poverty in Iran.
According to a report by the Newsweek earlier in the month, the Islamic Republic has invested tens of millions of dollars from the country's public budget for the deployment of a comprehensive aerial defense network in Syria.
Newsweek cited an unnamed intelligence source from a nation allied with the United States that the IRGC over the past two years has been “promoting the deployment of aerial defense capabilities on its behalf in Syria at a cost of tens of millions of dollars in order to deal with the Israeli airstrikes.”
Iran has played a major role in the Syrian conflict from 2011, by sending fighters and weapons to assist the Bashar al-Assad’s forces and entrench itself near Israel.
According to the source, IRGC Aerospace Force deputy commander Brig. Gen. Fereydoun Mohammadi Saghaei, is leading the air defense project.
Information obtained by Iran International revealed that the deployment of the air defense equipment was previously being carried out under the supervision of an IRGC’s Quds Force senior commander Javad Ghaffari, who was expelled from Syria last fall apparently over differences with the Russians, and now the mission is overseen by Mohammad Reza Zahedi, another Quds Force officer.
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Sunday announced that “all political options are on the table to liberate the country and the people from the hegemony of Hezbollah and its allies.”
“We will never accept any fait accompli and we will continue the struggle until we manage to build a fair and strong state under which we would all live freely,” Geagea said in a meeting in Maarab with an industrial delegation from the Bekaa.
“Accordingly, we have said and we will keep saying that we will not bow to any pressures and that all political options are on the table to liberate the country and the people from the hegemony of Hezbollah and its allies, or the Axis of Defiance which has led us into the inferno that we are in today,” Geagea added.
Moreover, the LF leader said that the political problem in the country is “clear.”
“Some are putting the interests of the Axis (of Defiance) above the national interests, some are putting their personal interests above the interests of the people and some lack experience and knowledge, and even courage sometimes, to do what needs to be done,” Geagea went on to say.
He was apparently referring to Hezbollah, Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil and the Change parliamentary bloc, respectively.
Suveyda’daki Onurlu Adamlar Hareketi lideri Şeyh Yahya el-Haccar, Şarku’l Avsat’a konuştu: ‘Güneyi bölme planlarına geçit vermeyeceğiz’ - Şarkul Avsat
Suveyda’daki Onurlu Adamlar (Rical el-Kerame) Hareketi lideri Şeyh Yahya el-Haccar, dokuz yıl önce kurulan hareketin sz konusu tarihten bu yana bir nüfuz alanı arayışı içinde olmamasından dolayı Suriye'de çatışan taraflar haritasını da değiştirmediğini söyledi. Suveyda'da yaşayan Dürzi nüfuza karşı adaletsizlikleri gidermeyi amaçlayan bağımsız silahlı bir hareket olan Onurlu Adamlar Hareketi’nin lideri Şeyh Haccar, Suveyda'nın güney kırsalındaki Şennire beldesinde Şarku’l Avsat’a açıklamalarda bulundu. Onurlu Adamlar Hareketi’nin Suriye rejimi arasındaki iletişim kanallarının açık olduğunu gizlemediğini vurgulayan Şeyh Haccar ancak bu kanalların, tutukluların serbest bırakılması ve mazlumların sorunlarının peşine düşülmesi gibi açık ve ilan edilmiş bir amaçla açık tutulduğunun altını çizdi.
Baghdad, SANA- Syrian Ambassador in Baghdad, Sattam Jadaan al-Dandah, noted that Syrian and Iraqi commercial trucks will be allowed to enter both countries during the next few days.
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Suriye’de Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri’nin (TSK) Halep yolunu açması amacıyla Lazkiye kırsalında yapılan Türkiye-Suriye güvenlik toplantıları ve Kamışlı'dan Şam’a Suriye-Türkiye normalleşmesinin sınırlarını anlamak amacıyla bir Kürt heyetinin yaptığı ziyaret de dahil olmak üzere Şam'la yeni bir normalleşme olasılığını test eden gizli ve açık güvenlik ve siyasi görüşmelerin kapsamı genişledi. Tüm bunlara Türkiye’nin Fırat'ın doğusuna olası bir askeri harekat başlatmasını önlemek amacıyla ABD tarafından Ankara ile Kürt taraflar arasında başlatılan arabuluculuk çabaları ve Rusya tarafından Şam ile Ankara arasında başlatılan arabuluculuğa İran'ın girme çabası eşlik ediyor.
Open and secret political and security contacts have expanded in recent days to choose the best path to normalize relations with Damascus.
Shaaban , Abdullahian discuss joint coordination to serve strategic relations of Syria and Iran - SANA
Tehran, SANA- Special Adviser to the Presidency of the Republic,Dr. Buthaina Shaaban, discussed with Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Hossein Amir Abdollahian, joint coordination between Syria and Iran in a way that serves their strategic relations, in addition to the regional and international situation.
Raqqa, SANA-People of Raqqa city demonstrated in protest against the US occupation -backed QSD militia crimes.
Friday, January 20, 2023
“There’s no specific time for the electricity to come,” said Mohammed, speaking by phone from Homs, in the west of the country. “Sometimes it comes for an hour, sometimes it comes for two hours, sometimes it comes for 10 minutes. Sometimes it doesn’t come, at all, all day.”
Mohammed’s mother washes most clothes by hand, leaving those that need heavy-duty washing in the machine, which whirs back to life whenever the power returns.
Three one-way attack drones targeted the United States' al-Tanf garrison in southern Syria on Friday morning, injuring two members of a US-backed Syrian militia, the US military said.
Two of the incoming drones were shot down by the US-led coalition, while a third struck the compound at al-Tanf, injuring two members of the Syrian Free Army militia. The injured fighters were given medical attention, US Central Command said in a statement.
No US troops were hurt in the attack on the base, which houses American forces and members of the militia near the country’s remote desert border with Jordan and Iraq.
"Attacks of this kind are unacceptable — they place our troops and our partners at risk and jeopardize the fight against ISIS," CENTCOM spokesperson Col. Joe Buccino said in a statement.
Why it matters: Al-Tanf occupies a key crossing on the Baghdad-Damascus highway, thought to be coveted by pro-Syrian regime militias backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
This one is at least the third drone attack on the base reported by the US military over the past two years. A previous strike last August caused no injuries, but an attack involving five drones in October 2021 damaged barracks and personnel facilities, though US troops were relocated from the area ahead of the strike due to prior intelligence. The Pentagon blamed both of the strikes on Iran-backed forces.
No US troops were hurt in Iran-backed attacks in Syria over the past year, the Pentagon’s top Middle East policy official Dana Stroul said last week.
Türkiye’nin Şam’la normalleşme çabası silahlı muhaliflerin pusulasını bozdu. Karambolde HTŞ çekim merkezi olmaya çalışıyor. Bunun için cephe hatlarını ısıtmanın peşindeler.
Türkiye’nin Şam’la normalleşmeye paralel olarak Suriyeli silahlı grupların fişini çekebileceği ihtimali sahayı hareketlendirdi. Heyet Tahrir el Şam (HTŞ) gibi cihadi gruplar silahlı isyancılar arasındaki şaşkınlığı lehine çevirip kontrol alanlarını genişletmeye çalışıyor.
HTŞ’nin başını çektiği Feth’ul Mubin Operasyon Odası’na bağlı güçler İdlib’in güneyi, Halep’in kuzeybatısı ve Lazkiye’nin kuzeydoğusundaki cephe hatlarına yönelik sızma taktikleriyle saldırılar düzenliyor. İdlib’in güneyinde Cebel Zaviye’de (Zaviye Dağı) çatışmalar yoğunlaşırken Suriye ordusu da Sarakıb, Maarat el Numan, Kfar Nabl, Han el Subul’un yanı sıra Halep’in batısında Üs 46, Mizanaz ve Kabtan el Cebel gibi yerlere 25. Bölük ve 5. Kolordu’nun seçkin birliklerini sevk etti. Zaviye Dağı’ndaki çatışmalara El Kaide ile bağlantılı Fırkat el Guraba ve Ensar el Tevhid gibi örgütler de iştirak ediyor. Yabancı savaşçılar arasında öne çıkan Ebu Hamza el Fransi kod adlı Fransız vatandaşı da Zaviye Dağı’nda öldü.
Şam’la temasa rağmen baskı stratejisinin bir parçası olarak kara harekâtı seçeneğini masada tutan Türkiye de İdlib kırsalı ve Halep’in kuzeybatısına takviye güç gönderdi.
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Lübnan Meclisinde, ülkenin 14. cumhurbaşkanını seçmek için gerçekleştirilen 11. oturumda da hiçbir aday yeterli oyu alamadı.
2 milletvekili mecliste oturma eylemi yapacak
Meclis önünde protesto
MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed in a telephone conversation with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi the ongoing developments in Syria and they both pointed out to the importance of the Astana process implementation that is employed as a mechanism to settle the situation in the Arab republic, the Kremlin press office said in a statement on Thursday.
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
The caretaker cabinet convened Wednesday for the second time at the Grand Serail to discuss the electricity file and other items.
Minister of Tourism Walid Nassar attended the session despite a decision by the Free Patriotic Movement to boycott any caretaker cabinet session.
Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Manager at Electricité du Liban Kamal Hayek also attended the session.
Last month, a two-thirds quorum was secured for the caretaker cabinet's first session by caretaker Industry Minister George Boujikian of the FPM-allied Tashnag Party. Boujikian attended although he had participated in a statement declaring the boycott of that session. The statement carried the names of the caretaker ministers of foreign affairs, justice, defense, economy, social affairs, energy, tourism, industry and the displaced.
Economy Minister Amin Salam arrived Wednesday at the Grand Serail, and said he will participate in today's session because he considered the electricity file to be an emergency.