"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


Thursday, January 26, 2023

Lebanon to release detainees linked to Beirut port explosion - Anadolu Agency

The Lebanese Court of Cassation decided Wednesday to release those who were arrested in the Beirut port explosion in 2020. 

Public Prosecutor of Cassation Judge Ghassan Oueidat issued a document that said "all those arrested in the port explosion case will be released with the condition of restricting their travel.”

“The decision comes at a time when the judicial investigator, Judge Tarek Bitar, considered himself empowered by the Public Prosecutor to take whatever measures he deems appropriate."

Bitar resumed an inquiry Monday into the deadly blast after a 13-month suspension because of political resistance to his attempts to interrogate top officials.

He decided to question Prosecutor-General Ghassan Oueidat, according to media reports.

But Oueidat refused to be summoned, claiming Tuesday that Bitar "has no jurisdiction."


'Not Hezbollah's candidate': Franjieh wants to be 'consensual' president - Naharnet

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.


Syria’s Envoy to UN Says US Occupation Takes Toll on Security, Stability - Tasnim News Agency

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

Beirut blast: Lebanon prosecutor charges judge leading investigation - BBC

 Lebanon's top prosecutor has charged the judge leading the inquiry into the 2020 Beirut port blast and ordered the release of suspects in custody.

Ghassan Oweidat summoned Judge Tarek Bitar for questioning, accusing him of "acting without a mandate".

But the judge insisted that Mr Oweidat had no authority to charge him.

On Monday, he unexpectedly restarted the probe after a 13-month suspension and filed unspecified charges against eight officials, including Mr Oweidat.

No-one has yet been held accountable for the blast on 4 August 2020, which killed at least 218 people and injured more than 6,000 others.

A fire triggered the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored unsafely in a port warehouse for almost six years, causing a massive explosion that devastated a large part of the Lebanese capital.

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.


Syria: Yarmouk Camp residents given one month to clear destroyed homes - Middle East Monitor

The Syrian government has given the residents of the Yarmouk Camp for Palestinian refugees, whose homes have been partially or completely destroyed, one month to clear them or they will be removed under the penalty of a fine.

This came in an announcement issued by the Damascus Governorate in the official Al-Baath newspaper, on Monday, 23 January.

The announcement called on "the resident and property owners in the Yarmouk area, to visit the Yarmouk Services Department in order to remove their fallen buildings or those that are partially or completely inhabitable, in accordance with an announcement published in the Official Gazette and websites, within one month" said the Palestinian Refugee Portal.

The announcement, signed by the Damascus Governorate, confirmed that if the houses are not removed within a month, they will be removed and cleared, and the owners will be fined.

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.


Suriye Savunma Bakanı Tahran’da - Şarkul Avsat

İran Cumhurbaşkanı İbrahim Reisi, Suriye Savunma Bakanı Ali Mahmud Abbas ile görüştü.  İran'ın yarı resmi ajansı ISNA’nın haberine göre Reisi dün (Salı) gerçekleşen görüşmede, İran'ın ‘yeniden yapılanma aşamasında Suriye halkının yanında olduğunu’ vurguladı.

İran ile Suriye arasındaki ilişkileri ‘stratejik’ olarak nitelendiren Cumhurbaşkanı Reisi, ‘bu ilişkilerin, iki halkın ortak inançlarının yanı sıra sahip oldukları direniş ruhuna dayandığını’ söyledi.


Lübnan'daki liman patlamasında tüm tutukluların serbest bırakılmasına karar verildi - Anadolu Ajansı

Lübnan Temyiz Mahkemesi, Beyrut Limanı'ndaki patlama kapsamında tutuklu yargılananların serbest bırakılmasına karar verdi.

Lübnan'ın resmi ajansı NNA'da yer alan habere göre, Temyiz Mahkemesi Başsavcısı Gassan Uvaydat'ın, "istinasız bir şekilde" liman patlamasında yargılanan tüm tutukluların serbest bırakılmasına karar verdiği kaydedildi.

Serbest bırakılanların bundan sonra tutuksuz yargılanacağına işaret edilen haberde, Uvaydat'ın, söz konusu kişiler hakkında yurt dışına çıkış yasağı kararı verdiği belirtildi.

Patlamayı soruşturan Yargıç Tarık Bitar'ın dosyadan el çektirildiği ve hakkında yurt dışına çıkış yasağı kararı verilerek tüm yetkilerinin alındığı bilgisi paylaşıldı.

Haberde ayrıca, sanıkların yeniden tutuklanmaları veya ifadeye çağrılmalarının da artık Yüksek Yargı Şurası'nın yetkisinde olduğu vurgulandı.


UAE Is Working On Syrian-Saudi Rapprochement - South Front

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.


HTS-Linked Ahrar Al-Sham Commander Killed In Mysterious.. - South Front

 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.


Opening Syria’s M4 highway requires military operation against Nusra Front: Source - The Cradle

The M4 highway is considered a major crossing for the international shipping route that connects Turkey, Iraq and Jordan via Syria

The Cradle received exclusive information on 25 January concerning an inevitable multilateral military operation against the Nusra Front to liberate parts of the international M4 highway in Syria, spearheaded by the Turkish-backed National Army, Turkiye, Russia, and the Syrian military.

The M4 international highway crosses five governorates in northern Syria, adjacent to the Syrian-Turkish border from Latakia, passing through Idlib, Aleppo, Raqqa, and Hasakah. The road connects the Latakia governorate with the Syrian-Iraqi Yarubiya crossing in the Hasakah governorate.

A Syrian source confirmed to The Cradle that the Syrian-Turkish-Russian joint security committee, which was formed after the meeting of the defense ministers in Moscow at the end of December 2022, discussed a mechanism to cooperate on the opening of the M4 international highway, which faces complex security issues.

However, according to the source, parts of the M4 road are currently under the control of the Nusra Front, particularly in the area of Kabani, in the northern countryside of Latakia, which constitutes a major security issue and obstacle for the plans to reopen the M4 corridor inside Idlib, and the Al-Ghab Plain area in the northern countryside of Hama.

The source also revealed that the joint committee worked to facilitate a mutual understanding with factions of the Turkish-backed National Army and transfer all points and crossings in the northern countryside of Idlib and Aleppo under its control; a move viewed as a message of Turkiye’s commitment to Damascus for the cooperation on the reopening of the highway.

However, the Nusra Front, which is a branch of Al-Qaeda, besieged the headquarters of the “Sultan Murad Division” and forced it to withdraw from it in the city of Afrin. Recent attacks by the armed group are considered a show of force against Turkish and Syrian reconciliation efforts spearheaded by Moscow.

Extremist factions have increased their attacks against Syrian Army positions in recent weeks, particularly those who have received backing from Turkiye, to protest the potential reconciliation that is in the works between Ankara and Damascus.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Iran Vows To Rebuild Syria Amid Own Dire Economic Needs - Iran International

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.


Could There Be a Breakthrough in Syria? - Asharq Al-Awsat

Türkiye’s sharp shift in its Syria policy has become the centerpiece of the recent diplomatic traffic regarding Syria.

On December 28, the ministers of defense of Russia, Syria and Türkiye met in Moscow for the first time in 12 years. Afterwards, the highest-level Turkish officials laid down a roadmap, according to which, following the defense ministers meeting, ministers of foreign affairs would meet soon and then the process would hopefully be crowned with a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As it turns out, it is unlikely that things will happen as quickly as the Turkish side hoped.

Assad has declared that “first, occupation and support for terrorism should end” meaning that Turkish troops should withdraw from Syria and Türkiye should stop all its support to the Syrian opposition.


Halep-Lazkiye karayolunun açılmasının etkilerine dair endişeler artıyor - Şarkul Avsat

 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.”

How one Aleppo neighborhood continues to defy siege of Syria’s Assad - Arab News

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.


Lebanese lira trades above LL54,000 to the dollar - L'Orient Today

 "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. 

BEIRUT — The Lebanese lira continued its tumble on the parallel market on Tuesday, exceeding LL54,000 against the US dollar, according to several mobile tracking applications. 

This new low stirred anger in the streets of different regions, according to the National News Agency and L'Orient Today's local correspondents. 

According to the Lirarate.org platform, the dollar was trading at LL54,600 to buy and at LL54,500 to sell as of 3:30 p.m.

The gap between the parallel market rate and that of the Sayrafa platform (LL38,000 to the dollar since last week), designed by Banque du Liban to try to stabilize the exchange rate, now stands at around LL16,000.


Russia and Syria restore Al Jarrah airbase for joint use - The National News

Russia and Syria have restored Al Jarrah military airbase in the country's north for joint use, Russia's Defence Ministry said late on Monday.

"Russian and Syrian military personnel restored the destroyed Al Jarrah airfield," the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

"The joint basing of aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force at the Al Jarrah airfield makes it possible to cover the state border."

The small base east of Aleppo was recaptured from ISIS fighters in 2017.

Russia has been a significant military force in Syria since launching air strikes and ground operations there in 2015. It further asserted its presence after the US pulled out its forces in 2019.

The conflict in Syria, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced millions and drawn in regional and world powers, has entered into a second decade, although fighting is at a lower intensity than in earlier years.

With backing from Russia and Iran, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's government has recovered most of its territory. Turkish-backed opposition fighters still control a pocket in the north-west, and Kurdish fighters backed by the US also control territory near the Turkish border.


Former Lebanon PM Diab charged in Beirut blast investigation - Al-Jazeera

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.

The judge investigating the 2020 Beirut port explosion has charged Lebanon’s then-prime minister, Hassan Diab, and two other former ministers with homicide with probable intent, according to a court summons seen by the Reuters news agency.

Other top officials, including the country’s public prosecutor and the head of the domestic intelligence agency, were also charged in connection with the blast, judicial sources said on Tuesday.


US sanctions Hezbollah financial adviser in Lebanon - Al-Monitor

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.


Basil ve Hizbullah arasındaki görüşmede ittifakın devamı vurgulandı - Şarkul Avsat

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

Details About IRGC Building Air Defense Network in Syria - Iran International

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. 


Geagea: All political options on table to liberate country - Naharnet

 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.

Basında yer alan haberlerde Suriye'nin güneyini bölünmesiyle ilgili bölgedeki bazı yerel grupların ve oluşumların öncülüğündeki birtakım planlardan bahsedildiğini belirten Şeyh Haccar, Onurlu Adamlar Hareketi’nin ülkede kapsamlı bir ulusal uzlaşının sağlanmasını ve Arap köklerine bağlılığı vurguladığını, mezhepçi küçük devletlerin kurulmasına karşı olduğunu belirttiği açıklamasını şöyle sürdürdü:

“Atalarımız da bunu reddetmiş, vatanın birliğini ve bağımsızlığını korumak için kan dökmüşlerdir. Bizim rolümüz Suveyda'yı olası her türlü saldırıdan korumak. Çünkü Suveyda’yı korumak, tüm Suriye'yi korumak demek. Dar ve mezhepçi vizyonlara sahip planlara geçit vermeyeceğiz. Suriye halkını parçalamayı amaçlayan projelere karşı tüm Suriyeliler arasında sivil uyumun sağlanması için çalışıyoruz.”

Syrian and Iraqi commercial trucks allowed to enter both countries soon, Al-Dandah says - SANA

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.

Al-Dandah added in a statement to SANA reporter in Baghdad that the trucks entry into both countries has stopped since the outbreak of Corona epidemic.

Iraqi government allowed the entry of all Syrian trucks loaded by commercial and agricultural goods, especially citrus to all governorates of Iraq, al-Dandah added.

Al-Dandah pointed out that Iraqi commercial trucks will be allowed to enter Syria during the next few days, according to the principle of reciprocity.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

uriye-Türkiye normalleşme treni Halep-Lazkiye yolunda - Şarkul Avsat

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.

Rusya’nın arabuluculuğu

Rusya’nın hem eski hem de yeni sayılabilecek çabaları söz konusu. Rusya Devlet Başkanı Vladimir Putin, önümüzdeki Mayıs ayında Türkiye'de yapılacak cumhurbaşkanlığı ve milletvekilliği seçimleri öncesinde Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ve Suriye Devlet Başkanı Beşşar Esed'in bir araya gelmesine zemin hazırlamakta kararlı.

Şarku’l Avsat’ın edindiği bilgilere göre, Suriye Ulusal Güvenlik Büro Başkanı Tümgeneral Ali Memlük ve Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MİT) Başkanı Hakan Fidan arasında gerçekleştirilen güvenlik konulu görüşmeler ve ardından Suriye, Türkiye ve Rusya’nın savunma bakanları arasında Moskova’da yapılan üçlü toplantı sonrası üç ülkenin dışişleri bakanları arasında bir toplantı yapılması planlandı.


Syria, Türkiye Normalization Takes Shape along Aleppo-Latakia Highway - Asharq al-Awsat

Open and secret political and security contacts have expanded in recent days to choose the best path to normalize relations with Damascus.

Syria and Türkiye have held security meetings in the Latakia countryside with the aim of reopening the Aleppo-Latakia highway. A Kurdish delegation from Qamishli even visited the Syrian capital to feel out the limits of the Syrian-Turkish cooperation against them.

The United States has also been mediating between Ankara and the Kurds to deter a new Turkish incursion east of the Euphrates River. Iran, meanwhile, is trying to become involved in the Russian mediation between Damascus and Ankara.


The latest in the Russian efforts is President Vladimir Putin’s insistence on paving the way for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad to meet before Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections in May.

Syria’s national security bureau chief Ali Mamlouk and Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan had already held talks. The Syrian, Turkish and Russian defense ministers also met. A meeting between the three countries’ foreign ministers was set to be held in the Russian capital, Moscow.

Moscow sought for the meeting to be held on January 11, but Ankara received “American advice” that it should not agree to attend before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Washington on January 18.

Damascus, for its part, was not willing to hold the meeting for the sake of holding it, but wanted clear outcomes to come of it.

This led to a series of additional contacts. Russia’s presidential envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev visited Damascus for talks with Assad. Russia reiterated its desire to arrange a meeting between Assad and Erdogan, but the former tied such a meeting to Türkiye’s withdrawal from northern Syria or at least setting a timetable for the pullout.

Clearly, Damascus wants to claim some form of “symbolic achievement” before having Assad and Erdogan meet.

Ankara, for its part, informed mediators that its army will not withdraw from Syria “under any circumstance and even if the Americans pull out.” Such a position stands in contrast to its previous announcements when it used to tie it withdrawal to the political solution and the pullout of all foreign forces that entered Syria after 2011.


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.

During the meeting in Tehran, Dr. Shaaban conveyed cordial greetings of President Bashar al-Assad to President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Ebrahim Raisi.

In turn, Abdollahian thanked Dr. Shaaban for accepting the Iranian invitation and her presence, representing First Lady Mrs. Asma al-Assad, at the first international conference of influential women.

He also expressed his country’s readiness to be always efficient in any issue that serves the interest of Syria and its sovereignty.

Abdullahian stressed that the Iranian and Syrian interests are the same, and that the two countries face common challenges, and therefore their unified efforts will serve the interest of both countries.


Mass demonstration in Raqqa in condemnation of QSD militia crimes - SANA

 Raqqa, SANA-People of Raqqa city demonstrated in protest against the US occupation -backed QSD militia crimes.

“Hundreds of residents in Raqqa city gathered at al-Naeem roundabout to denounce the QSD militia and its violations and hostile practices, especially its recent cover-up of criminals who killed a woman and her child in a-Mashlab neighborhood” Local sources told SANA reporter on Sunday.

The sources indicated that the people expelled the militiamen stationed near al-Dallah roundabout and burned a military point for them in the city.


Friday, January 20, 2023

‘No life’ in Syrian cities as fuel crisis plunges country into darkness - The Washington Post

BEIRUT — In Syria’s third-largest city, it takes Mohammed’s family a week to do a load of laundry.

“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.

Already battered by years of war and deprivation, Syrians are now suffering through a crippling fuel crisis. Extended electricity cuts have sunk most of the country into a near-constant blackout. In the capital, Damascus, some neighborhoods receive as little as 15 minutes of power every 24 hours; in more central areas, closer to the presidential palace, the lights stay on for longer. With gasoline also in short supply, main thoroughfares are often devoid of traffic, and the Syrian-Lebanese border has become a thriving black market for fuel.


Drone attack hits Tanf US base in Syria - Al-Monitor

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.


Ankara-Şam yakınlaşması: Silahlara veda radikal cepheyi büyütür mü? - Al-Monitor

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 Meclisindeki 11. oturumda da yeni cumhurbaşkanı seçilemedi - Anadolu Ajansı

 Lübnan Meclisinde, ülkenin 14. cumhurbaşkanını seçmek için gerçekleştirilen 11. oturumda da hiçbir aday yeterli oyu alamadı.

Mecliste, 31 Ekim 2022'de görev süresi sona eren Cumhurbaşkanı Mişel Avn’ın yerine gelecek ismi seçmek için düzenlenen toplantıya, 128 milletvekilinden 111'i katıldı.

Adaylardan Mişel Muavvad 34, İsam Halife 7, Ziyad Barud 2, Salah Hanin 1 oy alırken 67 oy da geçersiz sayıldı. Buna göre, hiçbir aday cumhurbaşkanı seçilmek için gerekli 3'te 2'lik çoğunluğu sağlayamadı.

Meclis Başkanı Nebih Berri, 12. oturumun ne zaman yapılacağını açıklamadı.

Lübnan Meclisi, yeni cumhurbaşkanını seçmek için ilk oturumunu 29 Eylül 2022'de yapmıştı.

Eski Cumhurbaşkanı Avn da 31 Ekim 2016’da Mecliste düzenlenen 46’ncı oturumun sonunda seçilebilmişti.

2 milletvekili mecliste oturma eylemi yapacak

Bu arada siyasi partiler arasında uzlaşma sağlanmaması ve 11 kez toplanılmasına rağmen yeni cumhurbaşkanının seçilememesine tepki gösteren bağımsız milletvekilleri Nejat Saliba ile Melhem Halef, 12. oturuma kadar, parlamentoda oturma eylemi yapacağını duyurdu.

Meclis önünde protesto

Öte yandan Meclis toplantısı esnasında, Lübnan'da 4 Ağustos 2020'de yaşanan Beyrut Limanı patlamasında, hayatını kaybedenlerin yakınları, "patlamanın arkasındaki faillerin hesap vermesi" ve "adaletin yerine getirilmesi" talebiyle gösteri düzenledi.


Russian, Iranian presidents discuss Syria conflict settlement — Kremlin - TASS

 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.

"The situation in Syria was discussed. [Presidents] also pointed to the importance of maintaining close coordination within the framework of the Astana process, which is a key mechanism aimed at the provision for the Syrian conflict settlement," the statement added.

The Astana Syrian peace process was initiated by Russia, Turkey and Iran. The three countries are the guarantors of the peace settlement to the Syrian conflict between Damascus and the Syrian opposition. Talks in this format kicked off in January 2017 in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana.


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Caretaker cabinet convenes in second FPM-boycotted session - Naharnet

 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.