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Cabinet :Army's Victories Pave the Way for Restoring Stability

DAMASCUS, (ST)- "the recent army's victories have sounded  positively on the internal situation, "said  Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi.

"the next stage needs further efforts from all walks life of Syria  in a bid to  prepare for the process of reconstruction after the crisis ends soon, "added al-Halqi.

Al-Halqi's remarks came during a meeting the cabinet held on Tuesday.

"victory is inching closer , the government will soon take serious economic measures that can enhance the capabilities of the national economy and reflect positively on the citizens' livelihood,"al-Halqi reiterated.

During its weekly session ,chaired by Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi , the cabinet lauded the great victories achieved by the Syrian army in its operations against the armed terrorist groups that will definitely pave the way for restoring security and stability to the homeland.

the cabinet highlighted the wide popular relief over these victories, referring to the positive impact they have on the national dialogue process.

Al-Halqi also hailed the positive outcomes of the meetings held by the ministerial committee entrusted with materializing  the political program to solve the crisis.

"needless to say that those meetings will lead to holding the national dialogue conference in Syria,"al-Halqi affirmed.

Ministers of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs and Internal Trade and Consumer Protection briefed the cabinet on the latest political developments on the Arab and international arenas and on the economic and service situation in the country as well.


Army Destroys Enemy Vehicle Crossing Ceasefire Line: General Command

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The Syrian Arab Army destroyed an Israeli vehicle which entered from the occupied territories and crossed the ceasefire line towards the Liberated al-Quneitra village of Beir Ajam where a number of armed terrorist groups exist,  the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Command said that following the army operation, the Israeli enemy fired two thermal missiles from Tal al-Faras site towards an army position in al-Zibdiyeh village, but no casualties were reported.

"This blatant Israeli aggression affirms once again the Zionist entity's involvement in the ongoing events in Syria. It also indicates Israel's direct coordination with the armed terrorist groups aiming to raise their collapsed morals after they had received painful blows from the Syrian Army forces in different areas, particularly in al-Qseir," the General Command said.

It stressed that the army will firmly and immediately retaliate to any aggression targeting the country's sovereignty and that it will be ready to maintain the homeland's dignity.

H. Mustafa

The Guardian: EU Plans to Buy Syrian Oil From Armed Groups Aim to Fund Al-Qaeda

LONDON - The EU decision to lift sanctions on Syrian oil to buy it from the armed groups in Syria so as to help them consolidate their position on ground, has accelerated a scramble between these groups for control over wells and pipelines in Syrian areas, according to the British "The Guardian" newspaper.

In its report on Monday, the newspaper said that Jabhat al-Nusra, affiliated with al-Qaida and other extremist groups, has illegally controlled  the majority of the oil wells in Deir Ezzor province, displacing the local population by force. They have also been seeking control of other fields in al-Hasakah governorate, north-east Syria.

The daily pointed out that the armed terrorist groups have turned their guns on each other in the battle over oil, water and agricultural land.

As a result of the armed groups' rush to make quick money, open-air refineries have been set up in Deir Ezzor and al-Raqqa provinces. Crude is stored in ditches and heated in metal tanks by wood fires, shrouding the region with plumes of black smoke, exposing the local population to the dangers of the thick smog and the frequent explosions at the improvised plants, the newspaper said.

It added that heating oil, diesel and petrol is condensed in hoses running from the tanks through pools of water and sold across the north, as far as Aleppo. The remaining crude is shipped by road on tankers to Turkey.

The Guardian noted that the EU announced it was lifting its oil embargo in April to help what it called the "moderate opposition", but some experts say that the announcement intensified the western-backed armed groups race for oil.

According to the newspaper, Joshua Landis, an expert on the region at the American University of Oklahoma, said the EU decision on oil led to a logical conclusion from this craziness, which is that Europe will be funding al-Qaida itself."

"Jabhat al-Nusra is investing in the Syrian economy to reinforce its position in Syria and Iraq. Al-Nusra fighters are selling everything that falls into their hands from wheat, archaeological relics, factory equipment, oil drilling and imaging machines, cars, spare parts and crude oil," Abu Saif, Muslim Brotherhood-linked person, told the Guardian by phone from the Deir Ezzor area.

Syria's Foreign and Expatriates Ministry has sent  two identical letters to the UN Chief and President of the Security Council, in which it described the EU's decision to lift the embargo on Syrian oil exports to allow armed groups to sell it, as unprecedented aggression and as a violation of international laws and UN charter.

On Monday, British Foreign Minister William Hague said that "the EU must reconsider the arms embargo on Syria though the EU hasn't adopted an immediate decision on the issue of arming the opposition in Syria."

Reuters quoted Hague as saying: "We must make clear that if the regime does not negotiate seriously at the Geneva conference, no option is off the table."

France and Britain have failed more than once to convince the EU to supply the armed terrorist groups in Syria with weapons through lifting the embargo on sending arms to the armed opposition.

On the other hand, Austria has recently rejected the French and British calls for lifting the EU's embargo on arms supplies to the armed groups. The Austrian president described these attempts as a violation of EU laws.

H. Mustafa

Cross Church dedicates a prayer for Syria peace and abducted bishops

DAMASCUS,(ST)-Holy Cross Church in Damascus held a prayer for Syria peace and the release of the two abducted Aleppo Metropolitans, Mar Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi.

Patriarch John X Yazigy of Antioch and All the East, gave a short speech after the prayer held today (Monday) in which he censured all acts of killing, destruction and abduction.

On April 22,2013, the Syriac Orthodox bishop of Aleppo, Msgr. Youhanna Ibrahim and the Greek-Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo and Iskenderun, Msgr. Boulos al-Yazigi were abducted by Chechen terrorists from al-Nusra Front

The terrorists intercepted the car in which the two bishops were sitting and forced them to get out of it. Then, they killed the deacon driver and abducted the two bishops, who were carrying out humanitarian work in Aleppo countryside

"These acts will never undermine our adherence to co-existence and homeland as well as call for justice," the patriarch said.

In the name of Syrians, he added, I appeal to the international community to do its utmost to help release the abductees and bring about a solution to the crisis in the country.

He, in addition, cited that Syria's civilization dates back to thousands of years.

A huge number of Christians, who are living in al-Kassa'a district in the capital, took part in the prayer upon an invitation of the Holly Cross Church.

The Syria Times e-newspaper was there  with a number of participants to discuss what is going on in Syria.

Int'l community believes in interests

Responding to question about reason of targeting clergymen, the famous Syrian writer and novelist, Colette Khoury said: "they (clergymen) support the voice of reason. They know that homeland is a priority. We are all Syrians…. We are Syrian before being Muslims or Christians."

She added that the international community only believes in its interests. "Its interest is to invade our country… Syria will never be toppled.. it will achieve victory."

We love Syria

A crowd of participants surrounded us (reporters) in order to say that they want their voice to be heard all over the world through mass media.

They just wanted to say:"we are Syrian citizens ….we love Syria … we-Christians and Muslims- have got used to be hand in hand".

Syrian inherited thinking  

For his part, the Father Gabriel Daoud told us: "It is known that Syria is the cradle of civilizations and clergymen in our country preserve the Syrian inherited thinking…those who abduct clergymen seek to target this thinking and the Syrian state."

But, he added, this thinking will never disappear.

He noted the West countries' double-standard policy and hypocrisy in dealing with all matters.

"The abduction of the two Aleppo bishops is a national matter..Everyone knows the mentality of the two bishops… they were open to all spectra."

"We don't rely on the international community to solve matter of abduction…. rather, we rely on our people and self-confidence. The story of abducting the bishops will unmask important issues in the future," the Father said.

He stressed that political solution will be reached sooner or later, noting that what is going on in Syria is not a civil war.

"Syria is facing a foreign-backed war in which a misled group is taking part". 

In fact, all Syrian spectra look forward to re-enjoying peace and stability which they missed since the beginning of the crisis in March 2011. 

Basma Qaddour

Syria's future will be at the hands of the Syrians only,says al-Halqi

DAMASCUS, (ST) – "with the Syrian's will and determination, the national dialogue process was launched only to  pass this painful chapter in the history of Syria.The determination  of the honest Syrians will be a genuine momentum for them to overcome the odd and exotic crisis ,"said Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halqi.

Al-Halqi's remark was made during a meeting held on Monday between the Ministerial Committee entrusted  with materializing the political program to resolve the crisis in Syria and members of the executive bureau of the Revolutionary Youth Union(RYU).

Prime minister underscored that  there is  real desire of the all walks of  the Syrian people to leave the ongoing crisis behind as soon as possible through the success of the forthcoming national dialogue conference, underlying  the Syrian people's commitment  to the national principles, resistance and combating the Takfiri belief.

"shaping Syria's future  will be at the hands of the Syrians only ,"reiterated al-Halqi, noting that a large number  of armed groups have laid down their weapons  and get involved in the civic society rather than defending the homeland.

Saleh al-Rashid ,the RYU chairman ,for his part, asserted  that the political program will definitely solve the crisis, lauding  the government's efforts  as regards  boosting  the culture of dialogue and tolerance amongst  the Syrian people.

The RYU executive bureau members  briefed the ministerial committee on  their views concerning  the national dialogue conference, rejecting seditions and all threats to the national fabric of Syria, in addition to confirming  the right to liberate all occupied Syrian territories.

"Dialogue leads to tackle all issues and it will be a turning point  in the history of Syria to get rid of terrorism," Dr. al-Rashid told reporters, pointing out to the importance of dealing with the problems of youths and integrating them with all walks of life.

"in the forthcoming stage ,there is a dire necessity to concentrate on youth's issues through solving their problems in harmony with the RYU and the concerned ministries, "underscored al-Rashid.