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Terrorism in Syria cannot be fought using other terrorists - Russian FM Lavrov

Munich -Syria's armed opposition group, the "Islamic Front", with whose assistance foreign stakeholders in the conflict are trying to combat terrorism in the country, is in fact a terrorist organization itself, says Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov,according to Voice of Russia.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Lavrov noted that, while some are trying to combat the terrorist organizations "al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant "through establishing a new association called the Islamic Front, the groups comprising the "Islamic Front "are pretty similar to those terror groups.

At least one was involved, with the "al-Nusra Front", in the Adra massacre in Syria, in which dozens of Christians, Druze, and other minorities were slain, he added. "Militants "migrate between the" Islamic Front, al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" depending on who pays more, Russia therefore has great doubts that the "Islamic Front" could serve as an alternative to terrorists, Lavrov said.

Russian FM Lavrov against ultimatums regarding Syrian chemical disarmament

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggests that no ultimatums should be made concerning the chemical disarmament process in Syria.

Lavrov pointed out that it is wrong to threaten Syria that force might be used against it if it fails to meticulously adhere to the chemical disarmament schedule that was agreed upon earlier.

The Russian minister contended that such threats are not helpful.

Syrian opposition delegation in Geneva should be more representative - Lavrov

The Syrian opposition delegation at the Geneva-2 international conference on Syria should be more representative, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Lavrov noted that external stakeholders should not promote these or those Syrian groups as the only legitimate representatives of the Syrian people but should persuade the Syrian parties to remain in Geneva and continue the negotiations.

Moscow welcomes the modest but still inspiring results UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has achieved with the Syrian government and" opposition" delegations in the past week and expects these to be developed at the next round of talks, he said.

Russia actively supports this dialogue and believes it should be made truly representative as soon as possible, which is the only way for it to be successful, Lavrov said.

All those who can influence the "opposition" should make sure that the delegations at the negotiating table represent the entire spectrum of Syrian society, he said.


Defense Minister Inspects Garrisons in Aleppo—Competent Authorities Seize Explosives-laden Car in Damascus

PROVINCES,(ST)_Competent authorities have confiscated a car loaded with explosives in Damascus province, as the army units wiped out terrorist groups and weapons in seven provinces.

The Syrian TV channel reported on Friday that the competent authorities, in cooperation with locals, seized a car loaded with explosives in a quarter in Damascus province, without defining the quarter.

It added that the engineering units defused the explosives while the competent authorities started investigation.

Shells hit Damascus

The same province [Damascus] witnessed two terrorist attacks when shells hit the surrounding of the Omayyad Mosque and al-Abbaseyen stadium.

A police command source told the official news agency that a shell, which was fired by a Takfiri terrorist group, landed on the northern side of the Omayyad Mosque wounding 9 citizens, 2 children and a woman. 

It added that other two shells hit the surrounding of al-Abbaseyen stadium causing material damages without casualties.

Accurate strikes 

The mortar attacks occurred as the army units pressed ahead with targeting terrorist groupings in Damascus countryside province where dozens of terrorists and several ringleaders died.

The terrorists were eliminated in accurate operations in Khan al-Sheih, Alya farms, Erbin town and in al-Qadam area and in clashes which raged in Darayya, Adra and Jobar areas.

Terrorists of Saudi and Tunisian nationalities were among the dead in Khan al-Sheih area, around 25km to the south-west of Damascus.

More Saudi terrorists belonging to the so-called the 'Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant' perished in Lattakia countryside when the army units targeted terrorist groupings in Rabe'a town.

Some 38 terrorists were killed there, according to a military source.

In  further developments, it was reported that the army units crushed armed terrorist groups in Homs province, precisely in the quarters of al-Qarabis and al-Waer and in towns of Salam Gharbi, Tal Ein Hussien, al-Dar al-Kabira and al-Zara, and in Daraa al-Balad in southern Daraa province.

Terrorist attacks thwarted

While on Homs-Palmyra road, the competent authorities foiled terrorists' bid to detonate 4 booby-traps, weight 40kg/each, near Hannora town. 

Around 45km to the north-east of Homs province, the army units repelled terrorists' infiltration bid into al-Arshoneh town outside al-Salameyeh of Hama province, according to a military source.

The sources added that the army units warded off an attack on a garrison on the road stretching from Soran to Morek to the north of Hama province.

Moreover, the army units eliminated an unknown number of terrorists in several areas in northern Aleppo province.

Defense Minister in Aleppo

Alikhbaria al-Soreyeh TV channel said that Defense Minister General Fahd Jassem al-Frej paid an inspection visit to several garrisons in Aleppo. It quoted the minister, who also occupies the position of deputy commander-in-chief of the army and the armed forces, as stressing that terrorist groups will be flushed out from Aleppo province soon.

Syria is fighting terrorism exported from around 83 countries.

The US, France, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and France sponsor terrorist groups operating in Syria, media reports say.


Syrian , Arab Communities Gathered in Solidarity with Syria in Geneva

GENEVA,(ST)_ Hundreds of the Syrian community in Europe , together with members of Arab communities and foreigners gathered today before the UN headquarters in Geneva in support of Syria and its people and army and in rejection of terrorism , Syria is experiencing , backed by the regional and in support for the Syrian delegation in Geneva .

Talking to the participants in the solidarity rally, Information Minister Omran al-Zou'bi pointed out that Geneva Conference 2 did not reach the results as the coalition delegation refused to condemn terrorism and the provision of foreign non-interference noting that " Neither those nor the U.S. , Saudi Arabia and Qatar are able to impose their conditions on the Syrian people , who are supported by 300 million Arabs and millions Liberals in the world. "

In turn, Political and Media Advisor at the Republic Presidency, Dr. Butheina Shaaban confirmed said Syria will remain a country for all Arabs and all liberals of the world , pointing out that the secret of Syria 's strength lies within its great people .

Shaaban stressed that Syria did not and will not give up any of its rights and the rights of the Arabs.

For his part, Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Faisal al-Miqdad said that the Syrian people are standing against terrorism noting that Syria has remained steadfast, thanks to people 's continued support for President Bashar al-Assad .

Syria's Permanent Delegate to the UN , Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, told the participants in the solidarity rally that "the Syrian people are the ones who decide the future of Syria , while the coalition  delegation , called the " opposition " thinks that it came to hand over power as they were told by their masters ."


T. Fateh

Al-Mouallem Blames US and 'Opposition coalition' for Deadlock in Geneva 2 Talks

GENEVA,(ST)_Foreign and Expatriates Minister has underscored that the 'opposition coalition' delegation and the United States have hampered arriving at common grounds in the week-long Geneva-2 talks.

Walid al-Mouallem, who led the Syrian official delegation to Geneva 2 talks, clarified at a news conference that the talks ended with no tangible results due to the US flagrant intervention in the talks and the non-seriousness and immaturity of the other side [coalition delegation].

"The other side had threatened to abort the talks for several times in the past week and it was obstinate to debate one topic as if we came to the Geneva talks to hand over everything in one hour. This reflects their delusions," the minister said.

He added that the US intervention in the talks was the other reason for not reaching tangible results.

Al-Moualem reiterated that the Syrian official delegation accepted to discuss all topics to bring about a common ground on which all Syrians agree.

"But, it seems, that the other side did not read the initial Geneva deal and it rejected the common ground.. Are those Syrians ? and can they be partners in building Syria's  future? "the minister asked.

No moderate opposition in Syria, only terrorists

He lambasted the double-standard policy of the US which supports Iraq in fighting the so-called the 'Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) and at the same time arms this organization (ISIL) and al-Nusra Front to kill the Syrians.

As for the US decision to resume arming terrorist groups in Syria, Al-Mouallem underlined that the US knows well that there is no moderate opposition in Syria , only terrorist organizations destroying the country's infrastructures and killing innocent civilians. 

"Last night, I told Lakhdar Brahimi that he should call the US Secretary of State John Kerry to assert his keenness on the political solution and not a military one," al-Mouallem said.

Forthcoming talks

On the other hand, the minister pointed out that there is a national opposition inside Syria and it must be invited to the talks."The Syrian government will seek to hold the talks in the homeland."

"We represent the concerns and interests of our people and if we find that coming back to the talks in Geneva is their demand, we will do that..We, the Syrian Arab Republic's delegation, will return home to brief our people about what happened. Here I praise the awareness of the people who stood by us," al-Mouallem said.

Evacuation attempts

Regarding the humanitarian issue, the minister unveiled that there were attempts to evacuate civilians from the old city of Homs but they  failed because the ringleader of the gunmen there threatened to prevent  evacuation.

"The other side 'coalition' and their supporters have no control over gunmen on the ground," he said.

Transitional government

As for the transitional government, al-Mouallem asked:"Who represents the opposition in the forthcoming government?", adding : "We have first to know the identity of the other side- whether it is Syrian or not- we did not say that the issue of transitional government was not debated. It is  clause No.8 in the 2012 Geneva Communiqué,".

He asserted that Syria's destiny is to be determined by the Syrians themselves.

Basma Qaddour

Shaaban: Syrian Delegation Will Not Accept Anything Contradicting Syrians' Interests

Geneva (ST)-Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban reaffirmed that the Syrian official delegation participating in Geneva is strongly present and it will not accept anything contradicting its principles and the Syrian people's interests, pointing out that Geneva1 Communiqué provides that nothing can be done without both parties' agreement.

In response to a question on the US attempt of bringing some armed factions of 'the Islamic Front' and others to expand the coalition and join them at the negotiation table, Shaaban told al-Manar TV  in a phone call "This reflects their doubtful relation with these sides that kill, mutilate, kidnap and sabotage state institutions", adding that "There is an international side along with our Russian friends who see that pursuing the political track may lead to results that realize the Syrian people's interests".

"The secret of the Syrian diplomacy is simple, which is represented through believing in the homeland and its sanctity…it is axiomatic that our choice is either to live with dignity in our homeland or die defending it."

Regarding the former US. Ambassador Robert Ford's statements, Shaaban said " I do not know what makes him so daring to address the Syrian people, I described him as High Commissioner," adding "Ford thinks that Syria is under occupation, maybe because those sides  cooperating with him make him understand that this is acceptable for them and because they receive his orders and do what he wants, so he thinks that the Syrians accept that, but he is mistaken."

Shaaban pointed out that the escalation of the US  Ambassador Ford and President Barack Obama is a result of our steadfastness and conviction that they will not be able to change anything.

On the Syrian official delegation's feeling that  was negotiating the US while sitting with the coalition delegation, Shaaban said that " We had negotiations with the Israeli side through a US mediation, and I can say that it was better because what is strange now is that we have submitted three days ago  joint principles statement irrefutable by any Syrian citizen, which are the principles of Syria's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, combating terrorism and the rejection of foreign intervention, but this statement was  rejected by the other party".

"On Wednesday, we proposed a condemnation paper of the US declaration of re-arming the so-called opposition, but the other party rejected it and didn’t accept to condemn the US. decision", Shaaban pointed out, adding that "there is nothing in the world neither called 'an armed opposition, nor a law that allows  arming an opposition.  This is a crime, but sorry to say that they come out with terms according to  their control over mass  media".

Shaaban considered that if there is good intention in exerting efforts for solving the crisis, it is obvious to invite the national internal opposition along with Iran, which represents a major regional power, important for solving crisis".

 In response to what has been said of coalition's achievement by withdrawing the recognition of the official delegation in Geneva communiqué, particularly item No. 8 which talks about " a transitional body", Shaaban clarified that the other side attempts to achieve a fake victory, adding that the Syrian government has come to Geneva according to the UN Secretary General's invitation which is based on Geneva1 Communiqué and it doesn’t  not have any problem with this issue".

"The other party's problem is that they want to jump into item no. 8, but there is no logic in the world that says we should start reading a paper from line no. 20, rather we should begin with line no. 1 of Geneve1 Communiqué, which is termination of violence, which is now named terrorism" asserting "it is impossible to launch a political discourse without stopping terrorism, which is targeting our people, institutions and army".

She underlined the urgency of putting pressures on regional countries that finance, arm and send terrorists to stop that.

On the Syrian Arab Republic delegation's media success in Geneva and  abstaining from giving statements to al-Jazeera TV, Shaaban said that this Channel is a partner in the Syrian bloodshed, so I refuse to give it any statements, noting that the Syrian official delegation has the opportunity, through their communications with different international media outlets, to reveal the truth .

Shaaban pointed out that the Syrian official delegation was able in Geneva, with the presence of huge mass media, to break the  media siege imposed by Syria's enemies and to unveil some realities which they want to falsify from the beginning of the crisis.