Mikdad: Syria has many options to retaliate any aggression

DAMASCUS, (ST) – Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Fayssal Mikdad called upon the countries that welcomed Syria's decision to join the chemical weapons prohibition convention to uphold their responsibility in stopping the terrorism of foreign-backed armed groups.

Interviewed by  Al-Alam TV, Mikdad underscored  that the Syrian leadership has always been committed to any initiative that could help resolve and stop the aggression on Syria.

"Syria is  determined  to continue defending its land and people and fighting terrorism," affirmed Mikdad.

"handing over chemical weapons will not affect balance in the region, stressing that  the Syrian leadership's decision regarding this matter  was in the interest of the Syrian people ,"underlined Mikdad.

"Syria has many options for responding to any Israeli aggression and is fully  prepared to confront any foreign aggression, "asserted Mikdad.

In this respect, we are  calling upon the international community to pressure Israel to abandon its chemical, biological and nuclear arsenal.

He reiterated that Syria never has and never will use any chemical weapon, saying that Syria provided its friends and allies with information showing that armed groups were the ones who used chemical weapons.

Mikdad also lauded the positions of some Lebanese leaders and figures, primarily Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, saying that these positions defend Lebanon before Syria, while other positions in Lebanon aren't worth commenting on.

Concerning Erdogan government's  role in the crisis in Syria and its support for armed groups, Mikdad said that Erdogan's government wants to escalate the situation in service of Israel and the US by supporting terrorism and opening borders for gunmen to enter Syria.

Mikdad branded  the Saudi regime as "spiteful," pointing out to Saudi Arabia's support for terrorism against Syrians.

At the end of the interview, Mikdad extends  thanks to  Iran, particularly Supreme Guide of the Revolution Ali Khamenei, for their support of Syria's government and people. 


Information Minister receives Yemeni delegation

DAMASCUS, (ST) _Information Minister Omran al-Zou'bi has branded the  Syrian media as a partner to  the armed forces as regards  confronting the vicious media campaign targeting Syria (state and army )in a bid to change  its identity under religious, confessional and legal designations.

Al-Zou'bi 's remark was made during a meeting he held  Wednesday with the Yemeni teachers' syndicate delegation currently visiting Syria.

During the meeting, al-Zou'bi highlighted the recent development of the  Syrian media especially in tracking field events  and refuting the allegations and fabrications plus  and its role as a bulwark in defending the Syrian public opinion.

"Proudly speaking, the  national media has spared no effort to  convey the true image of the events so as it became the source of facts and information, and is now dealing with events on the ground with a hands-on approach,"asserted al-Zou'bi.

The minister  highlighted the efforts to improve the Syrian media and "dislodge the mindset that has been prevalent for decades," announcing that a national workshop to discuss the faults and deficiencies of national media will be organized in the coming few days.

Al-Zoubi reiterated his confidence in  Syria's inevitable victory over the armed terrorist groups(al-Qaeda-affiliates al-Nusra front and others) who are committing appalling crimes against the Syrian people.

He made it clear that there is a difference  the  national opposition that has a national political project, and the armed terrorist groups who are inciting aggression and foreign intervention.

For his part, head of the Yemeni Teachers Syndicate Mohammad Hanzal voiced the Yemeni people's support to Syria as being the ''beating heart of Arab nation'' and the defender of its dignity in its war against terrorism and the US-Zionist scheme.

The delegation members lauded  the  Syrian people's  steadfastness and army ''who astounded the world by combating terrorism and defending the Arab nation.''

They also praised  the great development of the Syrian national media and its role in divulging the lies and allegations of hostile media, affirming that the Syrian media is the reliable source of information for a large segment of the Yemeni people.


President Al-Assad to Ryabkov: Russia's stance helps create new global balance

DAMASCUS, (ST) – President Bashar Al-Assad on Wednesday received Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and the accompanying delegation.

Talks dealt with the latest developments in Syria.

"on behalf of myself and the Syrian people, we  do appreciate Russia for helping Syria face down vicious attack by  western, regional and Arab countries -backed takfiri extremists, "President Al-Assad told Ryabkov,adding that such a stance helps create a new global balance.

President Al-Assad underscored that Russia's stands raise hope for a new roadmap for the world power balance.

Ryabkov , for his part ,affirmed Russia's firm stance  on the crisis in Syria based on the need to find a political solution and adhering to international laws that reject the use of force and respect people's right to create their own future.

"Syria's issue is Russia's priority and a pivot of world politics. There is a dire  need to continue deep and practical consultation and coordination between the two countries' leaderships, "underlined Ryabkov.


Earlier,President BasharAl-Assad received a US delegation .

The delegation, headed by former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark ,included  anti-war activists and journalists.

During the meeting, President Al-Assad said that the policies adopted by the US administration in the region, which are based on waging wars, interfering in countries affairs, and imposing dominance on its people and resources, do not serve the interests of the American people and contradict with their values and principles.

For their part, members of the delegation hoped that peace and stability will return to Syria. "we  will continue to defend Syria in various circles and spare no effort to uncover the fabrications  promoted by the Obama's administration to the American Public opinion to justify aggression on the Syrian people, "asserted the delegation.


Jaafari : Syria Warned against Terrorists Use of Chemical Weapons

NEW YORK (ST) _ Syria's  Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Bashar Jaafari stressed  that the Syrian government is considering  what was  stated in the interim report issued by the UN Secretariat on allegations of using chemical weapons in Damascus countryside , on August 21, explaining that the Syrian government does not want to  anticipate assessment of the  partial report content  before making a careful study of its details.

Reading  Syria 's  statement , before the UN General Assembly on the report of the UN  Mission , yesterday on the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Ghota on 21 August 2013 Jaafari said : The partial findings of the investigation team concluded the use of poisonous sarin  gas did not add anything new to what  Syrian government itself had warned against several times, pointing out that the Syrian government , since the beginning of the crisis, has warned of the danger of using  chemical weapons in Syria by terrorist groups , some linked to al-Qaeda.

UN  Secretariat partial  report  disrupts investigations

Jaafari said : I wished the  UN Secretariat not to be confined  to issue a partial report because  this  would confuse  the investigation and serve  intrusive  agendas  of  some countries  that seek to politicize the scientific investigations  in order to demonize the Syrian government and devoid   the positive meaning of its decision to join the Organization for the Prohibition of chemical weapons and sabotage the  Syrian - Russian initiative provided for placing  of chemical weapons stockpiles and production and storage sites under the control of the Organization for the prohibition of chemical Weapons .

He continued that during its membership in the  UN  Security Council in 2003,  Syria proposed a draft resolution aimed at establishing a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, an initiative that did not succeed as it was  intercepted by  the U.S. delegation in the Security Council at the time , noting  the resolution  adopted  annually by the UN  General Assembly on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East . A  resolution requesting the  UN Secretary - General to submit a report on the implementation of the  said resolution , but that none of the secretaries-general of the United Nations submitted his   report to the General Assembly on the  said resolution over the decades since it was adopted by the UN General  Assembly.

Syria  warned against  the use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups

Jaafari  added that since  the beginning of the crisis in Syria ,the Syrian government repeatedly  warned of the danger of the use of chemical weapons in Syria by terrorist groups , some linked to al-Qaeda and officially  expressed since December 2012  serious fear that some governments that support terrorism and terrorists in Syria provide chemical weapons for  armed terrorist groups,  to allege  later they are  used by the Syrian government, noting that  this letter is  in  the Archives of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly , dated 08.12.2012 .

He continued that raising the file  of the so-called " chemical weapons in Syria," aims to undermine the chances of convening and the success of the Geneva 2, which is supported by the secretary general and  rather to proceed with the option of military aggression and delusions  of changing the Syrian rule through that . He also added  that this also comes after the apparent progress of the Syrian army in response to the armed  international terrorism over the Syrian  territory.

Partial findings of the investigation team did not add anything new

The  Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations  added that the  partial conclusions of the investigation team  concluded that the use of sarin gas  did not add anything new to what the Syrian government itself had warned several times , thereby confirming what the Syrian government concluded  several months  before  the Investigation Committee started work , recalling in  this regard , a number of reports that confirm  terrorist groups in Syria use of sarin gas . He cited evidences that the  Turkish authorities in  May 2013 arrested  12 terrorist  with their possession  two KGs of sarin gas  they had transferred from Libya on board of  a civil aircraft , pointing out that the media indicated today that the Turkish courts sentenced  those terrorists to jail  and  fact that smuggling any type of weapons from Libya to Syria is in flagrant violation of relevant Security Council resolutions relevant , resolutions 1970 and 1973 which were adopted under Chapter VII.

Jaafari  hinted  reports on  al-Nusra Front  terrorists manufacturing of chemical  weapons in a  secret laboratory  in Iraq so that these dirty  weapons to be delivered to  terrorists in  Syria, pointing  , reports and documents handed over by Russian journalist Anastasia Popova to  the UN  General Secretariat on  what she had seen in  Khan al-Asal area , the  day when the  attack was made  on the town providing that  terrorist groups  used  chemical  weapons against the Syrian Arab army and civilians in the town in addition to the reports on the  involvement of two  Qatari army officers in the transfer of toxic chemicals used in  Khan al-Asal  to the armed terrorist groups which carried out  the operation ,through the Turkish territory and with the knowledge of the authorities of Ankara. They were  Fahad Saeed Al-Hajri and Faleh bin Khaled al-Tamimi .

" Based on our belief that the use of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons is unacceptable ,immoral and condemnable in the light of recent developments and the  care to maintain  the  security of Syria and its citizens , the Syrian government responded to the  Russian initiative  provided to join  the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production , Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons  under a legislative decree issued by  President Bashar Al - Assad." Jaafari said.

Jaafari pointed out that Syria had joined the Geneva Protocol of 1925 , even before the United States and Israel whose  nuclear weapons constitute a major obstacle to the evacuation  of the  Middle East  from  all weapons of mass destruction .

He stressed that  the Syrian government is committed to cooperate  with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to  the implementation of the provisions of the Convention and is willing to reveal all stocks of chemical weapons and their primary components , production and stockpiling sites .

Jaafari  concluded by  saying that the UN Secretary -General  said  that chemical weapons were first used  on 21  August/ 2013 since  it was used in Halabja, Iraq,  explaining that  this is not accurate because the chemical weapon was used in Iraq , in Fallujah and other areas resulting in killing  tens thousands of Iraqis , regretting  the fact that no mention is made  Western countries that used weapons of mass destruction in Libya , Vietnam and Ethiopia.


T. Fateh

US delegation talks to wounded soldiers and displaced citizens

DAMASCUS,(ST)_A delegation from the International Action Center headed by the former United States Attorney General, William Ramsey Clark, has visited Syria to express solidarity of the US people with the Syrian people and army in fighting terrorism.

The visiting delegation, according to the official news agency (SANA), underscored the rejection of the US Administration's policy with regard to arming terrorists and causing the death of thousands of Syrians.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to a shelter in Damascus, Clark said: "Cooperation is necessary to prevent wars and threats against sovereign countries and to create a world based on justice."

He added that among the goals of the delegation's visit is to convey the real image to the US society about the armed terrorist groups' crimes against Syrians.

Clark listened to the ordeals of some displaced citizens who fled their homes because of terrorist groups' acts.


Mercenaries work to foment sedition

In a meeting held also today between the delegation and the Republic's Grand Mufti, the former US Attorney General said: "the mercenaries, who are supported by the US Administration, perpetrate crimes to foment sedition in Syria and they are responsible for the abduction of two bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji."

He expressed admiration for co-existence between Muslims and Christians in Syria. 

The delegation had a busy schedule today as it also visited a military hospital and talked to wounded soldiers, who were tracking down terrorists.           

The delegation comprised Sara Flounders (Principal leader of IAC),  Cynthia Mackinney (a member of Democratic Party), John Parker, Kenneth Car (anti-war activist).


Syrian Arab army mops up Shebaa town, makes advance in Der Ezzour


PROVINCES,(ST)_Units of the armed forces have uncovered a conduit  and trench in Shebaa town outside Damascus, made progress in al-Ba'ajin quarter in Der Ezzour and thwarted infiltration attempts into safe areas in Aleppo and Homs.

Day after imposing control over the strategic Shebaa town, it was officially reported that the armed forces found a 500m-long trench plus a 200m-long tunnel,  defused a mine and 21 explosive devices -weighing 50-70 kg- which were planted on the outskirts of the town.  

The trench, located alongside Damascus International Airport road, was used by terrorists to open fire  haphazardly on passing cars, while the tunnel was used to store weapons and ammunitions.

Strategic victory

The strategic Shebaa town lies just 11 km from Damascus International Airport and located to the south-east of the eastern Ghouta. It is around 30 km to the east of the capital [Damascus].

 Restoration of security to this town would lead to further significant advance in the eastern Ghouta battle, according to media reports.

Flashpoint areas

On the other fronts in Damascus countryside, the armed forces continued cracking down on terrorists and raided several hideouts along Der Salman farms in the heart of eastern Ghouta and in Adra alBalad, Doma, Harasta, Hajira, al-Dyabeyeh, al-Hseneyeh, al-Nabk, Jab'adin, al-Rhebeh, and Yabroud areas.

An unknown number of terrorists were eliminated and a large chunk of weapons were destroyed not only in the said areas but also in the suburbs of Barzeh, al-Qabon and Jobar, which are located just few kilometers away from Damascus.

Significant progress 

Meanwhile, it was reported that another victory against the foreign-backed terrorists was scored in Der Ezzour province where the armed forces tightened control over the area stretching from 'Abdullah ben Abbas' Mosque and 'Hokan' bakery in al-Ba'ajin quarter.

An official source noted that large numbers of booby-traps were dismantled in the quarter and several terrorists were hammered in al-Sena'a quarter in the same province (Der Ezzour).

Weapons and munitions

It added that the armed forces wiped out weapons and munitions including local-made rockets in towns of al-Abed and al-Bolil as well as near purification plant in al-Labed site in Mohsen city.

Moving towards the country's industrial province, Aleppo, the armed forces went ahead with destroying weapons-laden cars coming from Turkey for terrorists and foiled infiltration bids into safe areas inside the city.

A military source confirmed the death of dozens of terrorists in today's operations launched in the southeastern Aleppo countryside and in the towns of Kweris, al-Jadedeh, Rasm al-Abbod and on Aleppo-Raqqa road.

Elsewhere, the armed forces wiped out terrorist groupings in eight areas in Idlib province and in five areas in al-Hassaka province as well as in 12 areas in Homs province.

They also killed several armed terrorist groups trying to sneak from Bab Hod and Bab al-Turkman quarters into the safe Bab Sba'a quarter in Homs city.

Shells kill 5 citizens in Damascus

In a separate incident, the terrorists fired mortar shells on areas of al-Amara, al-Qassa'a and al-Abbaseyen in Damascus, killing five citizens and leaving 37 others wounded, including children, the official news agency (SANA) said.

The shells hit shops in Bab al-Salam and the Armenian Church in al-Qassa'a quarter and near 'al-Natta'en' Mosque in al-Amara quarter and on the surrounding of St-Louis-French Hospital in al-Abbaseyen area causing serious damages at the scene.



Al-Moallem :Mutual confidence between Syria and Russia

DAMASCUS, (ST) –"there is a mutual confidence between Russia and Syria, underscored  Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Walid al-Moallem.

Al-Moalem's  remark came during a meeting he held on Tuesday with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov.

Topped the meeting's agenda was discussing  the Russian-U.S. framework agreement based on Syria's joining  to the Chemical Weapons Convention

Al-Moallem highlighted the efforts exerted to face what is hatched against Syria and the Syrian people.

Ryabkov ,for his part, voiced  his country's firm stance on the peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria and rejecting any threats to use force.

"Russia won't  accept any UN Security Council resolution based on Chapter 7 concerning the Russian initiative," stressed Ryabkov.