Information Minister: Some 300 Media Outlets are Permitted into Syria to Cover Events

 DAMASCUS,(ST)_ Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi stressed that the government pursues a

 clear policy in dealing with foreign  media that wants  to cover the events of the crisis in Syria, in  permitting  journalists into the country, at the approval of the Ministry of Information due to the existing conditions to maintain journalists safety  . 

Meeting  with the delegation representing the Polish branch of the  European Centre for Strategic Studies, currently visiting Syria, the minister added that the  ministry allowed more than 300 media outlets to visit the country and convey facts taking place on the ground , asserting that the Ministry "does not interfere in their work and considers that a journalist is  free to write from his  point of view because  a professional  and impartial  journalist will only write the truth. " 

He explained to the delegation, the implications behind  the killing  of French journalist  Gilles Jacquet early last year in Homs after he entered the  country illegally and was  targeted by terrorists  , pointing that the  French government stopped  demanding investigations to disclose the identity of his killers after it became clear they were from terrorist groups that  the French government continues  demanding  providing them with weapons.

 The Minister indicated  that by allowing media coverage of current events on its  soil  since two years , Syria seeks to acquaint  the foreign public opinion that Syria is fighting on behalf of the world and human civilization  against terrorists and obscurantist , pointing that the Ministry of Information has dealt with the media outlets, regardless of their  affiliation and position  towards the  Syrian people.

He continued that the ministry  "will make  documentary films presented facts about the crisis in Syria in different languages for the  European recipient."

"There is a confusion in the terminology used by the media and European media  which described terrorists who come to Syria from various spots as " jihadists ", while in reality they are  criminals and vandals." The minister emphasized .

He warned against the spillover  of the phenomenon of extremists  from European nationalities who come to Syria for fighting the Syrian army and people, explaining that their number is "estimated at  one thousand now will constitute a real threat to their communities when they return to the countries they came from."

The minister denied "information published by the European media on  the Syrian Army  use of chemical weapons in the war waged against terrorism," adding that Syria rejects the use of these weapons on moral , principled, and political grounds as an  expression of its international obligations ", adding that Syria  invited the UN  to investigate the terrorist use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Asal  in Aleppo, but the UN turned over   this  call after being  pressured  by  parties involved in supporting terrorists. 

Members of the delegation expressed  "fear over  the increasing number of terrorists who arrived  to Syria from European countries and fought  with extremist organizations" . They asked for  lists of the names of these  terrorists nationalities and the countries they came from  especially as  " several families of these terrorists filed complaints before European competent authorities to bring back their children."


T. Fateh

Al-Halqi to European Delegation : Government cooperated with all Arab-UN missions


DAMASCUS,(ST)_Prime Minister has stressed that the Syrian government is to press ahead with fighting terrorism on the one hand and holding talks with all Syrian spectra on the other in order to build the future of Syria according to its people's will.

Al-Halqi noted that the government has cooperated with all Arab and UN missions and offered them all possible facilities to unmask reality before the public opinion, but, Arab, EU and US pressure has hampered these Syrian efforts.

The Premier was speaking during a meeting with a visiting delegation representing the Poland Branch of the European Center for Strategic Studies.

The meeting revolved around economic, political, media, and cultural goals of the conspiracy hatched against Syria.

Myriad terrorists

"We are fighting tens of thousands of terrorists coming from more than 29 states, including the EU and North Africa. In addition, Syria's nearby states have become a harbor for terrorist. Nevertheless, our armed forces will weed out all terrorists on the Syrian territories," the PM said.

He added: "Syria has repeatedly warned that the global war, being waged on it, has aimed at destabilizing the whole region. In fact, what is going on in Turkey and Lebanon proves this."

On the other hand, the premier talked about the unjust sanctions imposed on Syria.

Arming opposition

Following the meeting, Head of the Syrian Expatriates' Association in Poland, Nabil al-Malazi, told reporters that the delegation will explain before the public opinion the reality of events in Syria.

For his part, the Belgian MP, Philip Dyowenter, underscored that many European governments and peoples reject arming opposition as this will help escalate the crisis.

The delegation comprised MPs and reporters from several European states. 

Basma Qaddour    




Syrian Arab army finds a tunnel in Barzeh, regains security to Wadi al-Sayeh quarter

PROVINCES,(ST)_Units of armed forces continue targeting foreign-backed terrorists and destroying their weapons nationwide as security has been restored to Wadi al-Sayeh quarter in the central Homs province.

Today, two arms caches and several hideouts of al-Nusra Front-affiliated terrorists were pounded in Jerod and Adra areas outside Damascus amid reports of finding a 40-meter tunnel south-east Tishreen hospital in Barzeh quarter.

An official source declared that dozens of terrorists and a ringleader of the so-called 'al-Tawhid movement' were eliminated in farms of Jerod town, north-west Erbin town in the eastern Ghouta and in Harasta suburb.

15 terrorists killed in al-Zabadani

It added that a unit of the armed forces carried out a specific operation against terrorists' hideout in al-Ajjan square in al-Zabadani city (about 45 km north of the capital) ended in killing at least 15 terrorists.

Other terrorists were reportedly killed in Der Ateyeh, Qarra, and Yabroud areas (80-88 km north of Damascus).

On the other hand, a quarrel broke out between two terrorist groups in Der Qanon town in Wado Barada area (outside Damascus) over sharing loots. Most of the groups' members were dead.

Wadi al-sayeh quarter under army's control

Actually, the terrorists have been inflicted heavy losses not only outside Damascus but also in Homs province where the units of the armed forces imposed control over Wadi al-sayeh quarter and targeted several terrorist groupings in quarters of al-Qarabis and Bab Hod and outside al-Holeh, Talkalkh and al-Rastan.

The armed forces, in addition, shelled a hideout of terrorists in al-Alyaneyeh area outside Palmyra while competent authorities seized stolen antiques in a farm outside Palmyra.    

At the same time, engineering units dismantled 5 explosive devices planted by terrorists on Homs-Sab'a Bayar road.

Concerning operations in the northern provinces, it was reported that fighting raged between units of the armed forces and terrorist groups in al-Sheikh Maqsoud and Bestan al-Qaser areas in Aleppo.

An official source said that many terrorists were killed and others injured in the fighting which coincided with operations in the surrounding Aleppo central prison and Meneg airbase.

Anti-aircraft weapons were reportedly destroyed in the operations that took place in the surrounding area of the prison. 

Units of the armed forces also crushed terrorists who tried to attack several garrisons in Idlib province, as locals of Hatleh town outside Der Ezzour province confronted an armed terrorist group's attack on their town.

In Lattakia countryside, a unit of armed forces destroyed a hideout of terrorists in Rabe'a town.

Shells hit Aleppo city

In a separate development, terrorists' shells left several citizens wounded and massive damages in a residential area in Aleppo province.

An official source said: "the terrorists fired today three shells landed on two schools- Mazen Dabbagh and Huda Sha'arawi- in the new Serian suburb," citing that displaced people, who fled heir homes in several towns outside Aleppo because of terrorists' acts, are living in the schools.

Syria is facing a foreign-backed war that aims at weakening the Syrian Arab army and destroying its national economy to serve Israel's interests in the region.

The US, France, Britain, Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia supply the terrorist groups, who perpetrate heinous crimes against citizens and destroy Syria's infrastructure, with arms, money and media coverage.


Turkish Criminality, Western, Arab Conspiracy Did not Undermine Syria – Jafaari

Pennsylvania ,(ST)_ Syria's permanent representative to the UN Dr. Bashar Jaafari, said  that neither Turkish criminality nor British, French  and Arab Gulf conspiracies could affect Syria, which has been steadfast all the time , even  under the blockade and economic sanctions. 

In a seminar at the Syrian- American Forum  in Pennsylvania , Jafaari  explained that the secret of the success of Syria  steadfastness in this big crisis is the Syrian  man , who is the treasure of Syria 's geopolitical position in the world.

 "They left no way to annoy us , however,  they  failed and  now they are looking for new solutions  because of their bad calculations, and  not because they changed their attitude towards us,"  Jafaari added  stressing  that everyone now rethinks their calculations   because they discovered they were wrong,  and did not lead  to what they sought of changing the rule in Syria, undermining Syria  or handing it   to extremism and terrorism funded by petrodollars.

Jaafari questioned  where is  national work and  what is  the relation between improving  the situation in Syria  with  kidnapping bishops and  killing the elderly, destruction of airports, radar networks, schools, hospitals,  drug laboratories and dismantling labs and  smuggling them to Turkey.

 T. Fateh 

Miqdad: Syria Opts political Solution to Crisis, Fighting Terrorism is International Responsibility

DAMASCUS,(ST)  _ In A meeting with a delegation  representing Poland Branch of the European Centre for Strategic Studies, including parliamentarians and journalists from several European countries,  Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates  Dr. Fisal Miqdad  reviewed conditions Syria undergoes.

Dr. Miqdad noted the importance of this visit by parliamentarians , journalists or representatives of the civil society in Europe to know the truth about what is happening in Syria in a time when many European governments  support  directly or indirectly armed terrorist groups in cooperation with regional allies.

Members of the  delegation expressed desire to have access to the truth of what is happening in Syria, away from the  untrue image conveyed by Western media about the events or  official European policies, pointing out that European public opinion suffers  from a lack of information and became an avid to know what is happening objectively in light of the growing fears of the spillover of  terrorism to Europe , knowing that  terrorists from European countries are fighting in the ranks of extremist terrorist groups in Syria .

The delegation also expressed readiness to convey  an objective picture of what is happening in Syria .

Dr. Miqdad  also pointed to the recent EU decision to lift the ban for sending weapons to terrorist groups in Syria, while continue to impose  unfair economic sanctions on the Syrian people, in total contradiction with the values adopted by Europe.

He continued that since the very beginning of the events , Syria  warned of the consequences of supporting these armed groups, adding "  but the West in general and some European countries, particularly tried to mislead the world public opinion by giving  the impression that there is a  well weapon well and  a bad weapon."

Dr. Miqdad  emphasized that Syria is  inclined to the  political solution to the crisis , as manifested in the  political program announced by President Bashar al-Assad last January or in approving  international initiatives to resolve the crisis peacefully, pointing out that fighting terrorism is an international responsibility  and that Syria is determined to fight terrorism in order to restore own stability and security .

T. Fateh

National economy 'immune' despite challenges, says al-Halqi

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Prime Minister has designated the national economy as 'immune' and satisfy the needs of all citizens, noting that government is still offering free health service and educational services despite challenges.

Dr.Wael al-Halqi's remark came Monday during the opening ceremony of the Physicians Union's extraordinary general conference.

The premier underscored that the improvement of health care measures and setting up many hospitals over the past years proved the political leadership and government's interest in health sector.

He briefed the conferees on economic and services situation in  light of  the current circumstances Syria is going through, stressing that the country is facing a global war at economic, political, military, diplomatic and intelligence levels.

The 2013 wheat production estimated 2.5m ton

Al-Halqi said: "Economic sector is being targeted in order to abort its competitiveness at all levels…this year, wheat production is estimated to be 2.5 million ton.. the strategic wheat reserves could meet two years of the country's demand."

Employees salaries hit 'SP 497 bn'

He added that the government is to expend SP497 billion as salaries for state employees this year and continue providing citizens with all basic services free. "Therefore, the armed terrorist groups systematically target the infrastructure of these sectors (education, health, power) and devastate the  service establishments in order to undermine state's components."

Reason for targeting medicine facilities

Al-Halqi made it clear that the Turkish government purposely gave the order to target the Syrian medicine facilities to protect Turkish industry.

"Syria was totally self-sufficient in medicine production and was exporting medicines to 57 states all over the world. However, Turkey was producing 65 million ton/ year and its needs reached up to 40 million ton, so it was looking for markets to sell its products," he said.

CBS issues real exchange rate

As for foreign currency reserves, al-Halqi reiterated, once again, that Syria has good reserves, adding: "the Syrian pound has hit a record low against the Dollar due to the economic sanctions and embargo imposed on the country. The real exchange rate is issued only by the Central Bank of Syria."

Concerning compensation being paid for affected people, the PM said: "So thus, as many as SP6.4billion out of SP30 bn has been spent."


He, in addition, affirmed that the government allocates SP 512 bn for subsidizing basic items in 2013. "Despite current circumstances, Syria will never relinquish subsidization."

Al-Halqi concluded that the government is working on bringing about a formulation to improve citizens' livelihood and ease the crisis' impact on them.

Basma Qaddour 

Two Suicide Bombings Hit Damascus

DAMASCUS, (ST) –Two suicide bombers Tuesday morning blew themselves up in al-Marjeh square in Damascus. Fourteen people were martyred and scores wounded.

A Damascus Police Command source told SANA, that two suicide bombers blew themselves up today morning near a police department, claiming the lives of 14 people and wounding 31 others some of them have serious injuries. The explosions also caused material damage.

The source pointed out that parts of shredded bodies were collected at the scene and put in two bags.

H. Mustafa