President Al-Assad receives WIDF delegation

DAMASCUS,(ST)_"what is going in the region in general and Syria in particular is but targeting its sovereignty and its own decision as well. However, Syrian people along with the region's peoples are able to surpass the current difficult stage thanks to their determination to defend their lands ,interests and restoring their security and stability, "underscored President Bashar Al-Assad.

Al-Assad's remark was made during a meeting H.E President Al-Assad held on Monday with  the Women's International Democratic Federation delegation headed by Marcia Campos.

The delegation, for its  part, voiced the WIDF's solidarity with the Syrian people in confronting the terrorist attack and rejecting intervention in Syria's internal affairs.

"Syria is not only the homeland of the Syrians .But it has a deep-rooted history and a very important site .The current crisis will   end .Furthermore, the Syrian people's sacrifices will eventually lead to eliminating the hegemony projects, "stressed the delegation.

M.D

Syrian Officials Meet WIDF Delegation, Call for Unifying Efforts to Support Just Causes

 DAMASCUS, (ST) - Members of the delegation of Women International Democratic Federation (WIDF), visiting Syria, have voiced their solidarity with the Syrian people, particularly women, in defense of their homeland.

Assistant Secretary of the Baath Arab Socialist Party Hilal Hilal on Monday met members of the delegation and discussed with them ways of consolidating communications between the Baath Party and the Federation to exchange views on common issues in the service of justice and peace in the world and in the confrontation of aggression and modern colonialism.

Hilal briefed the guest delegation on the role played by Syrian women in confronting the terrorist war waged against Syria by takfiri terrorist groups backed by regional and international parties.    

The delegation, which comprised women from Brazil, Greece, Turkey, India, Lebanon and Jordan, have visited Syria to know the reality of events in the country and to support the Syrians who defend the independence of their country's decision.

Members of the delegation reviewed the activities held by women organizations in their countries in support for Syria. They also asked for more facts and information about the crimes being committed by the armed terrorist groups nationwide.

They stressed that the world public opinion is eager to know more facts about what is going on in Syria as the anti-Syria misleading media campaign has begun to retreat.

Supporting just causes

The People's Assembly (PA) Speaker Mohammad Jihad al-Lahham also held talks with the women delegation in which he called for unifying the stances of freedom-loving peoples, international parliaments and vocational unions to support people's just causes and right of self-determination and to reject the attempts of colonialist powers to dominate the resources of these peoples.

Al-Laham explained to the delegation the organized terrorism Syria has been facing at the hands of the US and Western-backed and regionally-funded terrorist takfiri groups. He said that this terrorist campaign aimed to justify a US military aggression against Syria

The PA Speaker referred to the package of social, political and economic reforms announced by the Syrian government to embody the Syrian people's aspirations, but the anti-Syria media campaign and the US and Western threats have proved that these countries' claims of defending democracy, freedom and human rights were only lies.

"The real objective of the aggression was to force Syria to surrender to foreign dictates and give up its national stances on just Arab causes.

For her part, President of WIDF Marcia Campos affirmed that the federation stands against the intervention of imperialist countries, especially the U.S, in the affairs of sovereign states and it rejects foreign threats of using force against these countries.

"The Federation realizes that what is going on in Syria is international organized terrorism and it understands the Syrian people's right to defend their land," said Campos, pointing out that members of the Federation have come to Syria to say that they won't keep silent about any aggression targeting peoples.

Women, children major victims of Western sanctions

Faisal al-Mikdad, the Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, during his meeting with the WIDF delegation stressed that the West's sanctions on Syria are unfair as they mainly affect women, children and vulnerable categories in society. 

Al-Mikdad explained the suffering of Syrian women under the crisis as a result of the terrorist aggression on Syria, pointing out that the crisis has damaged the achievements attained by the Syrian women over tens of years.

The deputy minister said that from the very beginning of the crisis, the Syrian state has announced that it believes in political solution and that it is ready to take part in Geneva Conference without preconditions or foreign dictates in order to help the Syrians engage in dialogue on the present and the future of their homeland.

For her part, Campos reiterated that the WIDF condemns any foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs and will keep struggling to prevent any aggression against the Syrian state.

She affirmed the solidarity of WIDF, which represents millions of women from all parts of the worlds, with the Syrian people in the confrontation of the global conspiracy hatched against their country.

H. Mustafa         

Syrian Arab army fights terrorists in several areas, continues making progress in Damascus countryside

PROVINCES,(ST)_Units of the armed forces on Sunday foiled a car bomb explosion in Homs province, made  progress in the "capital shield" operation and clashed with terrorists in Aleppo, Idlib and Quneitra provinces, according to the official news agency.

In details, the armed forces defused 5 explosive devices planted by terrorists inside a car near the general phosphate company in central Homs province where military operations continued against terrorist groupings in more than 14 areas.

They also eliminated armed terrorist groups trying to sneak from al-Ghasebeyeh town into al-Dwer town in Homs province and  to attack the central prison in Aleppo province. 

Other terrorist groups were killed as they were trying to infiltrate into towns of al-Hamedeyeh and al-Za'alaneh outside Idlib province.

On the other hand, the armed forces shelled terrorist groupings and arms-laden cars in around 15 areas in the same province and in 9 areas in Aleppo province and in Tal al-Samn in southern Daraa province as well as in eastern al-Samdaneyeh town in Quneitra province.

Concerning the 'capital shield' operation, it was said that the armed forces took control of an area near 'Asia' factory and stepped 1 kilometer forwards from the western side of al-Moaddameyeh area in western Ghouta of Damascus.

At the same time, a series of fresh crack down operations were carried out against terrorists in Hajjira town in southern Damascus countryside and in the heart of the eastern Ghouta (towns of al-Qasemeyeh, al-Delbeh and Mleha) as well as in suburbs of Jobar, al-Qabon, Zamalka and Duma, to the east of Damascus.

The accurate death toll of terrorists in today's operations across the country was not reported, but dozens were eliminated.

Syria is in a state of war and its national army hunts down foreign-backed terrorists to restore stability and security nationwide.

The US, Britain, France, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia support terrorist groups operating in Syria by all means to serve Israel's interests in the region. 

B. Qaddour

Syria will never negotiate with terrorists , says al-Zou'bi

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Information Minister has said Syria stands by resistance and rejects any act that impinges on human rights.

Omran al-Zou'bi, who was speaking today to the Beirut-based al-Manar TV channel, underscored his country's readiness to exert every possible effort to help releasing hostages everywhere.

He noted that the popular, international and media pressures have compelled those who had abducted the Lebanese to set them free ,in reference to  the nine Lebanese recently freed.

"Syria's policy has never differentiated  between a Syrian, a Lebanese and any Arab citizen," the minister said, expressing happiness for the return of the Lebanese abductees to their families .

On the other hand, al-Zou'bi stressed his country's readiness to participate in Geneva II conference without pre-conditions.

But, he added, this does not mean that we will negotiate with terrorists and Takfiris.

"Syria wants an inter- Syrian dialogue based on national interest, and it is firm in its political options," the minister said.

He concluded by saying that the Syrian, Lebanese and Arab peoples as well as Muslims will soon celebrate a victory over western and Takfiri schemes that tried to destroy the region.

Basma Qaddour

Campos:women worldwide voice solidarity with Syrian women

DAMASCUS, (ST) – A delegation from the Women's International Democratic Federation (WIDF) has  met Tourism Minister Bishr Riyad Yazigi in Dama Rose Hotel in Damascus.

"Syrian women shoulder the biggest burdens in terms of the repercussions of the crisis in Syria, and that biased media played a large role in the continuation of the crisis and the shedding of Syria blood,"underscored Yazigi.

He made it clear that  Syria's enemies are trying to destroy Syria and its cultural heritage and values.

"Syria's history abounds  with prewstigious  queens, princess and kingdoms named after women, and that Syrian women have been examples of success across history, "underlined Yazigi.

" women across the globe voice  solidarity with Syrian women who are suffering due to the crisis in Syria, "said WIDF President Marcia Campos.

R.S

Booby-Trapped Truck Blast Claims 37 Lives, Wounds Scores Near Hama

HAMA, (ST)-Thirty people were martyred and scores were wounded when a booby-trapped truck went off near an agricultural vehicle company at the outskirts of the central city of Hama.

According to an official source, a terrorist suicide bomber during the early hours of Sunday blew himself up in a booby-trapped truck carrying about 1.5 tons of explosives at the eastern entrance of Hama.

The violent explosion claimed the lives of 37 civilians and wounded tens of people, the source said, adding that the number of casualties is expected to rise as many people have had serious injuries.  

The source pointed out that the blast occurred in a busy area when a truck loaded with gas cylinders for domestic use was passing by. As a result, the gas cylinders exploded causing huge damage to more than 20 cars, a number of shops and houses at the site.

H. Mustafa     

“No” to violence as a way of dealing with political problems - Deputy PM Qadri Jamil

The visit to Moscow of Deputy Prime Minister of Syria for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil has come to the end. In the current Syrian government he represents the Popular Front for Change and Liberation, which is part of the “internal opposition”. Before leaving Moscow, Qadri Jamil gave an interview to the Voice of Russia.

Please tell us about the results of your visit to Moscow. And, by the way, will you define more exactly, what was the status of your visit – was it a state or a party visit? That is, were you representing the government or the opposition?

The Syrian government has not authorized me to discuss any specific issues; I am not responsible for the political component in the government. My sphere of responsibility in the government is economic issues. Thus, this was a purely party visit, I was here as a representative of the Popular Front.

Nevertheless, could you briefly describe the current situation in the Syrian economy?

The economic situation in the country directly depends on the security situation. It is impossible to solve economic problems without settling acute political issues and, of course, without solving issues in the sphere of security. We need stability. It is also necessary to solve the problem of international economic sanctions. All these factors negatively affect the situation in the economy. The real situation is very complex. The way out is only possible through searching for a political solution by means of a dialogue.

In this sense, the main hopes are connected with convening the Geneva-2 conference on Syria. Now, there is confidence that this conference will be convened. Both international and regional players are already aware that it is impossible to solve the Syrian issue by military means; the only possible way out is negotiations.

A political settlement is the only possible option.

Precisely, this is the only solution. The Geneva-2 gives a chance to approach a political solution. First of all, we should stop foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Syria. This will help to reduce the level of violence, which, in turn, will allow to launch a political process.

What is your version of this political settlement? It is impossible to imagine that the opposing parties will agree on how to go on living immediately after they sit at the negotiating table. What is the starting point?

They should agree before they sit at the table of negotiations. They should say “No” to foreign military intervention, “No” to violence as a way of dealing with political problems. After that we can solve all the problems.

This is, as I understand, the point of view of the “internal” Syrian opposition. Meanwhile, the external opposition represented by the Syrian National Council has refused to participate in the Geneva conference. What are the relations between the internal and external opposition now; do you have common grounds?

There are relations between the internal and external opposition, but as for common grounds – everything is more complicated here. The external opposition is guided by a number of external players, and the internal one is guided by its supporters inside the country. The external players pose specific tasks connected with their interests to their partners from the external opposition, but they are completely unrealizable in Syria under current conditions. On the contrary, our position is based on the analysis of the situation inside the country. Therefore, there are very few common grounds between us. In addition, the external opposition, as you have correctly pointed out, is in point of fact divided in their views on participation in the Geneva conference.

Is it possible to convene the Geneva conference without participation of representatives of the external opposition?

The convening of the Geneva conference is a decided issue; international forces have agreed on the need to convene it. As it was stated, the doors of the conference will be open to everybody, who is not indifferent to the fate of Syria. Those, who refuse to take part in it, will find themselves away from the new political reality and will be doomed to defeat and isolation.

Do you mean that, say, the moderate opposition is ready to carry on a dialogue with the authorities?

It is doing it already.

Does the opposition have its own vision of economic and social development of Syria? Besides the “Assad, Go Away!” slogan, what else does the opposition constitute today?

Firstly, I personally, and we as the Front for Change and Liberation, we are the opposition, and we have entered the government. We entered the government, because we believed that this was a less coalition government, which was a model of the future national government, of a broad national unity in solving the Syrian crisis. This is first of all. Secondly, there is no united opposition in Syria, and there should not be. We are moving towards a pluralistic society in terms of politics. There are different points of view among the opposition, there are different positions, and there is an opposition, which has important programs - serious economic, social and political programs. And there is an opposition, which only has the “Assad, Go Away!” slogan, but this is not a program.

Does it mean a change for the better for the situation in Syria?

Of course, for the better, so that we can build the future Syria, Syria that will have great growth rates and a very deep social stratum.

Given the current situation in the country, within what period of time do you think you can achieve this? What’s the economic damage today?

It is great. Now, the real economy production has come down by 50 percent. The most important thing today is to launch a political process, stop the violence, and then we will talk about economic and social damages.

There are many terrorist groups fighting in Syria. Could it become a signal for re-introducing the state of emergency in the country, previously cancelled by Assad at the request of some opposition forces?

The state of emergency remains in force. The Geneva-2 should firstly ban the export of mercenaries, money and weapons to Syria, that is, close the border for them. If this happens, then we can say that the situation in Syria begins to stabilize. It is the duty of the international community.

There are a lot of data about the number of people, who left Syria during the war. Do you know the exact number? Is it tens of millions?

No, it's an exaggeration. There are about five million of those, who fled their homes, but remained inside of Syria. I think, there are no more than two million of those, who left the country, but settled in the border areas of Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq.

Do you agree that there is a humanitarian disaster in Syria now?

Yes, it is, in some areas. For example, there is such situation in the suburbs of Aleppo, and in the suburbs of Damascus.

What food does the country need? What is it: sugar, grain?

First of all, it is flour, sugar, rice, and medicines.

Which countries are already helping now?

Russia helps, Iran, China helps. That is, Syria’s real friends help us.

Mr. Qadri Jamil, the process of disarmament is under way in Syria now. It is very expensive. The country is not able to cope financially with this issue by itself. Which countries have already expressed their wish to help Damascus financially, and in what amount?

Russia was the first to declare its readiness to help in this matter; I think the international community should take a serious part in this, because it is very expensive, and the situation in Syria is difficult. Of course, China is ready. I believe, not only friends of Syria are ready to help in this matter.

And at what stage is this process now - already at the stage of documentation or of disarmament and destruction?

Observers have already inspected 50 percent of the facilities, and the process of destruction has already begun.

In your opinion, is the term until the next summer enough time?

Maybe it’ll take a little bit more time.

Are some representatives of the opposition deliberately trying to ruin the process, to undermine it?

Some representatives of the opposition do not want to stop violence in Syria in general; so, they are trying to find different reasons to disrupt political processes, including this one.

What are your expectations concerning the future of Syria, the end of the conflict?

I believe, during the next year we will be able to come out of the crisis, and begin to raise Syria from ruins.

So, you expect that the Syrians will enter the year of 2015 in peace, don’t you?

Yes.

With a new President, because there will be elections next year …

There will be new presidential elections, and the Syrians will choose their President themselves.

Marianna Ozherelyeva, Navaof Ibrahim

M. Wassouf