Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal al-Miqdad's Interview with The Independent

 

 

 

The Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal al-Miqdad, said in an interview with The Independent that foreign countries were “recognising an artificial structure, a structure that will help promote the objectives of the US and European countries in Syria”. He denied that the opposition represented real political forces inside Syria.

Mr Miqdad’s assertion that the opposition coalition had been created by the US and was unrepresentative was echoed in a separate interview by the Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi. In a striking parallel, he said that the US move was rather as if Syria “had recognised Liverpool Football Club as the sole representative of the British people while in fact it represented very little”.

The Syrian government is defiant as it faces growing international isolation, saying that whatever happens it was not going to lose militarily on the ground having withstood heavy pressure from inside and outside the country for almost two years. “I assure you this [move by the US] will not add anything,” said Mr Miqdad. “It is mere propaganda and psychological warfare directed against the Syrians and the Syrian government and is aimed at encouraging those armed groups that have been unable to achieve any real progress in Syria.”

This seemed a bit rich since Damascus had been echoing to the sound of distant gunfire all morning, suggesting that the armed groups had not been wholly ineffectual. But Mr Miqdad responded that in any case armed actions did not give those who carried them out legitimacy and just meant there were terrorist groups “which should have been fought against by Europe and the United States”.

This is a point repeatedly made by Syrian officials asking how come the US and Britain are against terrorists in one country, but favours them in another. What does the Syrian government think of the condemning of the powerful fundamentalist group, the Jabhat al-Nusra, as terrorists. “It is too late, too small,” said Mr Miqdad. “We believe they should have condemned all those who are carrying arms against a legitimate government. They should tell their friends to refrain from supporting terrorism in Syria.”

Why are the US and its allies so keen on getting rid of the Syrian administration? Mr Miqdad thought that there was hostility to Syria because of its support for the Palestinians against Israel and its long- term alliance with Iran.

He had a particular attitude towards the uprisings of the so-called Arab Spring which he said were similar to coups d’etat. Challenged on this, he said that, while Syria respected what other countries did, “if the Egyptian army had not changed sides there would not have been that change. But we want that change to come normally and not from outside.” By far the most important ally remaining to Syria is Russia and Mr Miqdad said they “have daily conversations” with their Russian counterparts.

There was one more intriguing question. What happened to Jihad Makdissi, the foreign ministry spokesman, who was reported earlier this month to have left Damascus? Had he been fired or had he defected? Where had he disappeared to?

“He did not disappear. He is on release for three months and he’s enjoying his time, I hope.” Was he still spokesman for the foreign ministry? “For this moment, until now, he is still spokesman,” said Mr Miqdad. “We did not take any other decision.” And where is he? “It is said he is in Beirut.”

Finally and most important, how does Syria and the Syrian government get out of its present crisis? Mr Miqdad spoke of constitutional reforms already introduced, a multiparty system, the end of the leading role of the Baath party, and, if that did not work, national dialogue. The UN was having talks with some of the armed opposition.

But the booming of guns in the distance somehow suggested that events had moved beyond negotiation and compromise and the future of Syria would be decided on the battlefield.

 

THE INDEPENDENT

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Damascus Prosecutor issues arrest warrants against Hariri, Saqer

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Syria has issued three arrest warrants in absentia against the two Lebanese MPs Saad Hariri and OqabSaqer and the Syrian citizen Luay Mekdad.

SANA reported on Wednesday that Damascus Attorney General Judge Marwan al-Lawji announced that the First Investigation Judge sent the three arrest warrants to Lebanon via the international Interpol. 

"The crimes perpetrated by the mentioned names are terrorist ones, and any state having those wanted on its lands have to hand them over to the Syrian authority for trial," said al-Lawji.

He asserted that any failure in the implementation of those arrest warrants is considered a violation of international law.

Al-Lawji added: "The prosecution has been informed to collect clues after the voice records that unveil the mentioned names' involvement in providing terrorist groups in Syria with weapons and money."

He sees that under the signed deals between the two sides, the Lebanese authority has either to lift immunity of the two MPs immediately after listening to the voice records or hand them over to the Syrian authority. 

Basma Qaddour

Triple terrorist bombings target Interior Ministry,martyring five and injuring 23

DAMASCUS, (ST)- Triple blasts targeted Interior Ministry on Wednesday evening, damaging  the  Ministry façade in  Kafar Souseh suburb of Damascus. Damascus, martyring five and injuring 23.

"At 5:20 PM on Wednesday 12/12/2012, three explosions took place in front the Interior Ministry building, two of them caused by explosive devices with a delay between the two, followed five minutes later by the explosion of  a booby-trap car carrying around 200 kilograms of explosives, martyring five and injuring 23, including civilians and Ministry personnel, said a statement issued by the Interior Ministry

"the competent authorities at the Ministry began investigations and lifted evidence, remains of explosives, and body parts from the site and sent them to labs to uncover the details of this terrorists attack,"added the statement

" the criminal act will not dissuade it from combating terrorism along with the Army and Armed Forces, vowing to exert all its forces and sacrifice everything for the sake of the security of citizens and the country, stressing that it will show no leniency in pursuing murderous takfiri terrorists, "affirmed the Ministry.

Elsewere,terrorists on Wednesday evening detonated an explosive device planted in a public minibus while it was in front of Hafez Ibrahim School in al-Mazzeh 86 neighborhood in Damascus, martyring and injuring a number of civilians including women and children.

"the bodies of two martyrs arrived at the hospital, a child along with three people in critical conditions," reported SANA.

A source at al-Muwasat Hospital said that the body of one woman who was martyred in the blast arrived at the hospital; along with five injure people, some of them women and children.

M.D

SHRN appeals to UNICEF to decry terrorists' crimes against children in Syria

DAMASCUS, (ST) – The Syrian Human Rights Network called on Tuesday for denouncing the armed terrorist groups' savage acts against Syria's children, stressing that these act have been documented.

SANA reported that the network appealed to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to decry the crimes, acts of violence and violations being committed by the armed terrorist groups against children in Syria.

In its statement, the network appealed to the UNICEF to do its duty towards children inside Syria and abroad in terms of what they are exposed to by the mercenary gangs backed by countries,which are known for their support of terrorism in the region and the world as well.

It condemned the armed terrorist groups'exploitation of children in their crimes, stressing that the network has documented the armed groups' violations and crimes against children.

The network underscoredthatthese acts have to be come under fire from the UNICEF as its mission is to care for children's rights and protect them, warning that the UNICEF ignorance of these acts means its participation in bring up a generation that have got used to the culture of murder and terrorism. 

It described the UNICEF double-standard policy towards these violations as a "flagrant breach" of the children rights that the organization claimsto be one of its top priorities and principles.

In this context, the network said:"The visit of UNICEF goodwill ambassador, Angelina Jolie, to the ' al-Zaatari' camp in Jordan and ignoring the displaced families inside Syria proves the organization's double standards policy."

It called on the UNICEF ambassador to visit displaced families and children and inspect their situation in Syria so that her work and donation will not be in the framework of fomenting sedition and conspiring against Syria, the thing which violates the organization's goals.

On the other hand, the network criticized silence of international and human rights organizations towards crimes being perpetrated against children, particularly targeting schools by the terrorists' mortars.

Basma Qaddour

A Citizen Martyred, Several Injured in Terrorist Blasts in Jaramana and Damascus

DAMASCUS, COUNTRYSIDE, (ST) – Two explosive devices, planted by terrorists on a main road in Jaramana of Damascus Countryside, was exploded on Wednesday.

A citizen was martyred and four were injured. Material damages were also caused to the explosions sites.

A medical source at Jaramana Surgical Hospital told SANA reporter that the body of a martyr was admitted to the hospital and four injured people arrived for necessary treatment.

A source at al-Radi Hospital said a citizen, who was injured as a result of one of the terrorist explosions, was also admitted to the hospital for treatment.

Iyad Barakat, Member of the Damascus Countryside Governorate Council, said only fifteen minutes separated between the two explosions which took place near a Jaramana school for basic education.

  Two Explosive Devices Exploded Behind the Justice Palace

Another terrorist group also detonated two explosive devices behind the Justice Palace in al-Qanawat Area in Damascus. A citizen was injured and material damages were caused as a result.

A Damascus Police Command source told SANA that terrorists had attached one of the explosive devices to a car and planted the other between two parked cars behind the Justice Palace.

The source added a passerby was injured and material damages were caused to a number of cars and shops near the explosion site.

 

H.M 

 

More Terrorists Eliminated, their Weapons Destroyed

 

 

 

GOVERNORATES,(ST)_ In a series of qualitative operations , the army forces on Tuesday restored normal movement to the outer road to Aleppo International Airport after eliminating  mercenary terrorists who obstructed the movement of citizens towards the airport from of al-Ramouseh area side, according to an official said, which added  that scores of terrorists and their  shelters and weapons were  exterminated, during the operation.

Wajih Abdul al-Dayem school  in Bustan al-Bacha area in Aleppo was cleaned from terrorists , most of them   of Turkish and foreign nationalities, whereas scores of terrorists were left killed or wounded in al-Zahrawi, al-Khabeyah and al-Bandara markets   and al-Sijn street in the old quarters of  Aleppo city.

Meantime,  hundreds of people staged  the main streets of al-Maadi area in the city demanding the expulsion of the terrorist groups  from their area, over targeting  citizens , service institutions, bakeries , telephone and electricity networks and infrastructure. 

Within its national mission to clean Aleppo and its  countryside from al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists , the  armed forces  destroyed  terrorists gatherings  in al-Meselmieh, Favin,  and Babnis areas.

The armed forces  also destroyed 12 vehicles loaded with weapons and ammunition  at al-Bab- Deir Hafer axis , 8 cars  on Tadef-Sharba road and 14 cars at Tell-Rifaat Favin axis.

Terrorists gatherings in tell al-Zarazeer, Bedeen, al-Shaar and Allirmoun in the city of Aleppo  were attacked  and the attacks resulted  in killing or wounding  scores of them and the destruction of their machine-gun fitted  vehicles.

Four snipers who targeted  citizens  were eliminated near the international school at the entrance of Aqraba following clashes with the armed forces, whereas all members of one terrorist group were eliminated near Abu Bakr al-Saddiq mosque  in the same area.

 In Daraya, several snipers were exterminated in al-Zeitoun quarters following clashes with the armed forces. These included Alaa Zeyada, Muhammad al-Nakkash, Muhammad Nour and Marwan Khreibeh.

Another army unit killed  several al-Nusra front terrorists in al-Zeyabeyah, including  Omar Ghabathi of the Libyan nationality and other terrorists: Omar Shtewi, Ibrahim Kharfoush and Ghusab al-Abdullah.

In another qualitative operation in Shabaa , terrorists  Muhammad Mousa and Zakaraya al-Buqaii were killed.

All members of one terrorist groups were exterminated while they were  booby trapping a car in al-Qadam quarters in Damascus .

In a qualitative operation , the armed forces  attacked terrorists groups hidings  in Talbeisah,  and al-Warsha quarters and the attacks resulted  in the destruction of 4 cars fitted with heavy machine guns , one mortar and a factory for processing  explosives.

The operation also resulted in  the elimination  of scores of the most dangerous terrorists  including: Awad al-Siddiq, Sattam Dalla, Aed al-amwi,Dhahin al-Hafyan nicknamed as al-Satour and Yazid Marwan known as al-Aqrab.

All members of one terrorist group were killed or wounded in Telbieseh, including Ali Hourani, Mahmoud al-Daher and Mustafa al-Khatib, while terrorist Muhamad Abbara was killed  in al-Warsha quarters in Homs.

Meantime, army units confronted  terrorists groups which attacked from  the Lebanese territories the borders guards stations  in Halat, Oyoun al-Shara and Wadi al-Dali in Telkalakh rural areas and left their members  killed or wounded.

 

Syria Times

 

 

 

UNICEF praises Vaccination Campaign

 

 

 

The UNICEF has asserted that the national vaccination campaign against poliovirus and measles is being carried out well. The statistics showed that more than 630 children under five years old were vaccinated against poliovirus and more than 510 children ranging from 1 to 5 years old were vaccinated against measles since the beginning of the campaign on November 11.

Representative of UNICEF in Syria Josef Abdul Jalil expressed in a statement, his beliefs that the real number of the children who took the vaccination is more than the registered because the current circumstances in some areas prevent getting immediate data about the number of the children being vaccinated.

“The vaccination campaign is continuous in the health centers” Abdul Jalil pointed out, highlighting the role played by the TV. Covering, SMS and health courses are encouraging parents to bring their children to the vaccination centers.         

Director of the Children development program in the UNICEF in Syria Iman Bahnasi stated that the campaign faced extraordinary challenges relating to reaching the vaccination to some cities, but the courage drivers collect the vaccination in Damascus and then deliver them to the whole country.

“In addition to the poliovirus and measles vaccination, children over one year old also took a dose of A vitamin to reduce infecting with diseases resulting from diarrhea and severe respiratory infections”, Bahnasi added, pointing out that the organization offered 1.5 million dose of measles vaccination in addition to injection supplement, refrigeration tools, safety boxes and vaccination cards.

The campaign which is launched by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with UNIEF, World Health Organization, The Syrian Arab  Red Crescent in addition to many civil societies will last to the 13th of this month to include large number of children  and to prevent such kind of diseases which may result in death or permanent disability.

 

Obaida / Inas