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Al-Halqi to UNICEF Executive Director: terrorist groups violated international norms through recruiting children

Damascus (ST)-Prime Minister Dr. Wael al-Halqi underlined the government's commitment to developing the health and education sectors in cooperation with the international organizations, in addition to providing facilities to the UNICEF to help render health and education services to the Syrian children in all areas.

During the meeting held with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on Monday, al-Halqi said that terrorism and its tools inside Syria have been methodically destroying services, developmental and economic infrastructure sectors in Syria, particularly the health sector, vandalizing approximately 40 hospitals, 400 health centers and 400 ambulances, in line with the unfair embargo and sanctions imposed by the US and the West which aggravated the Syrians' suffering.

The Prime Minister pointed out that despite the sanctions and the  methodical destruction of the national economy, the government is fulfilling its obligations towards it people and is reconstructing what the terrorists destroyed and providing basic services for free to all Syrians.

He also referred to the success and progress of the current national vaccination campaign which targets 1.3 million children across the country, underlining the government efforts to reach all areas as part of this campaign, noting that Syria eradicated polio  in 1999 and achieved advanced health indicators before the crisis and was pioneering in developing the health sector, the pharmaceuticals industry, and decreasing child, infant and mother mortality rates.

Al-Halqi voiced appreciation for the UNICEF's humanitarian and developmental efforts in Syria, underlining the urgency for providing more support to develop various sectors, particularly in rehabilitating schools damaged by terrorist groups which are about 4000 schools.

He also noted that terrorist groups are recruiting children and involving them in combat in a blatant violation of the international agreements and norms, and that the Syrian government took severe measures to prevent the recruitment of children and their involvement in conflicts.

For his part, Lake praised the Syrian government's efforts in developing the health and education sectors and its cooperation with the UNICEF in these fields, asserting commitment to provide support to all Syrian areas under the sovereignty and care of the Syrian state and expanding cooperation in various fields.

The two sides also discussed the possibility of funding the construction of school clubs, rehabilitating and training care workers to offer social and psychological support to children, repairing damaged schools, training staff in the fields of children and women rights and protection, relief work and social surveys, and in the field of water resources.

In a similar meeting held with Lake,  Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Faysal Mikdad discussed  cooperation between the Syrian government and UNICEF in various fields.

Mikdad voiced the Syrian government's determination to provide vaccination to every Syrian child, noting that Syria was a pioneer in the region in the fields of childhood, education and health, but terrorism backed by regional and Western countries targeted Syria's achievements.

He stressed that the Syrian government will continue to cooperate with the UNICEF and provide all possible facilities to carry out its mission in Syria.

For his part, Lake voiced commitment to continue and boost cooperation with the Syrian government by augmenting the UNICEF's participation in various fields, hoping that Syria will overcome the crisis as soon as possible. 

O. Al-Mohammad .  

Syrian Arab army restores stability and security to Sadad town--terrorists abduct MP


PROVINCES,(ST)_The historic Syriac town in Homs province has been declared 'safe' after defeating terrorists there, as fighting continued in flashpoint areas everywhere to restore stability and security to the country.

Today, the armed forces restored stability and security to the historic Sadad town in central Homs province in the wake of vanquishing terrorist groups there.

An official source was quoted on the official news agency as saying: "the armed forces confiscated weapons and defused tens of booby-traps and a car bomb- parked at al-Deleh square in the heart of the town- during a mopping up operation that followed imposing control over Sadad town."

It noted that the armed forces are pursuing the remaining terrorists in the surrounding farms.

In another development, many armed terrorist groups were eliminated in a series of operations in al-Qalamon area and eastern and western Ghouta outside Damascus and in 6 areas- surrounding of Abo al-Dohor airbase and towns of al-Majas, Em Jrin, Qar'a alGhazal, Tal alDaman, as well as surrounding of Tal Salmo- in Idlib province.

Terrorists of Arab nationalities were among the dead in the said areas.

More terrorists were also mowed down as they were trying to infiltrate into quarter of Sulaiman al-Halabi and into nearby areas to Bestan al-Qaser quarter in northern Aleppo province.

 The death toll of terrorists was not reported.

Apiary center

On the other hand, it was said that the armed forces warded off terrorists' bid to sneak into the apiary in al-Sqelbeyeh city in al-Ghab area outside Hama province.

Daily, terrorists try to sneak into safe areas and fire shells on them everywhere to kill citizens and wreak havoc.

"Ahrar al-Sham' abduct MP

They abducted last night Member of Parliament and 'alBosraya' tribal leader Sheikh Mhanna al-Fayad from his hometown of al-Shmeteyeh in Der Ezzour province.

"A large number of terrorists from the so-called 'Ahrar al-Sham' movement cordoned the locals' homes in the town and held women and children as hostages in order to compel the MP to surrender himself to them in exchange for releasing the hostages," an official source said.

"The MP surrendered himself to the terrorists, who attacked the home of Sheikh Mhanna and abducted 14 members of his relatives," the source added, noting that 36 homes and the crop of the town were set ablaze by terrorists. 

Mortar attacks

Other attacks were recorded today in Damascus and its countryside as terrorists fired shells on quarters of al-Qassa'a, al-Kashkol and Daheyet Harasta.

At least 9 citizens, including a mother and her four children, were wounded in the mortar attacks, according to the official news agency.   

B. Qaddour

Information Minister: Popular Mood has lot of Nationalism , Little Politics

DAMASCUS,(ST)_ Information  Minister Omran al- Zou'bi  stressed that the crisis in Syria posed problems before  intellectuals on  certain  concepts and the relationship between politics and culture  ,  and which prioritize over the other.

The minister pointed during a meeting with the delegation representing Iranian intellectuals  taking part in the Conference on the role of intellectuals in strengthening  Syrian people 's  steadfastness yesterday that there is a popular  mood now which has  , " a lot of nationalism  and little politics " at the level of individuals and groups.

He indicated  Iran's position concerning  overall issues of the region and the world, noting the cooperation and coordination with unions of  Islamic  radio and television  stations  and supporting the Syrian media in the face of  the US-Zionist aggression , underlining  the importance of benefiting from the arguments of intellectuals and their visions in strengthening elements  of steadfastness in the face of conspiracies hatched  against  Syria and the region .

For his part, chairman  of the Arab Writers Union , Dr. Hussein Jumaa  reviewed  formula discussed by the conference and what  Iranian intellectuals debated  in the first day  of the said conference of  new ideas and  deep insights , particularly with respect to national sovereignty , Arabism and  true Islam  .

Dr. Reza Sadr al - Din al -Husseini, President of the Federation of  Iran 's radios and televisions  in Damascus  highlighted the conference as  marking a  distinctive start of a new relationship between intellectuals ,  that will continue  between  the two countries to discuss and provide insights and solutions to common issues, especially with regard to confronting the forces of global arrogance and terrorism.

Members of the visiting  delegation stressed  firm stand by Syria in confronting  aggression and  terrorists , pointing to the importance of revealing  the truth of what is happening in Syria to the world public opinion and the American public opinion, in particular as well as to establish  a legal  human rights movement in the Arab world to expose the double- standard policies  practiced in the application of the international law.


T. Fateh  

Syria denounces terrorist bombings in Iraq


DAMASCUS, (ٍST) - The Syrian government on Sunday condemned the recent terrorist bombings which hit Iraq claiming  the lives of scores of innocents.

The government offered offering  condolences to the families' victims and wishing the wounded a quick recovery.

It is to be noted that dozens of people today killed in a series of car bombing  in different area of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.


Syrian Arab army defeats terrorists from most areas of Homs' historic Sadad town


PROVINCES,(ST)_Units of the armed forces have flushed out terrorists from most quarters of the historic Sadad town in Homs province and killed dozens of al-Nusra Front-affiliates in Der Ezzour, Hassaka and Lattakia provinces, according to the official news agency.

A military source told the agency on Sunday that the armed forces eliminated many terrorists, who were sheltering in the Syriac Orthodox church, and reached al-Berj square in the town, located to the south-east of Homs.

Three days ago, a huge number of al-Nusra Front-affiliated terrorists coming from al-Qalamon Mountain attacked  Sadad town where a fierce fighting raged with the armed forces, according to the RT.

Safe routes were opened immediately by the armed forces for locals to leave restive areas, the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV channel said, noting that the town's population is estimated to be 5000.

According to al-Mayadeen TV Channel, the terrorists sneaked into Sadad town werefrom the 'Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) affiliated to al-Qaeda and they launched the attack from Qalamon, Mhin and Hes'ya'a areas.

It quoted a military source as saying that the Syrian army imposed control over 70% of the town but the existence of locals hinders its advance there.

The source said: "the town will be safe within 48 hours." 

Last night, the Syrian TV channel said that the terrorists, infiltrated into Sadad town, have held 1500 locals as human shields, stressing that the armed forces are pursuing terrorists there to restore stability and security to the historic town.

An official source declared today that the armed forces eliminated many armed terrorist groups in the eastern side of the town and continued operations in the nearby quarters.

It added that a bid to provide terrorists inside Sadad town with arms was foiled as the armed forces destroyed the arms, which were loaded in cars, on alHafer-Sadad road and Hawarin town.

Infiltration bids

On the other hand, the armed forces thwarted terrorists' bid to sneak into al-Barda'eyat area and al-Dwer town in Homs province and into Sha'atheh town  in Hama province and wiped out terrorist groupings in al-Hesn town and in Jeb al-Jrah area as well as in quarters of al-Qosor and al-Warsheh in Homs.

More terrorist groupings and weapons-laden cars were targeted in several areas in al-Qalamon Mountain, precisely in Yabroud, al-Nabk, Jab'adin, al-Rhebeh, and Ma'aloula outside Damascus.

In Der Ezzour province, the armed forces killed last night several armed terrorist groups belonging to al-Nusra Front, the so-called 'Ibn al-Qayem' brigade and 'Ahrar al-Sham' Movement in al-Reshdeyeh quarter.

Big losses

More terrorists from al-Nusra Front died and a chunk of weapons and ammunitions were destroyed in towns of ein Qantara and Gmam in northern Lattakia countryside when the armed forces targeted them.

The terrorists lost another quantity of weapons as the armed forces struck cars loaded with weapons on al-Kastillo road and to the north of Aleppo central prison as well as in al-Layramon area outside Aleppo province.

The losses of terrorists were not only in weapons but also in souls as the armed forces raided terrorist groupings in areas of Kweris, al-Jadedeh, Erbid, Qastal Harami, Talet Ezan, al-Majeh and on al-Neirab airport road.

In Addition, as many as 18 terrorists from al-Nusra Front were crushed in al-Shdadi city outside Hassaka province, according to an official source.

The source confirmed the destruction of 5 arms-laden cars in the same city , adding that 2 explosive devices- planted by terrorists under the bridge of Safia town- around 10km to the north of Hassaka city- were defused by the armed forces.


Shaaban: further attention to shaping public opinion imperative

DAMASCUS, (ST) _ " despite the circumstances triggered by the crisis in Syria ,there is a dire need to accord further attention to the culture and science and shaping public opinion," underscored Presidential Political and Media Advisor,Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban .

Dr. Shaaban was speaking during al-Baath Forum for Dialogue organized by the Damascus branch of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party titled ''the Dilemma of the Syrian Intellectual amid Crisis".

Dr.Shaaban urged to capitalize  of the diversity of viewpoints and affiliation to different political components to serve the interest of the homeland ,describing the difference as  healthy and useful .

Dr.Shaaban asserted  the  Gulf States have played a negative role in the Arab culture in recent decades.

"the forum's basic aim is to  implement  an awareness-raising, educational intellectual plan that influences the shaping of public opinion," said Dr. Khalaf al-Miftah, member of the Regional Leadership of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party.



Syrian Arab army destroys arms-loaded boats, seizes weapons, strikes terrorists everywhere


PROVINCES,(ST)_Units of the armed forces have confiscated a chunk of weapons, destroyed arms-loaded boats, eliminated many armed terrorist groups and thwarted attacks on checkpoints plus infiltration bids into safe areas, according to local media.

The Syrian TV channel reported on Saturday that the armed forces, in cooperation with locals of al-Arshneh town in al-Salameyeh area in  eastern Hama countryside, seized weapons-laden truck and nabbed terrorists who were inside.  

A military source said that the seized weapons included several rockets, rifles, hi-tech telecommunication devices, and various types of munitions.

Another quantity of arms containing Israeli-made rockets was seized in southern Daraa province where the armed forces eliminated armed terrorists groups that tried to attack checkpoints in Nawa, tal al-Jabyeh, al-Nasereyeh in the western countryside.

Terrorists lost more weapons, they were trying to transfer by boats via Kesin Lake in al-Holeh area in central Homs province, as the armed forces destroyed the boats .

The official news agency said that many terrorists were killed and injured in more than 10 areas in Homs province and in towns of Ataman, eastern Mleha and Tafas in the province of Daraa as well as in the western and eastern Ghouta, al-Qalamon, southern side in Damascus countryside .

Explosives experts killed

It added that dozens of terrorists, some belong to al-Nusra Front and the so-called the 'Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL), were crushed when the armed forces targeted their groupings and weapons-laden cars in towns of, al-Qantara, al-Kendaseyeh, al-Sekkareyeh, al-Rawda and Toros in northern Lattakia countryside.

A military source confirmed that three explosives experts of Palestinian and Dagestani nationalities and several non-Syrian terrorists and ringleaders were among the dead in the said towns.

In another development, AlIkhbaria al-Soreyeh TV Channel cited continuity of clashes between the armed forces and the armed terrorist gangs in al-Reshdeyeh quarter in Der Ezzour province for the fifth day running.

"Large numbers of terrorists were killed and 5 vehicles belonging to them were destroyed," the channel's reporter said, adding that the armed forces warded off ISIL-linked terrorists' attack on al-Mreeyeh area in the same province.


As for operations in Idlib province, the TV channel said that the armed forces ambushed terrorists in the surrounding of Jabal al-Arbeen in Ariha area, targeted a checkpoint for terrorists in Bennesh city and destroyed several cars for terrorists in the western side of Maaretmesrin.

A military source told the TV channel that the units of defending Abo al-Dohor airbase clashed last night with terrorists trying to sneak into the airbase from northern and southern sides.

 An unknown number of terrorists perished in the said areas and in Aleppo province where the armed forces foiled infiltration bids into safe areas in the city and launched tailored operation in northern countryside.

The Beirut-based Al-Mayadden TV channel said that the Syrian army carried out air strike against sites of 'opposition gunmen' to the north-west of Aleppo central prison.

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

The US, France, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar support the terrorists operating in Syria.

Basma Qaddour