Tag "SYRIA POLITICS"
Out of the 18 dead, at least 10 were killed in the region of Palmyra, which Islamic State fighters seized in December for a second time in a year – a major reversal for Syrian government forces and their Russian backers.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his army, Russian, Iranian and Shi’ite forces, have steady succession of military victories over the past 18 months.
Six years since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, he is winning on the battlefield but Syria’s civil war is far from over, with his once stable country broken into fiefdoms ruled by rebels and warlords.
EU capital Brussels will host an international conference on Syria on April 5, hoping to create a new momentum. It has, however, long played only a marginal role in international efforts to resolve the conflict.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said “in theory” he still saw scope for cooperation with Trump though practically nothing had happened in this regard.
Turkey launched its first major military incursion into Syria in August, deploying tanks and air power in support of rebel groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
U.S. Air Force Colonel John Dorrian said the additional U.S. forces would be working with local partners in Syria – the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian Arab Coalition – and would not have a front line role.
Syria’s ambassador to UN Bashar al-Ja’afari said the agenda agreed through U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura gave equal weight to four subjects, including the government’s own priority of fighting terrorism.
Syria peace talks in Geneva showed a first flicker of movement on Wednesday, as the opposition said President Bashar al-Assad’s negotiators had been pushed by his Russian allies to address for the first time opposition demands for a political transition.
A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.
Turkey, a major backer of Syrian opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, last year began cooperating with Russia in Syria.
Staffan de Mistura, U.N. Special Envoy for Syria, met them after seeing delegations from the Syrian government and opposition separately at the start of the first negotiations in nearly a year.
CIA-coordinated military aid for rebels in northwest Syria has been frozen since they came under major Islamist attack last month, rebel sources said, raising doubts about foreign support key to their war against President Bashar al-Assad.
“Political transition” is a phrase understood by the opposition to mean a removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad or at least an erosion of his powers.
“The operation to gain complete control of the al-Bab region has neared its end and the resistance of the Daesh terror group has largely been broken,” the Turkish military statement said, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
“We expect to start very, very shortly with just a handful of people,” a U.N. human rights official told Reuters.
This month, in a rare move, the Syrian government and rebel groups swapped dozens of women prisoners and hostages, some of them with their children, in Hama province in northwestern Syria.
Lebanese Hezbollah movement strongly supports the Syrian ceasefire agreed on in Kazakhstan and any truce that could lead to a political solution, its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday.
President Bashar al-Assad rejected the creation of safe zones for refugees and displaced people in Syria, an idea supported by U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a transcript from an interview with Yahoo News released on Friday.
“The battles began a short while ago to complete what had been achieved yesterday,” said a commander of a leading FSA group fighting in al-Bab, who requested anonymity.