Next Group of Armenian Specialists Leaves for Syria
Next group from Armenia consisting of humanitarian de-miners, doctors and specialists ensuring their security has arrived in Aleppo, Syria on June 4.
Next group from Armenia consisting of humanitarian de-miners, doctors and specialists ensuring their security has arrived in Aleppo, Syria on June 4.
Syrian troops captured the town of Qalaat al-Madiq on Thursday as they continued a push into a remaining rebel-held enclave located in Idlib province. The UN Security Council will hold a closed-door meeting on escalating violence in Syria on Friday.
Interestingly, Iran joined this operation: this is the first Turkish-Iranian joint operation against the PKK. Turkey announced a joint operation with Iran against the PKK on the eve of the general elections in June 2018, but Iran did not join it.
Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, temporarily moved additional security and logistics forces into Syria to prepare for the eventual withdrawal of the more than 2,000 American troops who have been helping to fight Islamic State.
The group consists of 83 members, among them de-mining specialists and doctors.
With U.S.-backed fighters poised to seize the final Syrian sanctuaries held by Islamic State in the coming days, the U.S. military is turning its attention toward a withdrawal of forces in the coming weeks.
The buffer zone in the north of Syria should be controlled by Turkey and it will do everything possible to maintain security in the area, the Turkish president noted.
Air strikes against alleged ‘Iranian targets’ in close proximity to Syria’s busiest airport have become a norm for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose former chief of staff openly confessed last month to running a large-scale bombing campaign in Syria for years.
Kalin reiterated that "the aims of Turkey in Idlib remain the same". "Our task is to ensure the safety of people and property of the local population," he said.
The official also would not say what part of Syria the equipment was in, although it's widely expected the drawdown will begin in northern Syria.
During the visit in Syria the Armenian delegation also met with the prime minister, the parliament speaker, as well as business companies. They have outlined a number of directions for future cooperation.
US President Donald Trump said his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan assured him that any remaining of Islamic State group fighters in Syria will be eliminated.
The European Union expects the Turkish authorities to refrain from any unilateral action likely to undermine the efforts of the Counter-Daesh Coalition or to risk further instability in Syria.
The Russian Defence Ministry said on Sunday its warplanes had carried out air strikes against militants it held responsible for firing shells filled with chlorine gas at the city of Aleppo
“Turkey, a NATO ally, has legitimate concerns about terrorist threats and from where they’re emanating,” Mattis said Wednesday. “We don’t dismiss any of their concerns.”
Turkey is thankful to Russian President Vladimir Putin for supporting the Sochi memorandum on Syria's Idlib which allowed to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe in the Arab country, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at the press conference in Tokyo.
Turkey is ready to launch a new military operation against "terrorist groups" east of the Euphrates River, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday,
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question in Russian. It was about his coat, RT reported.
"I am proud to recognise the contributions of individuals and organisations that promote and protect human rights. Your work is an inspiration to us all," Maria Fernanda Espinosa, UN General Assembly president, wrote on Twitter.
The leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France are to hold a four-way summit on the conflict in Syria in Istanbul on Oct. 27, the spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on Friday
It should be noted that, although the plane was shot down by Syrian air defense, Moscow blamed Israel for this, which, according to the Russian side, did not warn about air strikes on Syria at the time, as a result of which the IL-20 could not move to a safe zone. In addition, in Moscow they say that Israeli fighters hid behind the Russian plane, which was the reason for the crash of the latter.
According to him, Syrian military personnel had already undergone training to operate the S-300 system, the Defense Post reported.
The parties specifically agreed to create a demilitarized zone at the contact line between the government troops and the opposition in Idlib until 15 October, at a depth of 15-20 km. The latter will be under the control of Turkish subdivisions of patrols and Russian military police.
The Russian Defense Ministry held a press conference to discuss the destruction of a Russian military aircraft with people on board off the coast of Syria, which happened at the same time that Israeli and French forces were mounting aerial attacks on targets in Syria.
The Marine exercise took place near the U.S. garrison at Tanf, along the Syrian-Iraqi border near Jordan, around which the Americans have long declared a 35-mile deconfliction zone off-limits to others.
President Donald Trump warned Syria and its allies Russia and Iran on Monday against attacking the last major rebel stronghold of Idlib province in the country's northwest.
Other units of the army advanced against ISIL in al-Kara'a and Deko hills and captured several areas.
Israel has shot down a Syrian warplane which crossed into its airspace, the Israeli military says.
It said the strikes were an attempt by Israel to support rebels in southern Syria, where Syrian government forces have been waging an offensive.
President Donald Trump once again raised the idea of pulling the US out of Syria this week -- this time privately during a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House, according to two diplomatic sources familiar with the sit-down
At that time, a number of experts were inclined to believe that the situation was so intense that it could come out of control at a certain point, leading to a collision between NATO two members - Turks and Americans.
"After seven years of struggle with the crisis, the war in Syria has entered a new phase and Iran will play an important role in its recovery," said Fundi.
Below let us provide a brief review on the sequence of the developments of the events, refer to the reactions of the main international actors and make some predictions how it can affect the situation in Syria in the future.
Hundreds of billions, the minimum is 200 billion, and according to some estimates it’s about 400 billion dollars. Why is it not precise? Because some areas are still under the control of the terrorists, so we couldn’t estimate precisely what the figure is. So, this is plus or minus, let’s say
"We have no fundamental disagreements with Moscow on these issues," the ambassador added.
This was stated by the head of European diplomacy Federica Mogherini, novinite.com reports.
"Construction equipment delivered by the Russian side is being used to clear the debris to restore traffic in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. Repair crews are restoring water and power supply in the city," the ministry added.
According to the source there are casualties. Clashes erupted in the Rahmani neighborhood.
The UAE also reaffirmed its support for the military operations against these banned weapons and their sources in Syria.
The moral and psychological situation is high, life continues.
Only three countries - Russia, China, and Bolivia - voted in favor of the resolution at the end of an emergency meeting of the 15-member council called by Russia on Saturday.
The US faces the issue of strengthening its stance and role on various issues, such as Syrian crisis, Korean crisis, negotiations with Iran etc.
Russia, in response to Trump's threats, said it would answer to the US in a corresponding way, especially if Russian soldiers in Syria were killed in the attacks.
But a source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told CNBC the U.S. was considering striking eight potential targets. Those targets include two Syrian airfields, a research center and a chemical weapons facility.
Thematic coverage of Russia-Turkey bilateral negotiations can be divided into two broader groups: military-political and economic one.
Israeli air strikes on Syrian Air Force Base in Homs on the night of April 8th are quite noteworthy. There is no explanation in this regard by Tel-Aviv. But most likely the Israeli Air Force has acted in accordance with the United States.
Trump said the US was getting some "good clarity" on who was responsible for the incident in Douma on Saturday.
"Both leaders strongly condemned the horrific chemical weapons attacks in Syria and agreed that the Assad regime must be held accountable for its continued human rights abuses''.
Volunteer rescue force the White Helmets tweeted graphic images showing several bodies in basements. It said the deaths were likely to rise.
A day ahead of the summit, Putin and Erdogan are scheduled to meet in bilateral talks in the Turkish capital as part of the Turkish-Russian High-Level Cooperation Council.
Despite the statement of the Prime Minister of Iraq, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already stated that if necessary, his country's armed forces can enter Sinjar without warning.
Thousands of activists took it to the streets on World Afrin Day, to show solidarity with the people of Afrin in several cities throughout the world.
Note that by capturing Afrin Erdogan achieved two goals. First, as promised, there are no territories controlled by the Kurds in the Syrian border areas with Turkey. Secondly, with the victory over the "centuries-old enemy of the Turkish people," Erdogan gets big dividends from domestic politics.
The top diplomats will sum up the results of the Astana format, which was launched more than a year ago, and will also outline steps for settling all aspects of the Syrian crisis.
An estimated 6,000 Turkish troops and 10,000 Free Syrian Army (FSA) militia crossed into Syria on 20 January, pledging to drive the YPG out of Afrin.
"We confront the Turkish aggression for 32 days. … They may have advanced to a number of positions, but on the whole the military campaign has been unsuccessful," Hedu added.
"The military solution is not excluded in any situation, we do not want to be in the center of the Syrian conflict, but we want to do our utmost to protect people from chemical weapons," Haley said.
According to him, medics are working to determine the type of gas used.
Now scriptwriters have numerous ideas about this. I am sure very soon we will begin creating the first film.
Relations between the United States and Turkey, allies within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, have become frayed by their diverging interests in the Syrian civil war.
Tahrir al-Sham released a post on social media quoting a commander in charge of its air raids as saying one of its militants had hit Russian SU-25 during an "air raid" over the city of Saraqeb in the northwestern province of Idlib.
As Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted, the Sochi Congress is a unique event since it represents different segments of Syrian society.
If Turkey fails to win in Afrin, Kurds can inspire not only in Turkey but also in Iraq and Iran.
Western powers and some Arab states believe Sochi is an attempt to create a separate peace process that would undermine the United Nations’ efforts while laying the groundwork for a solution more suitable to Assad and his allies Russia and Iran.
Ankara already announced the first successes of its next ground operation in Syria: 153 targets were hit in Afrin, and Turkish troops managed to advance 5 km into the territory of Syria.
He urged Turkey to exercise caution and to avoid any actions that might risk conflict between Turkish and American forces.
Kurds who had gathered at airport for the protest were attacked by Turkish Airlines passengers.
For the last several days, Syrian troops in southern Aleppo have been trying to link up with army forces in eastern Idlib at the Abu Duhur military airport.
Turkey's attack on Afrin is related to Ankara's policy which is based on the support of terrorist groups.
Turkey will categorically object to the stabilization of the situation on the border by Kurdish forces.
The NATO expressed confidence that the best way for solving the issue is an open dialogue between the allies.
"Iran and Russia need to carry out their responsibilities. If you are guarantors, which you are, stop the regime," Cavusoglu told the state-run Anadolu news agency in an interview broadcast on Turkish television channels.
"Russia has not contributed one step to easing the suffering of Syrians and has not pressured the regime that it claims it is a guarantor by move in any real path toward a solution," the rebel statement said.
"We remain committed to the Geneva process. We believe that the future of Syria will not include Bashar al-Assad, but that is ultimately up to the Syrian people and the Syrian voters to decide," Nauert told reporters in a press briefing.
At the same time, Sergei Surovikin, commander of the Russian military unit in Syria, told Putin that the remaining troops in Syria are capable of performing the same tasks effectively. Experts also point to this, stressing that sending new troops to Syria in case of necessity would not be a big challenge.
"The task of fighting armed bandits here in Syria, a task that it was essential to solve with the help of extensive use of armed force, has for the most part, been solved and solved spectacularly," Putin said.
The Pentagon has already voiced its readiness to increase military presence in Syria. According to newly published data, there are 1720 American soldiers in Syria, which is three times more than the number of previously reported American military men in Syria.
The ethnic Armenian MP presented to the UK parliamentarians that many churches and schools have been destroyed during the war, and restoration works are underway.
So, if in reality, the US is not going to suspend the military assistance to the Kurds, what is the disseminated news conditioned by?
However, he refrained from declaring a halt to weapons transfers, suggesting such decisions would be based on battlefield requirements.
"Who knows, tomorrow or maybe even earlier," Canikli said in response to a question about possible dates for the start of the operation.
"The congress will look at the key questions on Syria's national agenda. First of all, that is the drawing-up of a framework for the future structure of the state, the adoption of a new constitution, and, on the basis of that, the holding of elections under United Nations supervision," Putin said.
He added that he and Putin spoke "very strongly about bringing peace to Syria" and "very strongly about North Korea."
After Friday’s vote, the council moved to closed-door discussions at the request of Sweden’s U.N. Ambassador Olof Skoog to “ensure we are absolutely convinced we have exhausted every avenue, every effort” to try and renew the investigation.
"The Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, territorial integrity and secular nature of Syria in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and called on all Syrian parties to actively participate in the Geneva political process and to support its success,” the statement reads.
Soldiers and officers, according to the military, began to comb the city to clear it of mines and explosive devices left by terrorists.
Its restoration will likely happen during the rebuilding of Deir ez-Zor, as no immediate plans have been announced by the Syrian government to fix the memorial.
The strengthening of a recent ceasefire is expected to be at the heart of conversations.
The capture is a major blow to the IS terrorist group, which is losing both territory and sources of revenue.
The high security surveillance towers, dubbed "kulekol," are to be placed at certain intervals between the border walls, and a military team of 10 will reside there.
"The de-escalation zone agreement was a promising idea ... under which Russians are maintaining security outside Idlib and Turkey will maintain the security inside Idlib region," Erdoğan said.
The Russian side presented its preliminary proposals on the issue.
Negotiations will initially take place in bilateral formats, and then representatives of the United Nations will join the meetings.
State news agency SANA said on Tuesday that the advancing forces had joined up with fellow soldiers at the previously besieged government-held airbase known as Brigade 137 on the outskirts of Deir Az Zor city.
They were taken to Aleppo by buses from the camps for Syrian refugees.
We do not consider Turkey a guarantor and partner in the peace process. It is the guarantor of terrorists.
During the time of ISIS, you had to dress up and behave in certain ways, if you didn't fulfil the orders you would be punished according to your offence.
We hope there will be positive signs also in electricity field in coming days since recently people had electricity two hours a day
She motivated her decision by the inaction of the commission and the complete lack of results of its work.
The airstrikes came less than 48 hours after US led jets bombarded civilian areas, including a hospital, in Al Bukamal city in the same province, killing six civilians and injuring 10 others.
Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests.
The data have documented the deaths of 331,765 people across Syria since the conflict erupted in mid-March 2011 with anti-government protests.I n the overall death toll there are 99,617 civilians.
Relaxed laughter and giggling children have replaced the boom of explosions in the restaurant, nestled between the Armenian Society and the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic church.
Addressing journalists in Damascus, on Mondey, Mekdad said he would not be surprised if the US attacked Syria again, but Syria and its allies would react differently to "a new aggression."
Most likely, Erdogan warns Washington of the possibility of launching a new operation to liberate Raqqa and Manbij, sending a message to Washington to stop the cooperation with Kurds. It is interesting that Erdogan made this statements ahead of the G-20 meeting in Hamburg.
Syria's Shayrat airbase remains under constant overhead surveillance by the US.
"Presently, negative processes are underway in Syria. In case they lead to a threat to our borders, we will respond the same way as during the Euphrates Shield operation,” Erdogan told.
It can be assumed that there is a certain consensus among these states. This is the reason why the forces that are to be deployed in Syria, are not only from Russia, Iran and Turkey but also from the US and Jordan.
It said "another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime" was likely to result "in the mass murder of civilians".
"Iran's approach to regional and global issues has not changed, but if the group wants to harm the glory of Iran, it will receive a crushing response. The Islamic Republic will continue its way with grandeur and dignity," Rouhani said.
We urge all to avoid unilateral actions, to respect the sovereignty of Syria and to get involved in our common work, which is agreed with the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic.
The announcement came on the same day as the United Nations said it wanted to start a fresh round of talks between Syrian factions on July 10 in Geneva, and Moscow said it hoped to hold discussions in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, on July 4-5.
De Mistura intends to convene further rounds of talks in August and in September.
At the same time the Council added to the list of those under restrictive measures 3 ministers of the Syrian government, and updated the information related to certain persons and entities on the list.
He added that the Syrian security services had now entered the former rebel bastion.
As a result, the parties to the talks managed to coordinate and launch this mechanism but its further importance for the negotiations process, as the differences between Syrian government and the opposition on the fundamental issues remain wide and unbridged.
Syrian troops intensified their operations in the region in early March.
"Of course, as a Russian initiative, it is correct in principle. As to whether it will produce results or not, that depends on the implementation."
The blasts reportedly razed 15 nearby houses and destroyed several vehicles.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Wednesday it had taken full control of the contested city with the help of US-led coalition air raids after more than a month of heavy fighting.
Along with ending military actions in these zones, the flights of the military aviation (among them Syrian and American) are banned as well. The de-escalation zones will be controlled by the guarantor states’ (Russia, Iran, Turkey) forces.
Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would be equipped to help drive IS from its stronghold, Raqqa, a spokeswoman said.
Instead, Stoltenberg stressed that training local troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is the best weapon to combat terror.
"Without this political process there can be no sustainable de-escalation, no sustainable stabilization. Astana has to create a framework for negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations," Seibert added.
For the first time, the US will be represented on a higher level at the meeting - US Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs Stuart Jones will arrive in Astana.
Witnesses said a total of five strikes occurred near the Damascus airport road about 25km from the capital early on Thursday.
Among these "supporters" may be Turkey, which, despite its advantageous position in current Russian-American relations, Russian-American cooperation in Syria to some extent limits Turkey’s ability to maneuver, therefore, official Ankara could also be interested in aggravating the situation.
"It is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end," he said. "But the question of how that ends and the transition itself could be very important in our view to the durability, the stability inside of a unified Syria."
"The president directed this action to deter future use of chemical weapons and to show the United States will not passively stand by while Assad murders innocent people with chemical weapons, which are prohibited by international law and which were declared destroyed."
Foreign Ministers will discuss whether Russia should face fresh financial penalties if it does not pull its armed forces out of Syria and end its support for President Bashar al-Assad.
In a phone call with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the strike on Friday a "blatant violation" of Syrian sovereignty, Syrian state media reported.
However, the Treasury Secretary did not provide specific details about the penalties but said they would come in the "near future."
"The sides emphasized the importance of an objective and unbiased investigation of all circumstances surrounding tragic events in Khan Shaykhun, as well as previous incidents involving the use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups in Syria," the ministry said in a statement.
"Apparently, the US cruise missile strike was prepared in advance. It is clear to any specialist that a decision on carrying out the strikes was made in Washington prior to the developments in Idlib, which were just used as a pretext for demonstrating strength."
It is the first direct US military action against forces commanded by Syria's president.
Euphrates Shield Operation, launched to secure our country’s border security, prevent DEAŞ threats and attack targeting our country, give an opportunity to our displaced Syrian brothers to return their homes
Nasr al-Hariri, the Syrian opposition's chief negotiator in the talks, accused the government of not being committed to peace.
Syria responded to the Israeli airstrikes by launching several anti-aircraft missiles towards the Israeli aircraft.
At least 652 children died - 255 of them in or near a school - last year, a 20% jump from the number killed during 2015, Unicef said.
Official Damascus insists any negotiation can be conducted only with the unified opposition delegation and not with separate groups. These differences have increased also because of the violations of the ceasefire and attacks that took place in Homs.
Since war broke out in Syria in March 2011, more than half of its population has been forced to flee their homes.
Syria's warring sides have agreed to future negotiations at the end of a fourth set of talks in Geneva, a mild breakthrough after a week of stalled discussions and a steadily failing ceasefire, Aljazeera reports.
This point (known as hill 939,5) has given the SAA fire control over the Palmyra Triangle (Palmyra junction) and the southwestern part of Palmyra city itself.
Staffan de Mistura, the UN's special Syria envoy, said on Wednesday he was "not expecting a breakthrough".
"To the brotherly people of Syria, with warm wishes for peace from Armenia," is written on this humanitarian cargo.
"It's possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time," one defense official told CNN.
Assad told French media outlets Europe 1 and TF1 in an interview broadcast on Thursday that he prefers someone who is "not a warmonger" to be the next French president.
As experts emphasize, instead, in Aleppo's liberation Russia received support from Turkey, which has serious levers of influence on the armed opposition. But now the advance of Turkish troops to Rakka assumes clashes with Assad troops, ie, with Russian interests.
Turkey insists the agenda in Astana meetings should be limited to talks aiming to consolidate the cease-fire in the war-torn country, monitor the truce and determine measures against cease-fire violations.
"This is important to as, as Armenia has felt the significance of international humanitarian aid on many occasions. This is especially important in case of the friendly people of Syria, considering that Syria opened its doors to Armenians, who fled the genocide in the Ottoman Empire a century ago," Vigen Satgsyan said.