Erdogan spokesman says Turkey talks with Syria on hold, messages conveyed

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Turkey is not in direct talks with the Syrian government, but its messages are being indirectly conveyed to Damascus, President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Wednesday. Ibrahim Kalin also told a news conference that Ankara remains optimistic, but cautious, regarding ties with the United States after last week’s visit to Ankara by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Unprecedented situation in Syria

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Iraq has never witnessed such a situation despite all it has endured. Libya has never experienced it either despite its ongoing chaos. Lebanon, during the worst period of its wars, has also never seen such a reality. The same can be said of Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries whose unity and sovereignty fell victim to foreign meddling.Syria’s story is different and unique. Never before have all these flags, interests, dangers, armies, militias, internal divisions and regional and ...

Ghassan Charbel

UN chief António Guterres ‘deeply alarmed’ by eastern Ghouta violence

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday said he was “deeply alarmed” by the escalating violence in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta enclave after more than 100 civilians were killed in the second straight day of air strikes. Guterres urged all sides to uphold the basic principles of humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians. “The secretary-general is deeply alarmed by the escalating situation in Eastern Ghouta and its devastating impact on ...

Leader of the Lebanese Forces Party: The Cedar Revolution continues

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Lebanese Forces Party leader Samir Geagea considered that the State of Lebanon is closely linked to the Cedar Revolution and not to Hezbollah or its associated allies who are tied to regional issues that have nothing to do with Lebanon.He said during his meeting with a delegation representing Akkar region, "We are staying behind the Cedar Revolution and we will continue to uphold it above anything else in this country.""If it is true that the resistance is the only one that can be ...

Erdogan says Turkey will lay siege to Syria’s Afrin in coming days

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Turkey will lay siege to Afrin in northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday a month after Ankara launched an offensive against Kurdish militia in the region. “In the coming days, swiftly, we will lay siege to the center of the town of Afrin,” Erdogan told parliament. His remarks came as Turkey’s operation “Olive Branch”, a ground and air offensive against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia which Ankara brands ...

Turkey says unclear whether Syrian government forces will enter Afrin

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Syrian government forces have yet to enter the Afrin region and it was unclear if they would, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Tuesday. Mevlut Cavusoglu made the comment in an interview with broadcaster Kanal 24. Syrian state media said on Monday morning that pro-government militia would enter Afrin “within hours” but by sunset there were no signs of a deployment there. Turkey has said it would confront Syrian government forces if they entered the ...

Death toll rises to 250 in Assad regime raids on eastern Ghouta

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

At least 250 civilians have been killed within the last 48 hours, 57 of them children, in a Syrian army bombardment of the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on Wednesday morning. The SOHR Chief Rami Abdel Rahman said the civilian death toll from Monday's bombardment of the enclave outside Damascus was the heaviest since early 2015. The White Helmets, a group of local search and rescue volunteer workers in Syria, shared a video on their ...

Turkey welcomes Syrian forces entering Afrin

Monday, 19 February 2018

Militias allied to the Syrian government will enter the Afrin region, Syrian media reported on Monday, after a Kurdish official said a deal had been struck with the Syrian army to help Kurdish forces end a Turkish offensive. Turkey said it would welcome any move by Damascus into Afrin to get rid of the YPG Kurdish militia, but if Syrian troops were entering to protect the Kurdish fighters, then the Turkish assault would go on. A second Syrian Kurdish official said no pro-government military ...

Russian FM Lavrov warns US on Syria: ‘Dont play with fire’

Monday, 19 February 2018

Russia’s foreign minister on Monday warned the United States against “playing with fire” in Syria. Sergey Lavrov cautioned US officials to reduce provocations, saying the United States’ actions there have fractured the country. Addressing a conference of the Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow policy advisory group, Lavrov said Syria’s sovereignty and territorial rights are under attack by US troops and funds that arm opposition groups. “It seems that our ...

WATCH: War of words heats up between Turkish FM and Arab League chief

Monday, 19 February 2018

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit this week became embroiled in a heated exchange regarding Turkey’s operations in Syria. Cavusoglu on Sunday told a panel at the Munich Security Conference that Ankara is using its “legitimate right of self-defense” in its intervention against Kurdish militia groups in northwestern Syria. Aboul-Gheit had earlier decried the presence of so many foreign forces in the country, including ...

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