What are implications of Russians leaving Syria?

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Assuming the veracity of Moscow’s intention to withdraw most of its troops from Syria, such a decision will likely result in the redistribution of the political cards in the region at a time when the country itself is finally about to steer itself away from war. Paradoxically, the Russians played at first a negative role in the Syrian conflict. By failing to defeat the revolutionary forces and terrorist groups, they enabled both the Assad regime and Iran to take control. Yet, despite ...

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

US wary of Putin’s declaration of military victory in Syria

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The United States is voicing skepticism about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a major withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria and is arguing that his declaration of victory against ISIS was premature. Putin, during a surprise visit on Monday to Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Syria, declared that the work of Russian forces was largely done in backing the Syrian government against militants in the country’s war following the defeat of “the most ...

Syrian opposition says government obstructing Geneva talks

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Syrian opposition claims the government delegation to the Geneva peace talks is coming up with new conditions, making it difficult to move forward. Opposition spokesman Yahya Aridi said on Tuesday that the Damascus delegation told UN envoy Staffan de Mistura they won't negotiate directly. He said de Mistura told them about the government's stance. Aridi says the opposition delegates "consider this to be a precondition." There was no immediate response from the government team in ...

On Russia’s Syria pullout claims, Pentagon voices skepticism

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Pentagon on Monday voiced skepticism about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he had ordered the partial withdrawal of troops from Syria.Putin visited the war-torn nation Monday and said a “significant part” of the Russian troop contingent in Syria is heading home after their mission had been largely completed.But Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said such declarations were not necessarily reflected by action.ALSO READ: Putin orders ...

Syrian regime delegation joins Geneva negotiations

Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Syrian delegation arrived in Geneva on Sunday to participate in the UN-sponsored talks. The return of the regime's delegation to Geneva came after Russian pressure and warnings from the UN envoy about the consequences of the failure of any party to come to the negotiations. The second round of the Geneva negotiations in its eighth edition resumed on Tuesday with meetings between the Syrian opposition delegation and UN envoy Stephane de Mistura, who announced that the current round could ...

Hezbollah deputy says war in Syria helped fighters acquire new ‘skills’

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Hezbollah deputy secretary-general Naim Qassem praised his party’s role in “liberating Syrian cities” and spoke about the “skills” which Hezbollah fighters acquired while fighting alongside Bashar al-Assad’s troops, the Iranian news agency Tasnim reported on Saturday. While delivering a speech at the Imam Sadegh University in Tehran, Qassem said that before engaging in the fighting alongside the Assad regime, Hezbollah fighters only knew how to use ...

ISIS re-enters Syria’s Idlib after clashes: monitor

Saturday, 9 December 2017

The ISIS group has seized territory in Syria’s Idlib province after clashes with rival militants, nearly four years after being expelled from the region, a monitor said on Friday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ISIS had captured the village of Bashkun after clashes with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a force dominated by a former Al-Qaeda affiliate. The capture comes after days of fighting between ISIS and HTS in neighburing Hama province, during which ISIS ...

Syrian government delegation to return to Geneva on Sunday for peace talks

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s negotiating team is set to arrive in Geneva on Sunday to participate in peace talks, Syria’s state news agency SANA reported on Thursday, quoting a foreign ministry source. The delegation, led by Bashar al-Ja’afari, walked out last week and returned to Damascus. Negotiations resumed on Wednesday without the Syrian government delegation. The talks began last week and after a few days with little apparent progress, the UN mediator Staffan de ...

Car bomb blast kills eight in Syria’s Homs

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

An explosives-laden bus blew up Tuesday in a predominantly pro-government neighbourhood of the central Syrian city of Homs that has been repeatedly targeted, killing eight people, a monitor said.The blast rocked a street in the Akrama neighbourhood mostly inhabited by members of the Alawite minority to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said."At least eight people died when a mini-bus exploded on the edge of the Akrama neighbourhood," the ...

Reported Israeli airstrikes near Damascus

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Israeli fighter jets bombed areas near the Syrian capital Damascus late Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.“Israeli planes targeted the Jamaraya region near Damascus including a scientific research center and warehouses where weapons and ammunition of the regime and its allies were stocked,” Rami Abdel Rahmane, director of the Britain-based monitoring group told AFP.The exact target was not immediately identified.An AFP correspondent in the capital also ...

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