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Syria - page 3

Vladimir Putin condemn US missile attacks on Syria's airbase.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation condemned the Sunday’s US cruise missile attacks on Syria’s Shayrat airbase in Homs province, describing it as violation of the United Nations charter. Rouhani deplored the use of chemical arms in Syria, saying, “Reports indicate that terrorists have access to chemical weapons and the US strikes will prompt terrorist groups to use chemical weapons once again”. Putin  said the United Nations has acknowledged that the Syrian government does not possess chemical weapons, adding that Washington’s missile strikes were a pre-planned move which would fail to help solve the Syrian crisis.

The press conference in Tehran, President Rouhani: Some reforms necessary in Syria

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The press conference is underway in Tehran with over 200 local and international press covering the event. The press conference comes ahead of the presidential elections, scheduled to be held on May 19th. Rouhani is the incumbent candidate. The President commenced the press conference by hailing his administration’s various achievments including higher payments, better conditions for farmers, increase of trade balance from – 8.1 at the start of his government to – 2.6 this year, increase of agriculture products and foodstuff from 97 million tons in 2013 to in 95 118,000m tons in 2016, better healthcare and environmental conditions, and more progress in technology, especially in the field of nuclear technology after the implementation of the JCPOA. To The Wall Street Journal’s question on Iran’s next move after the US missile attack in Syria, and what measures Iran and Russia have agreed upon in regard to the Syrian conflict following the US attack, President Rouhani stressed that Iran still believes the only viable solution to end the crisis in Syria is a political approach and the progress of peace talks. He expressed regret that the US attack had hurt the process of Syrian peace talks and aided terrorists into thinking they had now an upper hand during the negotiations. President Rouhani noted that Iran-Russia-Turkey cooperation is focused on the success of Astana peace talks, while Iran-Russia-Syria cooperation is concerned with fighting terrorism on the ground; “During my recent visit to Moscow as well the telephone conversation with President Putin, we agreed on more coordination about the operations in Syria”, he added.

Nine Yazidis rescued from Islamic State captivity in Syria’s Raqqa.

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Erbil: Nine Yazidis were rescued from Islamic State (ISIS) militants in the militants’ stronghold of Syria’s Raqqa, an official said on Sunday. The head of the Rescue Center for Yazidi Women in Duhok, Hussein Qaedi, told the Yazidis were rescued from the militants in Raqqa on Saturday evening. “Four of them are girls and women and the five others are children”, the Kurdish official added. The Yazidis were rescued by the center, he continued. They were settled in a safe area and they will be transferred to Duhok. According to the official, 2,959 Yazidis have been rescued from IS militants while nearly 3,000 others are still held by the group. Another eight Yazidis, including three children, were rescued from ISIS captivity in March.

Russia warns Israel over Syria: Baseless allegations unacceptable.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin cautioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call Thursday against comments he made following Tuesday’s chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s northern Idlib province. Netanyahu, after the attack said that he was “shocked and outraged”, by the attack, which killed dozens of people. “There’s no, none, no excuse whatsoever for deliberate attacks on civilians and on children, especially with cruel and outlawed chemical weapons”. Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, claimed that the incident was the result of a Syrian airstrike on a rebel weapons storehouse. Assad said that “Israel is doing its best to support these terrorists in every place the Syrian Army advances”. He warned that any operation undertaken by foreign militaries without Syrian government approval would be considered an invasion.

Iran categorically condemns US attack on Syria.

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Bahram Ghasemi, the Spokesperson of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that US unilateral measure against Syria will benefit the terrorists and violates the international law. “The Islamic Republic of Iran, as the biggest victim of chemical weapons in the contemporary history, condemns all uses of chemical weapons regardless of their users or victims, and at the same time, considers any unilateral measure with this excuse as dangerous, destructive, and violating of the imperative principles of the international law”, said Bahram Ghasemi, the Spokesperson of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in reaction to US missile attack on an air base in Syria. The Iranian diplomat reiterated that the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns any unilateral military measure and described the US missile attack on Shayrat air base in Syria as helpful to terrorists.


Egypt expresses concern over US strike in Syria.

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The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement expressing concern over the US missile strike in Syria earlier today. US offensive started after allegations of chemical attacks from Hassad against his population. The Foreign Ministry called on the United States and Russia to act on the basis of international legitimacy, to contain the conflict, and to reach a comprehensive and final solution to the Syrian crisis. Egptyan president stressed international community to avoid escalation of violences to preserve the safety of the Nation, and the people of the Middle-East. Egyptian government asked Syrian government to stop the war to preserve lives of civil population. Egypt called on the US and Russia to live up to their international responsibilities of preserving peace and security through reaching a comprehensive and conclusive solution to the Syrian crisis, which has steadily worsened over the past six years.

Russia warns against blaming Damascus for suspected chemical attack

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that the idea of laying blame for the suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria’s Idlib province on Damascus did not receive wide support at the conference in Brussels. The idea of laying blame for the suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria’s Idlib province on Damascus did not receive wide support at the conference in Brussels, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said, warning against the use of the incident to disrupt Syria peace talks. The UN Security Council (UNSC) is held an emergency meeting to discuss the suspected chemical attack in Syria’s province of Idlib. The United Kingdom, France and the United States introduced a draft resolution in the UNSC claiming that the alleged April 4 chemical attack in Idlib was carried out by the Syrian army. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow categorically rejected the draft resolution. The Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and some other sources reported on Tuesday that some 80 people were killed and 200 injured in a chemical weapon attack in Idlib, blaming the Syrian army for the incident. The Syrian Armed Forces rejected the allegations.

Iran condemns use of chemical weapons in Syria.

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Foreign Ministry Qasemi remarks a day after deadly use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Idlib. Noting that this catastrophic incident was not the first of its kind in Syria, the spokesman warned against adopting double-standard approaches and making hasty judgments. Despite chemical disarmament of the Syrian government with the full cooperation of the government and under the supervision of a joint representative from the UN and OPCW, failure to pay due attention to disarmament of terrorist groups remains to be an obstacle on the way of Syrian chemical disarmament, the spokesman said, noting that Iran has always voiced concern about the consequences of this issue.  He said that one of the aims behind the attack was to hamper diplomatic efforts in Astana to find a settlement to Syria crisis which had led to a ceasefire in the war-hit country. Iran, as the main victim of usage of chemical weapons, sympathizes and condoles with the families of the victims, Qasemi said, voicing Tehran’s readiness to accept those injured for receiving medical treatment.

U.S delegation including Trump's son-in-law meets Abadi in Baghdad.

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Kushner, along with the Chairman of the U.S. Military Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., flew into Iraq  for a first-hand assessment of the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) from U.S. commanders on the ground and to meet with Iraqi officials. The Iraqi premier’s office released a statement on Monday saying the offensive to liberate Mosul and the U.S. and the Coalition’s support for the Iraqi army was discussed. The U.S. delegation reaffirmed support for the Iraqi government in the fight against terror, the statement added. The delegation also met with Iraqi Defense Minister Erfan al-Hiyali in Baghdad and discussed the fight against ISIS militants in Iraq and the liberation of Mosul. The trip comes at a critical time for Kushner, who is making his first visit to Iraq, as Trump examines ways to accelerate a U.S.-led Coalition campaign that U.S. and Iraqi officials say has so far been largely successful in uprooting ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. The visit appears to demonstrate the far-reaching portfolio of Kushner, 36, who is part of Trump’s innermost circle and who has been given a wide range of domestic and foreign policy responsibilities, including working on a Middle East peace deal.



EU must demand a say in Syria negotiations.

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This week Europe will hold a conference on the future of Syria. The EU is the largest humanitarian donor for Syria, but has become marginalised in political negotiations. By initiating this conference, the EU illustrates its readiness to take up a significant part of Syria’s reconstruction. But jumpstarting a large-scale reconstruction programme without a mutually consented political solution under UN auspices could become an implicit endorsement of Assad’s control over Syria, and hence a betrayal to the aspirations of large parts of Syria’s civil society. The EU should now leverage its role as the largest financial donor, to demand a say in any negotiations on the political transition and future of Syria.



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