Syrian government forces have retaken the areas lost yesterday in Damascus during an anti-regime offensive, according to state news agency SANA, citing the General Staff of the Armed Forces. According to the General Staff, loyalist forces retook control of the “points where terrorists had infiltrated”, referring to opposition militants. Members of al-Qaeda also participated in the anti-government offensive on Sunday in the Jobar quarter.
Iran’s permanent representative envoy to the UN said Iran together with Russia and Turkey as Guarantor States will spare no efforts to guarantee the Ceasefire Regime in Syria, agreed on 30 December 2016. Here a citation: “The Islamic Republic of Iran, with the aim of ending the ongoing crises in Syria and within the framework of its principled policy based on respecting the Syrian territorial integrity and sovereignty, finding a political solution to the crisis through intra-Syrian talks and objection to the instrumental use of terrorism for political gains; has taken effective measures upon the request of the Syrian Arab Republic in different political, humanitarian and anti-terrorism areas, including sending humanitarian assistance to Syrian civilians”.
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission have today adopted a Joint Communication proposing a forward- looking EU strategy for Syria. As outlined in the Joint Communication, the European Union’s engagement in Syria goes beyond the current state of play. It is defined by a longer term perspective in support of the EU’s strategic goals on Syria. The European Union will continue to be the first and leading donor in the international response to the humanitarian crises, providing life-saving humanitarian assistance and resilience support to the Syrian people and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.
The UN’s human rights chief has described the Syrian conflict as the “worst man-made disaster since World War II,” citing widespread torture and a “tidal wave of bloodshed and atrocity.” “Today, in a sense the entire country has become a torture chamber: a place of savage horror and absolute injustice”, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ZeidRa’ad al-Hussein said in a statement on March 14. He called for the release of tens of thousands of prisoners being held by the warring sides in Syria and said that bringing the perpetrators of crimes, including torture, to justice was necessary for reaching a lasting peace. Zeid also said efforts to end “this senseless carnage” had been repeatedly vetoed, an apparent reference to Russia and China’s steps to protect President Bashar al-Assad by blocking Western-backed UN Security Council resolutions.