Russian Engagement in Counter-terrorism will Transform the World

Combating ISIS Requires Ground Operations in Addition to Airstrikes
8 October، 2015
Damascus, SANA

Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi affirmed on Thursday that defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) needs a military operation on the ground in addition to the air strikes, which are not enough alone.

“Of course, a victory over ISIS is not possible only through airstrikes. A military operation on the ground is needed in addition to the air operation. The Syrian army has experience in this field,” al-Zoubi told the Russian Sputnik news agency.

The Syrian army, he said, has experience in this field, and is still able to engage in ground battles.

He added that when the Syrian leadership sees a need to request something in the military field, it will ask its friends, brothers, and allies.

On the political track seeking to solve the crisis in Syria, al-Zoubi said that for Geneva 3 to succeed, talks should continue at Moscow 3.

“Syria is, of course, closer to holding Moscow 3 talks…because we have the experience of Moscow 2 negotiations where we were able to move forward on some of the issues on the agenda. These results showed that a dialogue is up and it has a positive effect,” al-Zoubi explained.

He said the government is willing to hold dialogue with any of the factions of the opposition, except for the armed and terrorist ones, stressing that the so-called “Free Army” has no actual presence on the ground.

The Minister stressed that President Bashar al-Assad is the guarantor for maintaining the state and for ensuring that a political solution is reached and implemented.

“We, as Syrians, need him now, because we believe that was it not for President al-Assad and the state and its institutions, on top the military institution, the national necklace would have broken,” he said

Manar al-Frieh/Qabas/H. Said

Russian Engagement in Counter-terrorism will Transform the World
8 October، 2015
Damascus, SANA

Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad said that Russia has engaged in the war to fight terrorism in Syria after the U.S.-led international alliance proved to be unfaithful in counterterrorism, pointing out that the Russian air strikes have made great achievements during the past few days.

In an interview with the Syrian TV Channel on Wednesday, Mikdad noted that Syria is waging a war against a terrorism backed by Gulf regimes in service to Israeli schemes in the region.

He clarified that the so-called “Alliance” formed by the US aims at protecting and supporting terrorism, pointing out that Syria’s steadfastness in confronting the universal war against it has enabled the world to know the reality of policies approached by France, Britain and other colonist states towards Syria.

Mikdad lauded the historic and responsible decision taken be the Russian president Vladimir Putin in support of the struggle of Syria against terrorism, adding that the resilience of the Syrian people, army and leadership is the basis for its friends’ support, as it is the main reason for changing the public opinion.

He referred to the change of situation in Syria and pointed out that closed door meetings were held in New York between the Syrian delegation to the UN 70th General Assembly meetings and a number of delegations headed by foreign ministers of West European countries, who adopt the viewpoint proposed by Russia as well as the Syrian one.

Mikdad denied holding any meetings or indirect letters with the US side as Syria lacks the desire for that, saying that “when we feel that the US is serious and faithful in countering terrorism the doors will open.”

He referred to the contradiction between the US statements with the Turkish stances and policies regarding Syria, particularly regarding the establishment of what they call “safe zone”.

Deputy Foreign Minister hailed the importance of support provided by Iran to Syria in all spheres during the current war against terrorism.

The senior official also clarified that Syria and China’s battles are identical in confronting terrorism, and Syria is ready for any role of friendly china in this regard, pointing out that Erdongan’s regime, in cooperation with terrorists, brought many “Uighur” people and make them enter Syrian villages after dismissing their residents, and that is why the Chinese know that terrorism is targeting them too.

Regarding the UN Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, Mikdad said that the UN Diplomat has failed twice up till now, the first was when he submitted Aleppo Plan, yet it was foiled by Turkey, and now after we accepted the participation in the four committees and that was also foiled by Turkey and the so-called “Coalition”, which rejected to go to UN to take this issue seriously without making compromises with those exercising terrorism against the Syrian people.

He saw that what the UN and its Envoy need is credibility, pointing out that Syria has confirmed at the beginning that a political process should go in parallel with counterterrorism.

On the other hand, Midad welcomed the Egyptian stance of rejecting to criticize the Russian action in confronting terrorism in Syria, asserting the need for bringing back warmth to relations with Egypt, due to the presence of a common enemy that threatens both countries.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is in danger, waging a losing war in Yemen and now facing its destiny alone after the US has abandoned it, stressing that the Syrian stance is obvious as it respects the rights of the Yemeni people.

On the Palestinian Cause, Mikdad stressed that Syria is by the side of the Palestinian struggle despite its engagement in war against terrorism, stressing that what it is facing now is aimed at giving the Israeli entity a chance to liquidate the Palestinian Cause, emphasizing that Syria’s victory is also a victory of Palestine.
Rasha Milhem/ Barry