US must coordinate Syria airstrikes with Damascus: Russia

Russia Continues Support for Syria

Alwaght- With the intensification of diplomatic moves, mostly run by a Russian initiative to settle the Syria’s crisis, some of the Arab and Western media claimed that Moscow is getting ready to withdraw support from the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a claim strongly rejected by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who expressed Russia’s support for the legitimate Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, reports suggest that Russia has stepped up its military presence in Syria to fight the terrorist group ISIS.                           


Talking in the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on September 1, the Russian Foreign Minister said “If we remove from the equation the entirely unrealistic and counterproductive demand of the resignation of Assad as a precondition for the fight against terrorism… we may work effectively”. Saying that using armed groups, supported by some foreign countries, against Syrian President resembles what had happen in Libya and Iraq, Lavrov said that Bashar al-Assad is the legitimate President of Syria. The Russian FM also added that the Syrian army is greatly efficient in fighting terrorism. The Russian FM’s highlight on legitimacy of Bashar al-Assad government came, when the Western and Arab countries have reportedly pressed Russia to abandon support for Bashar al-Assad. Their media even claimed that Russia has acceded to demands for ending support for the Syrian President. In his recent visit to Moscow, the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has pointed that removal of Bashar al-Assad must be an absolute priority in the process of settling the Syrian conflict. Russian officials’, however, rejected the claim, insisting that al-Assad makes the backbone of any effort to fight terrorism. Mr. Lavrov said that demands for ouster of President Bashar al-Assad are unacceptable, and the Syrian people should decide on their own fate.


While Russian officials continue to support Syrian president, the Iranian officials also emphasize that there should be no preconditions to help Syria fight terrorism. Meeting the Tunisian officials, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that to start dialogue and peace process in Syria, Yemen and other crisis-hit areas no prerequisites should be set. Iranian Deputy for Arabic-African Affairs Hossein Amir-Adolllahian visited Lebanon to hold some discussions with the countries officials. Abdollahian talked to the UN’s special envoy for Syria Staffen de Mistura, insisting that President Bashar al-Assad is part of any future political solution for the Syrian crisis.


Russian increases attacks against ISIS

Along with Russian efforts to reach a political settlement for Syria’s situation, some reports suggest that Moscow has raised military role in the country. The Israeli regime’s sources claimed that strategic developments have occurred in the Syrian conflict, and the outcomes of the dramatic developments would soon appear, shifting the course of fighting and power balance in the country. The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth has claimed that Russia and Iran have recently decided on a direct military intervention in Syria to fight terrorist groups. The Western diplomatic sources claimed that the Tehran-Moscow joint decision for military intervention in Syria includes Russian military intervention with participation of thousands of troops and fighter jet pilots. The diplomats added that the Russian pilots are to be deployed to Syria within days to operate with the fighter jets and helicopters of Russian Air Force against ISIS and other terrorist groups fighting the Syrian government. However, Moscow has not yet responded to these claims.


The Resistance advances in Syria’s Al-Zabadani

The Syrian army and Resistance forces have made new gains against terrorists in Al-Zabadani after the ceasefire in Al-Zabadani and other Shiite-populated cities of Kafaria and Al-Foaa has failed due to the terrorist groups’ attacks. According to Lebanon’s Al-Manar TV report, after the 72-hour ceasefire in Al-Zabadani, Kafaria and Al-Foaa was broken by terrorists, the Lebanon’s Hezbollah forces have gained more grounds in their clearing operations in Al- Zabadani.

The Syrian military forces, backed by Hezbollah forces, have made remarkable advances in western Al-Zabadani, as they developed towards the center of the city. Al-Manar, cited a military source as saying that the wide-range advances have confused the terrorists and pushed them to flee the city. Moreover, according to Slab News website, the Syria’s army forces in the course of their advances in Al-Zabadani in Rural Damascus Governorate have managed to free ten residential complexes eastern of the city from the control of the terrorist groups. The Syrian army and the Resistance forces have also gained control of Al-Jisr area as well as the main street of the western Al-Hara neighborhood in Al-Zabadani. Additionally, Syrian army and Resistance forces dominated a wide area of al-Mazaya town located in western Al-Zabadani. The terrorist groups in response have intensified their mortar attacks on the Kafaria and Al-Foaa towns in northern Rural Idlib.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that the Syrian army and allied Hezbollah resistance fighters managed to liberate 70 to 75 percent of the border city from terrorist groups through aerial and ground attacks.

The army and Hezbollah forces also secured a district in the city center — used by the terrorists as a supply line — and managed to take back buildings used by terrorists as hideouts.

By Al waght