Syria Daily: Assad Regime – No UN Monitoring of “De-Escalation Zones”

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Regime FM: “There will be no presence by any international forces supervised by the United Nations”


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The Assad regime has rejected any UN monitoring of the four “de-escalation zones” in Syria proposed by Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said, “There will be no presence by any international forces supervised by the United Nations,” al-Moallem said. “The Russian guarantor has clarified that there will be military police and observation centers.”

A spokesman for the UN envoy, Staffan de Mistura, declined to comment.

The zones in last Thursday’s proposals cover much of northwest Syria, including Idlib Province and parts of neighboring Hama, Latakia, and Aleppo Provinces; northern Homs Province; and areas near Damascus.

Al-Moallem also held open the pretext for attacks in the zones, as pro-Assad assaults continue in northern Hama Province and on the Damascus suburbs. He used the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra, who have been excluded from previous “cessation of hostilities” declarations, to assert, “It is the duty of the groups which signed the ceasefire agreement to expel Nusra from these zones until the areas really become de-escalated. It is for the guarantors to help these factions.”

Since its military intervention in September 2015, Russia has carried out the large majority of its airstrikes — propping up the regime and then eroding rebel forces — on opposition territory, while claiming that the targets are the Islamic State or Jabhat al-Nusra.

The Foreign Minister also pushed for more forced capitulations, labelled as “reconciliation” agreements, of opposition areas.

Since last August, sieges and bombardments have brought the forced removals of rebels and residents from Damascus suburbs such as Darayya and Moadamiya and the al-Wa’er section of Homs city, as well as the clearing of more than 50,000 from eastern Aleppo city after it was reoccupied by pro-Assad forces in December.

On Sunday, the forced movement of about 8,000 people from the Damascus suburb of Barzeh began, while pro-Assad forces continued bombing and ground attacks on nearby Qaboun.

See Syria Daily, May 8: Forced Removal Deal for Damascus Suburb Barzeh

Iran Steps Back from Proposal

In a further sign of Iranian dissatisfaction with the proposal — despite having signed it — the Supreme Leader’s top aide has said that Tehran’s support is conditional.

Ali Akbar Velayati said any plan must be endorsed by the population, “The Syrian people have the right to determine their own fate.”

Tehran was almost silent after last Thursday’s presentation of the Russian-led proposal before issuing terse summaries of the plan.

See Iran Daily, May 5: Tehran’s Curious Silence on Syria Agreement

TOP PHOTO: Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks in front of a picture of Bashar al-Assad, May 8, 2017


US Confirms Arming of Kurdish Militia YPG

The US has confirmed it is providing arms to the Kurdish militia YPG in Syria, despite Turkish objections.

American officials said Donald Trump, after months of debate, approved the deliveries for an offensive against the Islamic State in the city of Raqqa, ISIS’s center in northern Syria.

The US has backed the Syrian Democratic Forces, led by the YPG, since the SDF was formed in autumn 2015 to fight ISIS. Washington has provided arms and supplies, and US special forces have been photographed with the force. However, Tuesday’s announcement is the first confirmation by Trump officials of the arrangements.

The Military Times reported on Sunday that the US is providing the YPG with sophisticated American combat equipment,
night-vision goggles, rifles, and advanced optics used by American special operations forces and the foreign commando units they train.

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group linked to the Turkish Kurdish insurgency PKK, which has battled Turkish security forces for more than 30 years. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he considers the YPG and PKK “terrorist hubs” which must be eliminated, and Ankara launched airstrikes on both groups in late April.

Top Turkish officials, including head of armed forces General Hulusi Akar, met American counterparts on Monday in the White House. Akar briefly saw Trump.

“We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” said Dana White, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman. “We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the US is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.”

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13 COMMENTS

  1. “funny thing is that they are not even alowed to have sex!” Obviously, you have never been in the field when both men and women present. it is going to happen. Nature trumps ideology!

  2. Maybe, but that makes it so much more enjoyable. You know “forbidden fruit”. Anyway, are the YPG/PKK really marxists? Are they atheists? Or are they just wrapping themselves with a passé ideology that promotes their desire and goal for an independent Kurdish state?
    “Any man who is not a communist at the age of twenty is a fool. Any man who is still a communist at the age of thirty is an even bigger fool.” by George Bernard Shaw.

  3. Clear indication that Russia favours partition now since it’s interests are preserved with Assad rulling over Most of “usefull Syria”…winning the war is still a distant task and Russia not willing to invest more energy, money and lives to accomplish it..Maybe at least on a short term it’s the best solution..at least the carnage will stop.

  4. #East Qalamoun: “FSA announce they took back Al-Zaza checkpoint (red) after hours of clashes with pro-Regime forces backed by Hezbollah.” – QalaatAlMudiq
    .
    Rebels got no excuse now to not go after the Sayqal airbase. just to teach the regime a lesson, furthermore you’d think regime would learn by now that the desert is one area their troops aren’t good (the desert is an area where an ambusher can hide out successfully for a number of day whilst jets search for them) at as they can be easily cut-off/encircled like the NDF was at Qaryatayn.

  5. #Damascus: 1) “FSA shelling w/ artillery Regime base near Tishreen Power Plant (also #Khalkhalah Airbase) used to attack them in E. desert.” – QalaatAlMudiq
    .
    Smart move if they succeed in flattening that power plant then say bye, bye to Assad’s palace in Damascus having regular electricity supply..
    .
    2) JaI prove again how mobile warfare (e.g. over-running positions then withdrawing after taking weapons) is so effective “Rebels storming #Assad regime positions south of #Beit_Nayem in Eastern #Ghouta..” – worldonalert

    • Wouldn’t Assads Presidential palace have a backup power source?Large diesel generators maybe?He would have plenty of power,with airco on 24hrs.The civilians of Damascus don’t have that stuff.They would have no power.

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