BATTLE FOR ALEPPO DECISIVE FOR REGION says Hezbollah leader Nasrallah


HEZBOLLAH Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah affirmed on Sunday that the battle against terrorist organisations in Aleppo is decisive for the entire region just as the battle of Mosul in Iraq.

In a speech during an eulogy ceremony, Nasrallah pointed out that the terrorist crowds which were brought to Aleppo across the Turkish borders failed to achieve their goals in front of the victories of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies. He said that the military and field results of this battle will have enormous repercussions on military, field and strategic levels and on the political solutions and the expectations of the various parties.

Nasrallah added that Hezbollah went to Syria in the light of a full and thorough study, based on accurate analysis of the events in the region, noting that everyday horrible facts are revealed about who armed, financed and trained terrorists and bring them to Syria.

The Hezbollah leader affirmed that the terrorist war on Syria exceeds making existential and demographic changes in addition to changing the political map, formations of the border, composition of national entities, uprooting human groups in the region and erase everything related to the history of the region. He added that the evidence on that is existing documents and the behaviour of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organisations during the past years.

• Iran on Monday dismissed the US National Security Council demand that Moscow and Tehran cease support for Damascus for its alleged use of chemical weapons against militants, and said Washington is just seeking another excuse to intensify its intervention in Syria.

By these allegations, the US seeks to ‘project the blame on others and spread a false atmosphere to enhance certain powers’ intervention and create a proper ground for pressuring Iran, the Syrian government and other groups which are fighting against terrorism’, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.

He described the US allegations as incorrect and irrelevant, and said that competent and qualified bodies should first probe the allegation that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and prove it with corroborative evidence.

‘Yet, I still see this as a new political game in Syria,’ he warned. His remarks came after Iranian Ambassador to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alireza Jahangiri said Iran, as a major victim of chemical weapons, is opposed to all weapons of mass destruction and seeks international cooperation to confront the terrorist groups’ use of such weapons.

‘We demand international cooperation for denying access to chemical weapons by the terrorist groups,’ Jahangiri said, addressing the 83rd session of the Executive Council of the Organisation in the Hague earlier this month. He reiterated that the terrorist groups’ use of chemical weapons is a serious threat to the international peace and security, and said, ‘All member-states should stop providing financial and military support to terrorist groups.’

He hailed the progress achieved so far in the field of destruction of chemical weapons in Syria and highlighted the need for avoiding political motivations in this regard.

• In Syria’s Hasaka province, terrorists detonated a booby-trapped motorcycle near al-Sinaa roundabout in al-Qamishli city, injuring a person, according to initial information, on Monday. Elsewhere, a child was killed and 15 other people were injured due to the terrorist attack with rocket shells by the so-called Jaish al-Fateh on Salah-Eddin neighbourhood in Aleppo city.

A source at Aleppo Police Command told SANA on Monday that terrorists positioned in the eastern neighbourhoods of the city targeted with a number of rocket shells Salah-Eddin neighborhood, killing a child and injuring 15 other people. The source added that the terrorist attack caused material damage to the citizens’ houses and properties.

Army units, in cooperation with allies, continued military operations against terrorist organisations in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo, achieving new advances by establishing full control over Talet Bazo to the southwest of the Military Academies.

A military source said on Monday that heavy losses were inflicted upon terrorists, most of whom belong to the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisation. The importance of establishing control over Talet Bazo, which comes a day after establishing control over the Air Defense Battalion, lies in ending the presence of terrorists of ‘Jaish al-Fateh’ who infiltrated earlier into some buildings of 1070 Apartments Project overlooking al-Hekma School.

In the southern province of Daraa, a Syrian army unit destroyed one of the fortified dens of the Takfiri terrorists in al-Nazihin Camp and one of their mortar positions in al-Abbasiya neighbourhood in Daraa al-Balad, killing a number of terrorists and injuring others.

• The Syrian Army has received a large number of modern Russian-made UAZ Patriot pickups, an informed source in the Russian Defence Ministry said, stressing that the vehicles will initiate a major enhancement in the government troops’ combat capability.

Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported that Moscow has sent these modern UAZ Patriot pickups to Syria in response to the move by several Middle-Eastern Arab states that have equipped terrorist groups in Syria with over 60,000 modern military vehicles.

‘The UAZ Patriot pickups, equipped with Kord 12.7 mm heavy machineguns and AGS-17 grenade launchers, have been dispatched to Syria to enable the government forces to better stand clashes with the terrorist groups as they give operators a fire power two kilometres in radius.

‘Additionally, if needed, the vehicle can be equipped with Konkurs or Kornet anti-tank missiles, capable of hitting enemy targets at distances of up to 5km. It can also be fitted with a 120mm mortar launcher with an effective range of 9km,’ Komsomolskaya Pravda daily quoted the Russian Defense Ministry source as saying.

‘The weapons can be mounted onboard a rotary turret, allowing the operator to instantaneously change his arc of fire,’ the source further added. He added that the gas-powered vehicles feature upgraded all-terrain capabilities, a one ton carrying capacity, and armour protection. They also feature power plugs for night vision, special tents for protection against shrapnel, and storage for ammunition.

The vehicles are likely to be assigned to protect humanitarian convoys.

Experts suggest the new vehicles may replace or play a good complementary role for the UAZ-3132 Gusar, already engaged in Syria and used for operations by the Russian Special Forces.

Military analyst Igor Korotchenko told Komsomolskaya Pravda that the pickups will enable users ‘to engage in agile urban combat, attack and pursue the enemy in the desert, cover humanitarian convoys, which are regularly shelled, on the roads of Syria, and deliver ammunition to friendly checkpoints.’

The Russian trucks were sent to Syria after the Toyota customers’ list in the Middle East showed that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Jordan were involved in purchasing 60,000 Toyota pickup trucks that were supplied to the ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

After photos of hundreds of ISIL’s Toyota pickups seized or targeted by the Syrian Army were sent by the Russian army to the Toyota Company in Japan, the company revealed a list of its main customers that have bought the vehicles.

The customers’ list shows that a Saudi firm has purchased a sum of 22,500 trucks, Qatar 32,000, the UAE 11,650 and the Jordanian Army 4,500 vehicles from Toyota company. The Jordanian Army had received loans from several Saudi banks for payments. A large number of the purchased-vehicles by the four Arab countries have already been delivered to the ISIL terrorists in Syrian and Iraq. Informed sources have confirmed that ISIL has received over 60,000 Toyota vehicles.