US-sponsored and Kurdish-led militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have opened fire for the second straight day at people protesting against their atrocious activities and demanding their withdrawal from Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
Local sources, requesting not to be named, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that hundreds of people took to the streets in the towns of al-Busayrah, Masheikh, al-Tayyana as well as Tell al-Daman, al-Namliyah and Tayyeb Al Faall villages on Sunday in a public show of dissent over the presence of US-backed forces, rising cases of abduction and assassination in their areas and plunder of Syria’s oil wealth by the US-sponsored militants.
The protesters closed the main roads to their areas, burning tires and demanding the expulsion of SDF militants from their hometowns.
The sources added that the Kurdish militants fired indiscriminately at demonstrators in al-Tayyana to disperse the protest. There were no immediate reports about possible casualties.
On Saturday, dozens of people staged demonstrations in the towns of al-Shuhayl, al-Sour and al-Hissan as well as Mweileh village against the presence of SDF militants in their areas.
Local residents, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Kurdish-led forces opened fire on protesters in Hissan, injuring a number of them.
The SDF illegally transports Dayr al-Zawr’s crude oil to neighbouring Hasakeh province in Syria’s northeast, a move that has angered local people.
The United States has long been providing the SDF, a Kurdish alliance, with arms and militants, calling them a key partner in the purported fight against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
At least three civilians have been killed by Kurdish militants of the US-backed SDF group in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr province.
Many observers, however, see the support in the context of Washington’s plans to carve out a foothold in the Arab country.
Such support has also angered Washington’s NATO ally, Turkey, which views militants of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the SDF, as a terrorist organisation tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The PKK has been engaged in a destructive war inside Turkey for decades.
- A high-ranking Hezbollah official says the United States has slapped economic sanctions against the Lebanese resistance movement due to its bitter defeats from the group, stressing that Hezbollah will finally emerge victorious over the punitive measures.
Speaking at a ceremony in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh, Vice President of the Executive Council of Hezbollah Sheikh Ali Damoush said Hezbollah will confront the US-led sanctions, and its enemies will definitely fail to achieve their goals.
‘Hezbollah, which owes national and moral duties to defend and protect Lebanon against the aggression of the Zionist regime (of Israel), is also responsible for safeguarding the rights and interests of the Lebanese nation and helping prevent economic collapse in the country,’ Damoush said.
Hezbollah’s secretary general says Israeli plots for the region have failed due to resistance.
He added, ‘The Lebanese resistance movement is targeted by financial sanctions because it has contributed to and continues to thwart US-Israeli plots in the (Middle East) region.
‘The US, Zionists and their allies have failed in military confrontations with Hezbollah, have fallen short in their psycho war to tarnish the group’s image and gained not much from designating the Lebanese group a terrorist group.’
- Lebanon’s Hezbollah has issued a statement ‘strongly rejecting’ a British decision to consider the resistance movement a terrorist organisation.
Damoush said the strategy of sanctions will not succeed in the face of the strategy of stability, patience and strong will of Lebanese resistance fighters and honourable Lebanese people, who have managed to thwart enemies’ plots over the past decades.
‘Lebanon will not be the arena in which the (the United States of) America can achieve its political objectives. Lebanon has been and will remain to be the place for victories of Hezbollah, and decline in the American role in the region,’ the senior Hezbollah official said.
The US imposed a new round of sanctions on Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah targeting individuals and international organisations doing business with the group.
In late October 2018, US President Donald Trump’s administration imposed a new round of sanctions on Hezbollah, targeting individuals and international organisations that do business with the group.
‘Over the past year, we have levied the highest sanctions ever imposed on Hezbollah, in a single year, by far. Just a few moments ago, I signed legislation imposing even more hard-hitting sanctions on Hezbollah to further starve them of their funds.
‘And they are starving for them,’ Trump said during an event in Washington, DC, that marked the 35th anniversary of an attack on US marine barracks in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.
- Iran’s Parliament speaker says the United States is seeking to fuel terrorism across the region through further interventionism and with the help of its vassal states.
There have been numerous instances of ‘unbridled’ American meddling in the region, Ali Larijani warned during a speech at an international conference, dubbed ‘the Future of the Islamic World in the Horizon of 2035,’ in Tehran on Sunday.
Larijani further said the actions taken by the US in cooperation with certain regional states in order to breed terrorism have created ‘internal complexities’ in some countries and heavily damaged their economies.
Iran, however, ‘has never had a policy of aggression against any country on its agenda,’ Larijani said.
Tehran, he added, has not even pursued a policy of reprisal against those committing such aggression against it and sought increased cooperation with those ‘who have realised their mistakes.’
He cited the example of Saudi Arabia, which had helped out former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his 1980-88 deadly war on Iran.
Such support, Larijani added, was to the detriment of the kingdom itself, as a Saudi official once admitted, and saw Iraq under Saddam later launch attacks against Kuwait and parts of Saudi Arabia.
Separately, the top legislator commented on the US policy of ‘maximum pressure’ against Iran, pursued under President Donald Trump.
Trump has recently tightened oil sanctions against Iran and designated the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps a ‘foreign terrorist organisation.’
Addressing Trump, Larijani said, ‘We’re going to make you regret what you have done. You are cutting your own throat with your own hands. Certainly, our resilience is going to make you regretful.’
The US left a multi-lateral nuclear deal with Iran in 2017 and began reimposing the sanctions that had been lifted under the historical accord, signed two years earlier.
Last December, it started targeting Iran’s oil and banking sector with the bans, but offered waivers to major importers of the crude, fearing market instability.
But Washington has said that it will not be extending the waivers as of May 2.
‘This person (the US president) reckons that he is farseeing and that his actions are to the United States’ benefit, but he cannot see beyond the end of his nose, and will make the world more distrustful of the US,’ Larijani stated.
He stressed that the Iranian people would stand tall as they did during the Western-backed Iraqi war and prevented the country’s occupation. ‘They will stand tall again and keep on their path forward,’ the official said.
‘Enemy backers to be dealt with’.
Larijani also delivered a warning to those regional countries backing the US antagonism towards Iran.
Upon Washington’s announcement that it would be trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to ‘zero,’ Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said they would make up for potential shortages of crude.
‘Some of the region’s countries should pay close heed. Apparently, some of them cannot be reasoned with. We are going to settle our account with them,’ he noted.
The official, however, emphasised that the Islamic Republic has not closed the door on negotiations with these states.
Syrians take to the street to celebrate in Aleppo after terrorist forces were driven out by the Syrian army – local residents in Dayr al-Zawr are demonstrating to demand the expulsion of the US-backed SDF militants