‘SYRIA MUST REGAIN CONTROL OVER ITS ENTIRE TERRITORY!’ – ‘The only way to ensure security’ says Maria Zakharova

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Syrians in Tartus show their support for President Bashar al-Assad

RUSSIA’S Foreign Ministry has said that the only way to guarantee security in Syria is for the Syrian state to regain control over its entire territory.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made the remark when calling for an investigation into the killing of civilians during the operation carried out last Wednesday night by an American commando unit to kill the leader of Daesh terrorist organisation, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi in Syria’s Idlib northern countryside.
Zakharova said on Thursday: ‘The only way to ensure security in Syria is that the legitimate Syrian authorities regain its control over the entire territory of the country.’
She added that a Daesh leader presence in Idlib is a new indication that this region, which is out of control of the Syrian authorities, is still used by international terrorists as a ‘safe haven’.
US President Joe Biden announced last Thursday that a US commando unit killed a leader of the Daesh terrorist organisation, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, in a raid carried out in the surrounding of Atmeh town in Idlib northern countryside.
The operation also led to the death of 13 civilians, among them six children and four women.
‘Last night’s operation took a major terrorist leader off,’ Biden claimed in a TV speech at the White House, adding that al-Quraishi blew himself up when they tried to arrest him.
Earlier, local sources in Idlib said that ‘US helicopters raided and destroyed some houses after besieging them in Atmeh town to the farthest north side of Idlib’.
Meanwhile, the US occupation-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia continued its siege of Ghwairan and al-Zohour neighbourhoods on Saturday, amid the increasing suffering of local people who were unable to flee to the centre of Hasaka city and to safe neighbourhoods during clashes and shelling of the US occupation forces under the pretext of pursuing those who ran away from the Industrial High School Prison since January 20th.
Local sources from al-Zohour neighbourhood told Syria’s state news agency SANA that the SDF militia closed the neighbourhood, raised earth mounds in its vicinity, and prevented the entry of the vehicles and individuals completely, amid great suffering due to lack of services and foodstuffs.
The sources added that this measure raises fears among the locals as it may lead to their displacement from the neighbourhood which is located next to the US occupation position.
The militia, under the pretext of events that have taken place in the neighbourhood over the past few days, tries to force the locals to leave their houses permanently, particularly since the militia has previously evacuated residential buildings in the areas adjacent to the US occupation forces bases in Ghwairan neighbourhood, according to the sources.
In the same context, local sources in the Ghwairan neighbourhood said that the militia’s practices against locals came within the framework of implementing the US occupation’s schemes, asserting that all what happened in the Industrial High School Prison was a pretext to destroy the adjacent buildings and houses overlooking the US occupation bases in the area.
The locals demanded the intervention of international relief organisations in order to help people and stop the militia’s violations against them and help them return to their normal lives, especially since SDF militia continues to demolish the houses in Ghwairan neighbourhood at a time when the displaced families continue to reside in temporary shelters as a result of the terrorists preventing them from entering the neighbourhood.
Last Friday, the US occupation forces-backed SDF militia continued its repressive practices against residents of areas it occupies, breaking into houses in Raqqa city and Ain Issa in its northern countryside and kidnapping 13 civilians.
Local sources told a SANA reporter that SDF militia stormed into a number of houses in Raqqa city and kidnapped eight civilians, including elderly people, and took them to an unknown destination.
The sources added that an armed group of SDF militia also stormed into Ain Issa city in the northern countryside after imposing a curfew inside the city.
It set up checkpoints in the main streets during the campaign, kidnapping five citizens and taking them to an unknown destination to force them to fight among their ranks.
The day before, Turkish occupation forces and their terrorist mercenaries targeted with rocket and artillery shelling the villages of al-Daradarah and Bab al-Khair in the Hasaka north western countryside.
Local sources told a SANA reporter on Thursday, that the Turkish occupation forces and the terrorist groups supported by them attacked with rocket and artillery shelling the villages of al-Daradarah in Tal Tamer area and Bab al-Khair in the surroundings of Abu Rasin town, in Hasaka north western countryside, causing material damage to the area.
The sources pointed out that most of the villages and towns adjacent to the areas which are controlled by the Turkish occupation forces and the affiliated terrorists have witnessed displacement for dozens of families to escape the repeated attacks.

  • Syria’s Prime Minister, Hussein Arnous, met on Thursday the Iraqi Minister of Water Resources, Mahdi Rashid Al-Hamdani and an accompanying delegation.

The talks dealt with the mechanism of cooperation between the two countries in the domains of water and water resources.
They emphasised the importance of joint coordination to preserve the water rights of the two countries in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in accordance with international laws and inked agreements in a way that achieves the common interests of the two fraternal peoples in Syria and Iraq and contributes to enhancing water security, particularly in the light of climate changes in the region.
Arnous stressed the importance of opening wider horizons for cooperation in the commercial and economic fields, simplifying road transport and shipping procedures via border outlets, enhancing cooperation between economic activities, finding joint investment projects, and organising more specialised exhibitions that promote the products of the two countries.
For his part, the Iraqi minister noted the significance of continuing cooperation between Iraq and Syria in different aspects, especially in the water and water resources domain, guaranteeing their rights, and to ensure Syria’s participation in the water conference that will be held in Baghdad next month.
He said Iraq is ready to overcome any obstacles in order to develop cooperation relations between the two countries in a way that achieves mutual benefit.

  • Russia’s Defence Ministry says a group of amphibious assault ships of its Northern and Baltic Fleets has arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus, as the Russian navy has been staging large-scale naval drills aimed at countering military threats to Russia amid heightened tensions with the West.

In a statement on Friday, the ministry said the naval task force was made up of six large amphibious assault ships.
‘Currently, the ships are in a roadstead in the Syrian port of Tartus where they have begun replenishing their fuel and lubricants, fresh water and food supplies to the required level at the Russian Navy’s logistic support facility in the Mediterranean,’ the statement said.
The ships are designed to land an amphibious assault force on an unequipped shore and sealift troops and cargo. They are also capable of transporting various types of armour, according to the TASS news agency.
Last month, the Russian Defence Ministry said the navy would stage huge drills in the seas directly adjacent to Russia as well as the Mediterranean, the North, and Okhotsk Seas, and in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans in January and February, with more than 140 warships and support vessels, over 60 aircraft, 1,000 units of military hardware, and nearly 10,000 troops taking part.
Tartus is the Russian navy’s sole foothold in the Mediterranean.
Moscow has a permanent air base at Hmeymim, in the neighbouring province of Latakia. The base has served as a launching pad for counter-terrorism strikes in Syria since an operation began in the country in September 2015 at the request of the Syrian government.