DURING sweeping operations in the newly-liberated city of Maarat al-Numan in Idlib province, Syrian Arab Army units have discovered a fortified Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisation headquarters under the city’s museum on an area of approximately 1,000 square metres.
The underground headquarters is equipped with tunnels and ventilation networks and was used by the al-Nusra leaders to conduct their terrorist operations.
A field source told a SANA reporter on Monday: ‘The headquarters extended on two levels underground; the first was for the leaders of the terrorist organisation, which was geometrically dug and reinforced with heavily fortified concrete consisting of several rooms connected through corridors.’
The second level, according to the source, consists of nine rooms with complex networks of basements connecting them to a ventilation system.
‘The terrorists used the headquarters as a living area there and assigned parts of it as prisons and centres to torture the kidnapped civilians who opposed their presence in the area,’ the source said.
He added that the terrorists used a ventilation system through a network of pipes which fed the entire second-level of rooms as the additional parts of the headquarters were still under expansion.
The SANA reporter said: ‘While the army units were combing the liberated village of Babila they discovered a network of trenches, tunnels, headquarters and fortified centres for the al-Nusra terrorists
‘And in the liberated town of Khan al-Subol, the army units seized a hospital and a field medical centre for treating injured terrorists, in addition to a number of fortified trenches and caves that were used by the terrorists to protect themselves from Syrian Arab Army air strikes.’
Over past few days, Syrian Arab Army units have also liberated Maarat al-Numan city and a number of villages and towns surrounding it in Idlib countryside and found, during mopping up operations fortified underground terrorist headquarters, tunnel networks, artillery and ammunition dumps.
Meanwhile last Sunday, the people of the occupied Syrian Golan staged a general strike in protest at the aggressive and expansionist Israeli practices and measures against the Golanese, the latest of which is setting up ‘wind turbines’ on their agricultural lands and confiscating their properties by force.
The strike came after a meeting held by religious and local Golan leaders in Majdal Chams town on Saturday.
In a statement to SANA in Quneitra, the people of the Golan stressed that the establishment of wind turbines is the latest in a series of Israeli settlement plans to loot lands from their owners and displace them.
They expressed their readiness to confront the plan and its ‘executive tools’ – the settlers and the armed forces – on the ground.
The Golanese also renewed their adherence to national unity and their absolute rejection of all plots being hatched against the Syrian Golan.
The turbines plan involves seizing around 600 dunams (around 150 acres) of the locals’ lands to build 52 wind turbines.
- Syria’s Cabinet on Sunday approved a number of decisions to strengthen the national economy which include reducing and exempting a number of fees related to exports and imports.
This came during the weekly Cabinet session chaired by Prime Minister Imad Khamis, where the Ministers evaluated the current economic situation.
The session also included a review of the progression of the national project for administrative reform, in addition to discussing the bill for financial disclosure.
The Cabinet allocated SYP (Syrian pounds) 24 billion to implement development projects approved recently in Homs, and provided a grant of SYP 20 billion to the Syrian Trading company to continue importing rice and sugar to ensure their availability in sufficient quantities and at reasonable prices.
- Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr Bashar al-Jaafari, has strongly reaffirmed that restoring security and stability to Syria ‘completely entails handling the main terrorist challenges,’ and he also noted that some states are trying to impede the Syrian Arab Army’s anti-terrorist operations in Idlib and Aleppo with the aim of raising the morale of terrorists.
During a UN Security Council session on the situation in Syria held last Wednesday, al-Jaafari pointedly stressed that the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisation is al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, and the various groups affiliated to it include in their ranks tens of thousands of foreign terrorists. They control most of Idlib province and are continuing their attacks on the neighbouring areas and on the army’s posts.
Al-Jaafari said that Syria has always chosen the path of political solutions to handle the status quo, and has given them suitable time; it has always dealt seriously with all the ‘settlement’ initiatives, including the understandings of Astana and Sochi, and it has adhered to them based on its keenness to protect the lives of the Syrians and to put an end to those who are exploiting their suffering.
He added that the representatives of some countries are trying, through their statements, to circulate fabricated accusations with the aim of hindering the operations of the Syrian Arab Army against terrorism in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, and raising the morale of terrorists in them.
Al-Jaafari wondered what the governments of the representatives of these states would do if a terrorist organisation occupied an area in their own country and targeted civilians in the neighbouring areas with rocket shells?
Would they stand idly by, and allow someone to call the members of such a terrorist organisation a ‘moderate armed opposition’ and demand support for them on ‘the humanitarian level’?
He clarified that some states continue to invest in terrorism in Syria with the aim of prolonging the crisis in the country, and they are seeking to ‘modify the terrorists genetically’ and then promote them as if they were a ‘moderate armed opposition’.
Then later, in collusion with the Turkish regime, they turn them into ‘a genetically-modified moderate Libyan armed opposition’, and after that, those who are still alive become a ‘moderate opposition’ in a third or fourth country as their operators have become addicted to investing in terrorism, and this is what is taking place in other African states such as Mali, Nigeria, the coastal states and others, as these have also become addicted to the policies of spreading destruction in homelands – and later they complain about the waves of refugees whom they have forced to leave their homelands, al-Jaafari said.
He pointed out that throughout the nine years of crisis in Syria, four UN Special Envoys have tried to find a solution to the crisis, but they failed because some states – which are members of the Security Council and outside it – have depended on force instead of the law to achieve their private agendas ignoring the provisions of the UN Charter, the principles of international law and good neighbourly relations at the expense of Syria’s stability and its regional role.
Al-Jaafari asserted that some states continue to use internationally-banned ‘mass lying weapons’, and they continue the same acts of interference to undermine the security and stability in the countries of the Middle East instead of reconsidering their acts and stances and improving their policies.
He noted that declaring the provisions of the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ last Tuesday by the US administration is a unilateral act and an aggression against the UN itself, as it represents an unprecedented disregard for its resolutions which are related to the Palestinian cause, and a desperate attempt by Washington to draw a new colonial scheme for the region.
It is also a repetition of the crime committed by Britain more than one hundred years ago of the Balfour Declaration, and is only designed to serve the Israeli occupation and its expansionist and hostile schemes at the expense of Arab rights and interests in a blatant violation of international law, the UN Charter and its resolutions.
Al-Jaafari affirmed that Syria’s message is a message of peace from a strong position and not from a weak position, and that Syria strongly believes in the principle of equality in sovereignty between states and it bases its policies on it, as it is the principle which had been emphasised by the founders of the UN.
And he warned: ‘Whoever thinks of repeating what they have done in our region after World War I and World War II, must be sure that their scheme will fail and it will be thwarted by the will of the Syrian people.’