THE IRAQI air force has launched deadly strikes against terrorists’ positions in Syria as both neighbouring countries step up efforts to get rid of terror groups’ remnants. The office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced in a statement on Thursday that Daesh positions in Syria came under attack from the Iraqi side of the border.
The raids were ordered by the premier ‘because of the danger they (terrorists) pose to Iraqi territory,’ Abadi’s office said in a statement. The Iraqi military’s spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, also said F-16 fighter jets were used in the operation, which was carried out in coordination with the Damascus government.
Damascus and Baghdad declared Syria and Iraq fully free of Daesh late last year and have since been involved in clear-up operations against the extremist group’s remnants.
Despite the collapse of Daesh, Iraq’s border regions with Syria are still suffering from sporadic attacks by the remaining terrorists.
Abadi had vowed on Wednesday that his country would continue to chase Daesh terrorists not only inside Iraq but also elsewhere in the region. He said: ‘The mission is not easy, but we shall make another miracle after that of the grand victory.’
Iraq’s announcement coincides with a new Syrian government push against Daesh terrorists and other Takfiri militants holed up in districts south of the capital, Damascus, including Yarmouk, which is home to a Palestinian refugee camp. Earlier in the day, the Syrian army gave the terrorists with Daesh and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, better known as al-Nusra Front, 48 hours to agree to withdrawal from the areas south of Damascus or face a large-scale military operation.
‘If they refuse, the army and supporting forces are ready to launch a military operation to end the presence of the organisation in the area,’ Syrian newspaper al-Watan reported on Thursday.
At Jdeidet Yabous crossing on the Syrian-Lebanese border on Wednesday, hundreds of displaced Syrians were returning home with eyes watching from the windows of buses.
It marked the moment of arrival that makes their dream of return come true after they had been forcibly displaced by terrorist organisations. On Wednesday night, nearly 500 displaced persons returned to their homes in Beit Jinn village and its farm in Damascus Countryside via Jdeidet Yabous crossing on the Syrian-Lebanese border.
Some of the returned people described as ‘the day of Eid and the return of joy and life’ the moment they crossed the border coming back to Syria under procedures provided to them and facilitated by the competent authorities since their departure from Lebanese Shebaa until they arrived in the homeland. They expressed pride over the victories achieved by the Syrian army over terrorism to secure their return to their homes. Last January 13, more than 500 displaced families returned home in the village of Beit Jinn and its farms in the southwestern countryside of Damascus countryside after the army, in cooperation with the backup forces, restored full security and stability to the area.
On Thursday, a Syrian doctor exposed as a lie the alleged ‘chemical attack’ in Douma.
As a part of the continuous fabrications made by the Takfiri terrorist organisations and their sponsors to plot against the Syrian state, the so called ‘White Helmets’ organisation has circulated videos taken at one of the medical points in Douma showing what they claimed to be a chemical attack against civilians on April 7. This was used as a pretext by the US, France and UK to launch 100 cruise missiles against Syrian targets in the early hours of April 14.
Syrian news agency SANA’s camera visited the medical point that the media platforms affiliated to the terrorists claimed that the injured in the alleged chemical attack were treated, and met with a member of the medical staff who was there when the incident occurred.
Dr Bara Badran a resident doctor at the ER Department of Douma Hospital (also called by terrorists of Jaish al-Islam as Medical Point 1) said that on April 7, there was bombardment on the positions of terrorists in Douma who were positioned in residential buildings and a number of fires erupted.
Due to the fires, suffocation cases by dust and smoke took place, Badran said, adding that the injured were rushed to the hospital where they were treated as having asthma cases and given asthma sprays and allergy shots. Within two hours, most of them were fully treated, he added.
‘As the patients were duly treated, a number of strangers stormed into the hospital and started shouting “chemical attack” which caused panic throughout the hospital. The strangers then watered everyone, setting off a melee and commotion, all the while trying to whip up the frenzy,’ Badran said.
He pointed out that no case of poisoning or toxic substances has occurred over the past seven years he spent in the ER department at the hospital.
Meanwhile, the evacuation of ‘Jaish al-Islam’ terrorists and their families from al-Dmair town in al-Qalamoun area in Damascus countryside began on Thursday after handing over their heavy and medium weapons as part of the agreement reached with the Syrian state. A SANA reporter said that 13 buses were prepared to transport scores of terrorists and their families from al-Dmair town to the main gathering point before transporting them later to Jarablos under the supervision of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
The agreement, which was reached on Tuesday, stipulates for the terrorists to leave the town to Jarablos and resolving the status of those who wish to remain, after handing over their weapons.
The reporter added that the agreement provides for the evacuation of about 1,500 ‘Jaish al-Islam’ terrorists and 3,500 members of their families from al-Dmair town to Jarablos; then the army units will enter the town to comb and clear it of the landmines for the rehabilitation of all the states’ institutions in it.
Over the past two days, ‘Jaish al-Islam’ terrorists handed over six machine-gun-equipped vehicles, 32mm machine-guns, anti-aircraft missiles, 14.5 machine-guns, some individual and light weapons including rifles, PKC machine-guns, FAL sniper rifles, medium pieces such as Dushka installed on ground positions, RPGs launchers, 82 and 60 mortar launchers, as well as various communication devices.
• The Syrian Committee for Supporting Syrian Detainees and Freed Prisoners in Israeli Jails organised a sit-in in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) headquarters in Damascus on Thursday, ahead of Syrian Prisoner Day on April 21st. In a letter handed to the ICRC representative, participants called on the humanitarian and rights organisations to shoulder their responsibilities, and consider the arbitrary and inhuman acts practised on the Syrian detainees by the Israeli occupation authorities.
They called for pressure to be put on the Israeli occupation authorities to fulfil the captives’ demands and release the captive Sudqi al-Maqt and his Syrian fellow inmates.
Head of the Committee Ali al-Younes clarified that the sit-in is a confirmation of solidarity with detainees in Zionist prisons and rejection of the violations practised upon them by the occupation authorities.
About one-fifth of the occupied Syrian Golan’s population have been arrested and prosecuted by the Israeli occupation forces. Many of the prisoners are still in arbitrary detention. Women, children and the elderly have been detained without trial.