West Still Plotting Against Syria – Jaafari

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Syrian troops confident of liberating the whole of their country
Syrian troops confident of liberating the whole of their country

THE WEST has plotted against Syria with the aim of changing the country’s stances, policies and national identity to serve a ‘New Middle East’ project that imitates the Judaism project of ‘Israel’ and cancels the Palestinian people’s right to establish their own independent state.

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr Bashar al-Jaafari stressed this during a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Syria.

Al-Jaafari pointed to statements made by the Retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson one week ago that those who call to launch an aggression on Syria have been looking for any pretext to justify a probable attack against it.

He said that the US, Britain and France have no evidence that the Syrian state used chemical weapons and that US intelligence officials and their agents inside Syria failed to prove their allegations, since the evidence indicates that the terrorist organisations are behind launching these attacks using chemical weapons.

The Syrian diplomat noted that the Israeli aggression against Syria complements its aggressive policies and desperate attempts to provide moral support to the terrorist groups which have suffered successive defeats by the Syrian Arab army. He stressed that these acts violate the ‘disengagement of forces’ agreement signed in 1974 and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution No 350 (1974).

Al-Jaafari reiterated Syria’s call on the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security and take firm and immediate measures to hold the Israeli entity accountable for its terrorism and crimes, which constitute a flagrant violation of the UN’s Charter and rules of international law.

He added that preserving the lives of Syrians requires cooperation with the Syrian government and support for its efforts to eradicate terrorism, instead of manipulating the minds of western intelligence officers through circulating misleading terms such as ‘moderate armed Syrian opposition,’ or ‘non-state armed groups,’ or ‘Islamic caliphate state,’ or ‘Jihadist groups’.

He wondered why does the French government continue to provide political cover to the terrorist groups in Syria, despite the fact that these are the same groups which attacked the Bataclan theatre in Paris. The French authorities have admitted the risk posed by those terrorists in statements made by the French Foreign Minister who warned against consequences of the Syrian military operation in Idlib on security in Europe and fears of the flow of thousands of terrorists to Europe.

Al-Jaafari pointed out that Syria has provided the UNSC with serious information circulated by Dutch mass media about the involvement of the Dutch government in funding and offering logistic support to terrorist groups in Syria.

He asked: ‘Wouldn’t the Dutch government’s act be considered a breach of its responsibilities as a UNSC member in maintaining international peace and security?’

He reiterated Syria’s unremitting efforts to reach a political solution through intra-Syrian dialogue led by Syria without any foreign intervention and with priority given to counterterrorism, the return of displaced Syrians to their homes, the launch of reconstruction processes and liberation of remaining Syrian areas from terrorists and illegal foreign forces.

Al-Jaafari said that the Syrian government has fulfilled its obligations regarding the committee on discussing current constitutions and submitted the names of its representatives. The Syrian diplomat expressed appreciation for Russia and Iran over their efforts, particularly the recent summit meeting in Tehran and the agreement on Idlib signed on Tuesday in Sochi.

‘Syria welcomes any initiative that spares the bloodshed of the Syrians and contributes to the restoration of security to any spot struck by terrorism and that Syria will continue its war against terrorism until the liberation of the last inch of its territory, whether by military operations or reconciliations,’ said Dr Al-Jaafari.

‘The Idlib agreement announced yesterday is a time-bound agreement and it is part of previous agreements on de-escalation zones which resulted from the Astana track since the beginning of 2017, essentially stemming from the commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian territories, as well as liberating all the Syrian territories whether from terrorism and terrorists or from any illegitimate foreign presence,’ he added.

Vasily Nebenzya, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, said at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday that militants entrenched in Syria and activists of the White Helmets grouping continue conjuring up a provocation in the Idlib zone of de-escalation.

‘Militants and activists of the White Helmets continue fabricating the sham scenes that will feature the alleged use of chemical weapons inside the Idlib zone of de-escalation,’ he said. ‘The filming of these fakes has already taken place in some Syrian districts,’ Nebenzya said. ‘Notably, the organisers forced the Syrians abducted previously in Idlib and Aleppo Governorates to take part in the filming.

‘Also, we have the data suggesting that Jabhat al-Nusra handed barrels with chlorine to Jaysh al-Izza grouping in Lataminah and Kafr Zita,’ Nebenzya said.

‘Once again, we’d like to call attention to the fact. We’ve warned about it many a time. ‘We can see full well some of our partners are using Syria as a bridgehead for triggering a far more serious and dangerous conflict with more far-reaching consequences in the entire region.

‘In the light of it, we’d like to call once again for real collective efforts on all the conflict situations in the region and particularly in the struggle with terrorism and for giving up the attempts to solve Syria’s problems behind its back.’ Russia will respond to actions on behalf of the Israeli Air Force that led to a fatal crash of Russia’s Il-20 aircraft on Monday late night in Syria, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

‘We have informed today our Israeli colleagues, and I have also informed personally the Israeli Defence Minister (Avigdor Lieberman), that such actions will not be left unanswered by us,’ Shoigu said. The Russian Il-20 that was shot down by Syrian air defence systems had been conducting reconnaissance activity in the Idlib de-escalation zone before the crash, he said.

‘Our reconnaissance airplane Il-20 with 15 crew members on board – that had been conducting reconnaissance tasks over the Idlib de-escalation zone to find places of storage and collection of unmanned aerial vehicles which fly from this zone and strike various Syrian regions – was in the strike zone, strictly speaking between Israel’s aircraft – four F-16 planes – and Syrian territory,’ he said.

Israeli F-16 jets delivered strikes on Syria using the Russian Ilyushin-20 reconnaissance plane as cover, since the Israelis believed that Syria’s air defences would not counteract against that trajectory, Shoigu said. ‘It’s clear to any specialist the strike was delivered using our Ilyushin-20 as cover, because they (the Israelis) thought the Syrian air defence systems would not act in that direction,’ he stated.

Shoigu indicated that the Israeli Air Force had conducted the attacks without notification.

‘The Israeli side didn’t issue a notification or, to be more precise, they warned us a minute before conducting the strike,’ he said. ‘They told us they were about to attack facilities on Syrian territory, and they did it. ‘As a result of countermeasures to the Israeli attack, the Syrian air defence troops brought down the Ilyushin-20,’ Shoigu indicated.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, on September 17 at about 23:00 Moscow time (GMT + 3) contact was lost with the crew of a Russian Il-20 plane that was returning to the Hmeimim airbase above the Mediterranean Sea, 35km off the Syrian coast. The ministry specified that the Il-20 disappeared from the air traffic control radars during the attack of four Israeli F-16 planes on Syrian facilities in the Latakia Governorate.

The Russian Defence Ministry later reported that the plane had been downed by the Syrian air defence systems. According to the ministry, the Israeli pilots used the Il-20 as a shield, putting it under attack from the S-200 missile system. It was said that the Israeli flight control devices and the F-16 pilots ‘could not but see the Russian plane as it was coming in for a landing at an altitude of 5km’.

That said, they intentionally carried out this provocation, said Russian Defence Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov, noting that Russia regarded Israel’s actions as hostile.