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The News Line: Feature SYRIAN ARMY ESTABLISHES CONTROL IN AREAS SOUTH OF PALMYRA CITY! SYRIAN army units have established control over large areas to the south of Palmyra City in their continued operations against ISIS terrorists in the eastern countryside of the western province of Homs.

The army units, in cooperation with reserve forces, advanced about 10 kilometres towards Khnaifis mines in countryside to the south of Palmyra after carrying out a large-scale military operation in which a number of ISIS terrorists were killed and injured and scores fled.

The army units established control over al-Abtar Mountain and a number of hills surrounding it. Syrian Arab Army units also imposed a fire control over Qaser al-Halabat near the al-Abtar Mountain after violent clashes with ISIS terrorists, and the army continued to advance towards establishing full control over the area.

Army units clashed with the Islamist terrorist fighters after they were able to get into the eastern part of al-Sinaa neighbourhood in Deir Ezzor, foiling their attempts at hitting military targets there.

More than 15 terrorists were killed in the clashes, in addition to destroying a mortar launcher and two machinegun-equipped vehicles. Barricades and motorcycles belonging to ISIS were also destroyed.

The army also carried out operations against positions of ISIS terrorists in the western direction in the area of al-Moazafin and al-Joubaila in Deir Ezzor and in the surroundings of the Regiment 137 on the southwestern outskirts of the city.

A number of ISIS terrorists were killed in the operations and their arms and ammunition were destroyed. An army unit carried out a number of operations against gatherings of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisation in Daraa al-Balad area in Daraa’s southern province, inflicting heavy losses upon them in personnel and vehicles.

A Tao rocket launch pad, a mortar launcher and a vehicle belonging to Jabhat al-Nusra were destroyed in the operations and a number of terrorists were killed in al-Jomrouk al-Qadim and the surroundings of al-Masri Roundabout. Among the killed are the self-proclaimed leader of the Liwa al-Tawhid terrorist group Mohammad Jamal Hindawi al-Masalmeh, and a field Commander of the al-Bounyian al-Marsous terrorist group Rashed Aba Zaid.

Army units carried out operations against gatherings, fortifications and movements of terrorist organisations on the axes of Maardes-Souran, and Maardes-Tibet al-Imam and in the surroundings of Tal Skeik in Hama’s northern countryside, according to a military source.

The source said many terrorists were killed during the army’s operations, in addition to the destruction of a car bomb, 4 tanks, 4 vehicles equipped with machine guns, 2 artillery bases and a rocket launcher. The source added that army also seized a combat vehicle, artillery shells and mortar rounds.

Islamist terrorist organisations on Monday blew up the drainage gate of Tasil dam in the northwestern countryside of Daraa province. Assistant Director of Water Resources in Daraa Marwan al-Rabdawi said: ‘Local sources have confirmed that terrorists placed explosives on the drainage gate of the Tasil dam and detonated them, causing water to flow in the direction of al-Alan valley and Bassel al-Assad dam which is cracked due to the tunnels and trenches dug by terrorists around it.’

Al-Rabdawi added: ‘Around three cubic metres are flowing out of the dam per second due to the terrorist attack, but this doesn’t pose any threat to surrounding areas. All dams in Daraa province are located in areas where terrorists are present which prevented carrying out any maintenance or repairs since terrorists prevent repair teams from accessing them.’

Meanwhile, Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis has said that Syria is looking forward to further boosting economic cooperation with Belarus and establishing joint projects serving the mutual interests of the two countries. Khamis made his remarks during a meeting with the Belarusian Industry Minister Vitaliy Vovk on Tuesday.

The Premier expressed the Syrian government and people’s appreciation over Belarus’ firm attitude towards the terrorist war waged on Syria which stresses non-interference in the internal affairs of other states. He noted that exports and imports with Belarusian companies will be massively facilitated between the two countries, in addition to forming work groups to rehabilitate terror-affected and destroyed factories.

For his part, the Belarusian Industry Minister expressed readiness to implement projects in Syria, adding that the two sides agreed on holding joint committee sessions every six months. He added that establishing factories to assemble Belarusian machinery and products has been agreed upon, indicating that Belarus began to export food materials to Syria and means of providing Syrian people’s needs of medicines for chronic diseases were also discussed.

Vovk noted Belarus’ intention to participate in the rebuilding of Syria, expressing interest in importing Syrian products such as cotton, phosphate and agricultural items.
A contract to import 157 dump trucks as well as other machinery and spare parts has been signed.

In a similar context, the Board of Directors of Damascus and its Regional Chamber of Industry met Minister Vovk and the accompanying delegation. The meeting touched upon means of boosting cooperation in importing machines, equipment and raw materials necessary for developing the industry sector in Syria.

The two sides also discussed exporting Syrian products and goods to the Belarusian markets, establishing joint industrial projects and rehabilitating industrial facilities. Chairman of the Board of the Damascus and Damascus Regional Chamber of Industry Samer al-Debs reviewed systematic destruction of industrial areas at the hands of terrorist groups, not to mention the unjust unilateral procedures taken by European states against Syria.

He also highlighted the local market and industrial facilities’ needs of raw materials required in different industries such as medicines, food products and infant milk. Al-Debs invited the Belarusian companies to take part in the Damascus International Fair set to be held in August, expressing hope that the cooperation between the two countries would further increase.

Deputy Chairman of the Chamber Mohammad Sahar called for providing a database of trade, industrial and investment opportunities in Belarus, indicating the importance of encouraging Belarusian imports and contribution to the rehabilitation of several industrial areas damaged due to terrorism. Enhancing cooperation in engineering and textiles industries and establishing joint projects were also discussed.

Head of the Syrian side to the Joint Syrian-Belarusian Business Council Imad Ma’atouq said that a delegation of Syrian industrialists and exporters will be formed to visit Belarus, closely inspect trade and investment opportunities and hold talks with Belarusian side to overcome obstacles hindering funds transfer between the two countries.

For his part, Minister Vovk stressed readiness to deal with all issues that would help know more about the resources and capabilities of the two countries and further enhance economic and trade cooperation between them.

Prospects of agricultural cooperation and providing requirements of the agricultural sector such as machinery, engineering equipment, tractors and tanks were discussed in a meeting between Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform Ahmad al-Qadri and Vovk.

Al-Qadri said that Syria is seeking new markets to sell its agricultural products to friendly countries after the closure of land crossings. In turn, Vovk expressed Belarus’ readiness to propose new offers for agricultural machinery including tractors and harvesters, adding that a joint committee will convene every six months to study the needs of the agricultural sector.

• Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ramatane Lamamra was speaking at a press conference alongside the Higher Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini; Lamamra called on all states to ‘respect Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity’. Lamara reiterated his country’s position and stressed ‘the need for reaching a political solution to the crisis in Syria’.


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