THE Syrian Cabinet has condemned the terrorist blasts which hit the cities of Jableh, Tartous, and al-Qamishli last Monday.
It also condemned terrorist mortar attacks on some areas in Aleppo, Nubbul, al-Zahraa and Daraa which killed and injured dozens of innocent civilians. Islamic State claimed responsibility for attacking the cities of Jableh and Tartous, which are controlled by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and lie close to Russian air and naval bases.
In Jableh, the attacks on Monday morning killed at least 73 people and left scores of others injured, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights reported. And at least 48 people were killed and many more injured in the almost simultaneous bombings in Tartous. One of the explosions occurred near a hospital when a bomber detonated his explosive vest.
In a statement, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi said that this escalation of terrorist actions in a number of Syrian areas comes on the orders of the terrorist organisations’ backers and financers – mainly Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and is an attempt to cover up the victories achieved by the Syrian Army on all fronts, and to raise the terrorists’ morale ‘to achieve false victory on the ground’.
Al-Halaqi affirmed that these ‘cowardly terrorist actions’ are aimed at destabilising the country, but ‘will not derail Syrians from continuing their daily life and rebuilding and developing their country.’ The Prime Minister held the international community legally and morally responsible for these terrorist actions, and demanded that it intervene to put pressure on those states backing terrorism which threatens international security and stability.
He declared the Syrian government’s determination to continue combating terrorism, enhancing national reconciliation and facing the repercussions of the economic and media war which targets the national economy and the Syrian state. Apart from the series of terrorist explosions in Jableh and Tartous on Monday, another terrorist blast hit the eastern city of Qamishli on Sunday leaving a number of civilians killed and injured.
Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi condemned the attacks in an interview with al-Ikhbariya TV, and said that terrorist bombings, killings, assassinations and targeting civilians reflect the nature of terrorist organisations because they cannot face the real confrontation with the Syrian Army. He said: ‘What happened on Monday in Jableh and Tartous reaffirms that terrorist organisations, like Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, are groups of cowards and killers unable to confront the Syrian Army.’
The minister added: ‘These terrorist groups should know that we will not forgive them and they will pay a high cost for their crimes.’ Likewise, Religious Endowments (Awqaf) Minister Mohammad Abdelsattar al-Sayyed, and Grand Mufti of the Republic Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun condemned the terrorist bombings, with al-Sayyed saying that these attacks show that Takfiri Wahabi terrorism targets all Syrians without distinction, and is aimed at spreading strife and division.
Hassoun noted that Jableh and Tartous host over 1.5 million displaced people from various areas in Syria who had sought refuge in the two cities from terrorism. In a statement, the Regional Leadership of the Al-Baath Arab Socialist Party condemned Monday’s ‘barbaric’ terrorist attacks against the civilians in Tartous, Jableh, Qamishli, and Deir Ezzor, as being on ‘the instructions of the Saudi regime to punish the Syrian people.’
In a similar statement, the National Council for Media also condemned the terrorist attacks, as did the National Initiatives for Syrian Kurds, Al-Ahed National Party, Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Socialists Movement, and the Union of Levant Scholars. The General Union of Farmers, the Teachers Syndicate, and the Lawyers Syndicate also condemned the terrorist bombings.
On the international level, the Russian Foreign Ministry also condemned the bombings in Tartous and Jableh on Monday, saying that they seek to undermine the cessation of hostilities agreement and the political settlement efforts of the crisis in Syria. ‘Terrorist attacks in Syria’s coastal cities of Tartous and Jableh are aimed at undermining the ceasefire and political settlement in the country.
‘Another bloody act of atrocity by terrorists on Syrian soil deserves the most decisive condemnation,’ the ministry added. ‘It was committed with an uncovered goal – to disrupt the regime of ceasefire maintained in Syria since February 27 and in general to undermine the efforts on political settlement of the Syrian crisis.’ The ministry has expressed its deep condolences to the families and relatives of the dead and to all the Syrian people, and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.
• Syrian Health Minister Nizar Yazigi said 1,100 medical aid shipments have been delivered to the provinces in the past five months, most of them to difficult-to-reach areas. During a meeting with the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Margaret Chan, in the Swiss city of Geneva, Yazigi noted that 800 of the aid shipments were provided by international organisations, largely by the WHO.
Talks between the Minister and Chan focused on the prospects of joint cooperation, and discussed the Syrian Health Ministry’s efforts to deliver medical aid especially to those affected by the ongoing war. Yazigi thanked the WHO for supporting the health sector in Syria and responding to the needs of its people by providing health services, particularly in terms of confronting polio, as no new cases of the disease have been detected in over 28 months.
The minister affirmed that the health situation in Syria remains stable, and no pandemics or epidemics were registered throughout the past period. He expressed hope that the WHO will make more efforts to help the Syrian people who are suffering under an unjust economic blockade. The meeting between Yazigi and Chan came on the sidelines of the 69th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) that kicked off in Geneva on Monday.
Syria is participating in the Assembly’s meetings along with the 194 member states and the representatives of international organisations and donors.