Press TV – ‘Syrian army advances in Homs, good’
Press TV has conducted an interview with Hisham Jaber of the Center for Middle East Studies from Beirut over recent advancements by the Syrian troops against foreign-backed insurgents and the geo-political changes affecting Syria.
Press TV: I am looking at the list of advancements by the army, which is in series of advancements that has been made recently. By the time Geneva 2 comes around, I do not think there is anything for Syria and the opposition to discuss because it sounds like the country is going to be in full control of the Syrian army?
Jaber: I think the Syrian army made its decision based on the political decision to take over Homs and Hama before the battle of Aleppo started.
Also we do not have to forget the political scene in the region – what is going on in the region, you know: First of all Turkey, which was a most hostile and aggressive country against the Syrian regime – Turkey now I think is busy solving domestic problems. They changed in Qatar also. And what happened yesterday in Egypt when the regime of Mohamed Morsi was very hostile and very aggressive and cut the relations with Syria.
Lång intervju med Syriens president Al-Assad – Bashar Al Assad Interview on Political Islam, The Egyptian Crisis and Foreign Intervention, President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to Syrian al-Thawra daily. The following is the full text of the speech
Press TV – Militant groups fight each other in northern Syria
The Syrian army troops have made gains in battle against foreign-backed militants, while violent infighting took place among militant groups in northern Syria.
People in al-Dana town in Idlib Province said the infighting occurred between several militant groups, including the al-Qaeda-linked the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), on Friday.
Dozens of foreign-sponsored militants were killed, wounded or imprisoned in the incident.
Reports say that the beheaded bodies of one commander and his brother were also found in the town.
independent.co.uk – Faisal Mekdad: ‘The US has no control over the rebels it is arming – and if Cameron and Hague think weapons can force Assad’s departure, they are stupid’, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister is certain the West’s strategy will fail
Mr Mekdad says events have been moving in the Syrian government’s favour throughout the first half of the year. Its forces are on the offensive, having won a crucial battle at Qusayr outside Homs near the Lebanese border, and he stresses that the opposition should take heed. “It will send a clear message to armed groups, saying: ‘The Syrian army is coming for you,’” he says. Crucially, Syria’s most important allies – Russia and Iran – are steadfast in supporting it diplomatically and financially. Mr Mekdad seems to draw a certain amount of unspoken pleasure from the spectacular disarray of the civilian and military opposition inside and outside Syria.
Mr Mekdad does not look overly concerned by the postponement of the Geneva II peace conference, saying that Syria had always been ready and willing to attend without preconditions. But he goes out of his way to refute the idea that, if the US and its allies could make the rebels a bit stronger on the battlefield, “they can force the government to give more concessions. This is completely wrong,” he says.
This is the argument of David Cameron and William Hague, who claim arming the rebels would tilt the balance of the war in their favour forcing Mr Assad to negotiate his own departure. “I think they are stupid,” says Mr Mekdad. “I think they are absolutely mistaken. More arms means more killing.” He derides any idea that the British and French stance is humanitarian or sincere, attributing it in both cases to revived colonialist ambitions. The Syrian government sees Britain and France as front men for the US administration, which Mr Mekdad claims is “behind everything in the region”. He believes that Saudi Arabia and Qatar likewise act as proxies for the US: “They can’t do anything without written instructions from Washington.”
Press TV – Cannibal militant threatens to commit worse crimes in Syria
The foreign-backed militant who was seen eating an organ of a dead Syrian soldier in a recent video has threatened to commit more gruesome murders if foreign-backed terrorists in Syria do not receive more military aid from abroad.
“We will do worse than this if we don’t get help and no-fly-zone and heavy weapons,” said Khalid al Hamad, known by his nom de guerre Abu Sakkar, in an exclusive interview with the British state-run broadcaster, the BBC.