"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "
Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)
Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)
Saturday, December 31, 2016
The Army Intelligence Directorate obtained, after thorough monitoring, some “accurate and credible” information that terror cells are taking action in the northern city of Tripoli according to instructions delivered to them from Islamist fugitive Shadi al-Mawalai, who is taking refuge in the southern Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh, As Safir daily reported Saturday.
“The cell was preparing to stage terror acts inside Lebanon,” a well-informed source told the daily on condition of anonymity.
“At 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, upper class Army Intelligence Units together with military units in Tripoli, were able to bust a 3-member terror cell. The militants were taken to the Defense Ministry in Yarzeh for interrogation. They made initial confessions that made the Directorate expand the circle of raids and tracking, and succeeded at busting a second cell composed of two terrorists bringing the total to five,” added the source.
“The detainees in custody were identified with their initials as Lebanese R.M., A.S., B.S., A.S and Palestinian W.A. They have all confessed to having links to al-Mawlawi who supplies them with information and instructions, while hiding in Ain el-Hilweh, the latest plan was to carry out attacks during the holiday season,” said the source.
Friday, December 30, 2016
President Michel Aoun on Friday signed decrees promoting armed forces officers from all ranks, the presidency said in a statement.
The promoted officers belong to the army, Internal Security Forces, General Security State Security, and Customs.
Aoun also signed decrees for the promotion of other officers during the year 2017.
Friday's “were the last decrees that the president signs in 2016,” the presidency said.
Russia on Friday submitted a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council supporting the ceasefire it helped broker in Syria as well as planned peace talks in Kazakhstan.
Moscow drew up the text endorsing the plan it spearheaded with the help of Turkey and Iran for a nationwide ceasefire, which went into effect at midnight and appeared to be mainly holding despite reports of sporadic clashes near Damascus.
The deal calls for subsequent negotiations in late January in the Kazakh capital Astana, Russia's U.N. ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters.
The council held closed-door consultations on the text Friday morning.
Some countries have made recommendations that can be "easily absorbed" into the draft resolution, he added, saying that the peace plan "is not just a Russia-Turkey effort."
"We hope that tomorrow morning, we can go for a vote and adopt it unanimously," Churkin said.
The ceasefire deal calls for negotiations over a political solution to end the conflict that has killed more than 310,000 people since 2011 and forced millions to flee.
A new wave of infighting has erupted between members of the Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa groups in the countryside in Hama province, social network activists reported on Friday.
According to reports, militants of Jund al-Aqsa have launched an attack on strongholds of the Ahrar al-Sham group in Hama countryside. Both groups have sent reinforcements to their units, stationed in the area.
At the same time, members of Ahrar al-Sham detained military and security leader of Jund al-Aqsa, Abou Khaled.
The clashes between Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa once again prove the fact that there is a high possibility of fighting between various ‘opposition’ groups as a result of the ceasefire, which started today at 00:00 local time.
Clashes, shelling and air raids in western Syria marred a Russian- and Turkish-backed ceasefire that aims to end nearly six years of war and lead to peace talks between rebels and a government emboldened by recent battlefield success.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announced the ceasefire on Thursday after forging the agreement with Turkey, a longtime backer of the opposition.
The truce went into force at midnight but monitors and rebels reported almost immediate clashes, and violence appeared to escalate later on Friday as warplanes bombed areas in the country's northwest, they said.
Asaad Hanna, a political officer in the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a loose alliance of insurgent groups, told Reuters violence had reduced but had not stopped.
"We cannot be optimistic about someone like the Russians who used to kill us for six years ... they are not angels. But we are happy because we are reducing the violence and working to find a solution for the current situation," said Hanna.
The ceasefire is meant as a first step toward fresh peace talks, after several failed international efforts this year to halt the conflict, which began as a peaceful uprising and descended into war in 2011.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
A high-ranking Hizbullah delegation held talks Thursday in Bkirki with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi.
“We still believe that the best solution is an electoral law fully based on proportional representation, but we're open to discussing any other format,” Hizbullah political council chief Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed said after the meeting, in response to a reporter's question.
“The visit tackled the domestic situation, which has involved important achievements, including the election of President (Michel) Aoun and the formation of the government,” al-Sayyed said.
Rusya Dışişleri Bakanı Sergey Lavrov, Rusya, Türkiye ve İran arasında Rusya'nın başkenti Moskova'da 20 Aralık'ta imzalanan Suriye konulu ortak bildiriyi bugün BM Güvenlik Konseyi'ne (BMGK) sunacaklarını ifade etti.
Üçlü formatta imzalanan ortak bildiriye katılmaları için ilk etapta Mısır yönetimine teklif götüreceklerini söyleyen Lavrov, "Putin, bugün Mısırlı mevkidaşı Sisi ile yaptığı telefon görüşmesinde bu konuyu ele aldı. Sonraki etaplarda Suudi Arabistan, Katar, Irak ve Ürdün gibi Suriye'de nüfuzu bulunan ülkeleri bildiriye dahil etmek gerekecek" dedi.
El Bab Operasyonu’ndaki güçlükler neler? Türkiye operasyonda neden yalnız? El Bab’da hedefe ulaştıktan sonra ne olacak?
Ağustos ayı öncesinde Suriye'deki gelişmelere odaklanmış uzmanlar dışında çok fazla insanın ilgisini çekmeyen Suriye'nin kuzeyinde irice bir kasaba olan El Bab, haftalardır Türkiye'nin en önemli gündem maddelerinden birisini oluşturuyor.
Fırat Kalkanı Operasyonu'yla (FKO) üç yerin adı sıklıkla geçmeye başladı: Cerablus, Munbiç ve El Bab. IŞİD'in Suriye'nin doğusuna sıkıştırılmasını sağlayacak ve YPG'in kontrolünde bir birleşik bölge oluşmasını engelleyecek bu kasaba neden hâlâ kontrol edilemedi? Cevabı, net. Çünkü El Bab tüm özellikleriyle FKO’nun gerçekleştiği diğer yerlerden farklılaşıyor.
The Syrian government and armed opposition groups have reached an agreement on a ceasefire on Syrian territory and on readiness to start peace talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
De Mistura: Rusya, Türkiye ve İran’ın Suriye konusundaki girişimlerine katkıda bulunmaya hazırız- Sputnik News
BM’nin Suriye Özel Temsilcisi Staffan de Mistura, Rusya Dışişleri Bakanı Sergey Lavrov’la gerçekleştirdiği telefon görüşmesinde, BM’nin Rusya, Türkiye ve İran’ın Suriye konusundaki girişimlerinin uygulamaya geçirilmesi konusunda katkıda bulunmaya hazır olduğunu söyledi.
Dışişleri Bakanı Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Suriye'de önce bir ateşkes sonra da müzakere olması gerektiğini söyledi. Ateşkese yönelik çabaların devam ettiğini söyleyen Çavuşoğlu, anlaşmanın her an olabileceğini belirtti.
Ateşkesten sonra müzakerelerin tekrar başlaması gerektiğini ve müzakerelerin bu sefer Cenevre'de değil Astana’da olacağını belirten Çavuşoğlu, bunun Cenevre’ye bir alternatif değil tamamlayıcı bir süreç olacağını vurguladı.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Suriye hükümeti Halep'in kontrolünü ele geçirmesini ‘zafer’ olarak ilan etti. Muhalifler ise dönmek üzere çekildiklerini söyleyerek şehri terk etti.
Dört yılı aşan yoğun bir çatışma döneminden sonra, 'te rejimi ordusu ve müttefikleri şehrin merkezinde yeniden kontrol sağladı. Geçen yıllar içinde Halep'te çatışma farklı tempolarda devam etti. Bazen muhalifler şehri düşürmeye yaklaşırken bazen de rejim kuşatmaya çalıştı. Ancak binlerce kişinin ölmesine, kat ve kat fazlasının yaralanmasına sahne olan Halep'te bugün yıkıntılar hakim. Suriye hükümeti şehrin kontrolünü ele geçirmesini ‘zafer’ olarak ilan etti. Muhalifler ise dönmek üzere çekildiklerini söyleyerek zor şartlar altında şehri terk etti. Fakat Halep'in merkezi hükümetin kontrolüne girmesi ne bir zafer ne de bir son. Ancak şu da bir gerçek ki geri döneceği günleri bekleyen muhalifler de beklediklerini bulamayacaklar. Çünkü Halep'te meydana gelen gelişme, çatışmanın tarafları arasında şehrin el değiştirmesinden ibaret değil. Halep örneği, Suriye'deki iç savaşta dengelerin kalıcı bir şekilde değiştiğinin ve yakın gelecekte Ortadoğu'nun başka bölgelerinde yaşanacak stratejik değişimlerinin de önemli bir işaretiydi.
AA, Türkiye ile Rusya'nın Suriye'de çatışan taraflara ülke genelinde ateşkes başlatmaları amacıyla önerecekleri bir plan üzerinde mutabakata vardığını yazdı.
Anadolu Ajansı'nın (AA) haberine göre Türkiye ile Rusya, Halep kent merkezinin doğusunda ilan edilen ateşkes ve yerel nüfusun tahliyesinden sonra, ateşkesin ülke genelinde yaygınlaştırılması için taraflara önerecekleri bir plan üzerinde mutabık kaldı.
Russia-Turkey framework agreement on Syria proposes end of hostilities in the country starting at midnight local time on december 29. Moreover the two countries agreed that the deal should be submitted for considiration by Damascus, Turkish news agency reports.
Turkey and Russia have agreed on the outlines of a nationwide ceasefire plan in Syria for Damascus to consider, Turkish media reported Wednesday.
The general ceasefire proposal is planned to be presented to the Syrian government for consideration, according to Turkey's Anadolu news service.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday (Dec. 23) ordered the expansion of the Russian naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus, according to the Russian media.
The expansion of the naval base comes days of the capture of the Syrian city of Aleppo by the Russian-backed Syrian forces. This comes also four days after the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov on December 19.
Russian news agency Sputnik quoted the Kremlin’s website as reading: “Vladimir Putin signed a decree on signing the agreement between the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic on expanding the territory of the Russian logistics centre in the port of Tartus and on the arriving of Russian ships at the territorial sea, national waters and ports of the Syrian Arab Republic.”
The Russian Defense Ministry announced plans in October to establish a permanent naval base in the western Syrian port city of Tartus where it has been keeping a small naval maintenance and support facility since 1977, Sputnik said.
Tellingly, the Kremlin announced the expansion of Tartus base while Putin was addressing a press conference in Moscow on Friday. The French news agency AFP described the move as flexing muscle by Putin.
Monday, December 26, 2016
Kremlin Sözcüsü Dmitriy Peskov, Kazakistan'ın başkenti Astana'da yapılması planlanan Suriye barış müzakereleri hakkında henüz net bir durumun bulunmadığını söyledi.
Rusya Devlet Başkanı Vladimir Putin ve Türkiye Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arasında dün yapılan telefon görüşmesinde büyük oranda Soçi'deki uçak kazası üzerinde durulduğunu kaydeden Peskov, Astana'daki barış görüşmeleriyle ilgili net bir durum bulunmadığını ifade etti.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
On Tuesday, the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey discussed the situation in Syria, including Aleppo, in Moscow on Tuesday. Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed a joint statement to revive the political process to end the conflict in Syria.
Gunfire was heard Sunday at the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp during the funeral of Fatah Movement official Suleiman Abu al-Nimr, who was killed in a blast Saturday, state-run National News Agency reported.
It earlier reported that cautious calm was engulfing the camp after a hand grenade exploded overnight on the camp's al-Fawqani street without causing casualties.
A few volleys of machinegun fire were also heard in the morning amid a total closure of shops, NNA said.
Friday, December 23, 2016
The Syrian army has retaken full control of the devastated city of Aleppo, it said Thursday, scoring its biggest victory against opposition forces since the civil war erupted in 2011.
The announcement came after a landmark evacuation deal that ended a ferocious month-long offensive waged on east Aleppo by government forces and allied militia.
The operation ended a battle that lasted nearly four and a half years, and transformed the city into a worldwide symbol of bloodshed and devastation.
Thousands of inhabitants in the western part of the city -- which had remained under the regime's control throughout the conflict -- took to the streets, chanting slogans and shouting their jubilation despite extreme cold.
Cars crawled along, their drivers sounding their horns, and in city squares, children had the colours of the Syrian flag painted on their cheeks.
"Our joy is immense. Life returned to Aleppo today," said lawyer Omar Halli, who predicted "victory over all of Syria".
An army statement said the general command "announces the return of security to Aleppo after its release from terrorism and terrorists, and the departure of those who stayed there".
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday the recapture of the devastated city of Aleppo by Syrian regime forces was a "very important" step towards stabilising the war-torn country.
"The liberation of Aleppo from radical elements is a very important part of the normalisation in Syria, and I hope, for the region overall," Putin told defence minister Sergei Shoigu in a meeting, the Kremlin said.
The Syrian army said late Thursday that it had retaken full control of Aleppo, scoring its biggest victory against opposition forces since the civil war erupted in 2011.
The Kremlin strongman said that after the ouster of rebels from Aleppo, Moscow will now look to end fighting across the country.
"Everything needs to be done for fighting to stop on all Syrian territory," Putin said.
"In any case, we will strive toward this."
Putin said during his annual press conference Friday that he hoped that fresh peace talks could get all sides in the conflict to agree to a nationwide ceasefire.
"The next step must be the conclusion of a ceasefire agreement on all of Syria's territory," he said.
Putin said that the presidents of Turkey, Iran and Syria had agreed to take part in new peace talks, which Russia had proposed take place in the Kazakh capital Astana.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Putin, the operation to retake the city and to evacuate people from it was completed with the "direct, if not decisive, participation and influence of our military personnel."
"The liberation of Aleppo from the radical element is the most important component of a full normalization in Syria, and I hope in the region as a whole," Putin said at a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Rusya Savunma Bakanı Sergey Şoygu, Rusya Devlet Başkanı Vladimir Putin'e Halep'ten militanları tahliye operasyonunun tamamlandığını bildirdi.
Putin'in talimatı üzerine gerçekleştirilen Halep'i özgürleştirme operasyonunun Türkiye ve İran'la yakın işbirliği içinde yapıldığını belirten Şoygu, operasyon sonucunda Suriye genelinde ateşkes sağlanması için gereken koşulların oluştuğunu vurguladı.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday received a phone call from Saudi Arabia's powerful Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and met with visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Jaber Ansari.
The Saudi prince congratulated Hariri on the formation of the new government, wishing him “success in his missions for the sake and benefit of Lebanon and its people,” Hariri's office said in a statement.
Talks tackled “the latest local and Arab developments” and the deputy crown prince stressed the kingdom's “support for Lebanon and its keenness on strengthening and developing bilateral relations between the two countries,” the statement added.
Also on Thursday, Hariri held talks at the Grand Serail with Iran's deputy FM, who was accompanied by an Iranian delegation and Iran's Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammed Fathali.
After the talks, Ansari lauded the latest “accord and harmony among the political and social components that are influential in the Lebanese arena, which eventually led to putting an end to a lengthy presidential void through the election of General Michel Aoun as president.”
Türk, Rus ve İranlı üst düzey yetkililerin önceki gün Rusya’nın başkenti Moskova’da düzenledikleri ve Suriye’de barışçı çözümü öngören zirvede, üzerinde uzlaşılan ortak bildirinin tam metni dün yayımlandı. Bildirinin ilk maddesinde üç ülkenin çok mezhepli, demokratik ve seküler bir devlet olarak Suriye Arap Cumhuriyeti’nin egemenliğini, bağımsızlığını, birliğini ve toprak bütünlüğünü tamamen desteklediği vurgulanıyor.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Suriye krizine doğrudan müdâhil olan üç ülke; Türkiye, İran ve Rusya krize siyasi çözüm arayışları için Moskova’da bir araya geldi. Ortak deklarasyonda Suriye'de ateşkesin genişletilmesi ve Esed rejimiyle muhalifler arasında barış görüşmelerinin yeniden başlaması öne çıktı. Deklarasyonun uygulanmasının garantörleri de Rusya, Türkiye ve İran olacak. Rusya Dışişleri Bakanı Lavrov, "Türkiye, İran ve Rusya, Suriye'de rejim değişikliğine değil terörle mücadeleye odaklanma konusunda mutabık" dedi.
Toplantıya saatler kala Rusya’nın Ankara Büyükelçisi Andrey Karlov’un öldürülmesine rağmen planlandığı günde yapılan üçlü görüşme, Türkiye, İran ve Rusya’nın kendi aralarında bir araya gelerek yaptığı ilk toplantı oldu. Bu üç ülke arasında özellikle Halep’in tahliyesine yönelik olarak ikili düzeyde yoğun bir telefon diplomasisi gerçekleşiyordu. Ancak Moskova’daki toplantının gündemi tahliye konusunu aşacak bir kapsamdaydı.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Trilateral cooperation between Russia, Iran, and Turkey is the most effective way to settle the Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that Moscow, Teheran, and Ankara have drafted a document aiming to resolve the crisis.
Russia’s foreign minister held a meeting in Moscow with his counterparts, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu of Turkey and Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, in Moscow on Tuesday.
“The most effective format is the one that you are witnessing today. This is not an attempt to cast a shadow on the attempts of our partners; this is just statement of a fact,” Lavrov said at a briefing after the meeting.
By comparison, Lavrov mentioned that other formats for settling the Syrian crisis, such as the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), had called for a number of actions to be taken simultaneously, including ceasing hostilities, allowing passage of humanitarian aid, and initiating a political process that involves all parties to the Syrian conflict.
“Unfortunately, the group failed to play its role to force all parties to fulfill all obligations. Our colleagues tried to show the activity in May …, but then the activity disappeared,” Lavrov pointed out, while noting that “the Russia-Iran-Turkey ‘troika’ has proven with actual deeds that it is in demand.”
“Russia, Iran, and Turkey have been recently taking coordinated steps that have allowed for the safe evacuation of the majority of the civilian population from eastern Aleppo with support of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization,” Lavrov said.
He added that the evacuation will soon be complete – “a matter of one-two days maximum.”
Russia, Turkey & Iran ready to be guarantors in resolving Syrian crisis – Russian defense minister- RT
A text of the Moscow declaration on immediate steps in resolving the Syrian crisis is being prepared. Moscow, Ankara and Tehran are ready to be guarantors of its implementation, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.
“Today experts are working on the text of the Moscow declaration on immediate steps toward resolving the Syrian crisis. This is a thorough, extremely necessary document,” Shoigu said at the meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan.
According to Shoigu, all previous “attempts to agree on joint efforts undertaken by the US or their partners were doomed.”
“None of them exerted real influence on the situation on the ground,” he said.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Thousands of people were evacuated on Thursday from the last rebel bastion in Aleppo, the first to leave under a ceasefire deal that would end years of fighting for the city and mark a major victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A first convoy of ambulances and buses with nearly 1,000 people aboard drove out of the devastated rebel-held area of Aleppo, which was besieged and bombarded for months by Syrian government forces, a Reuters reporter on the scene said.
Syrian state television reported later that two further convoys of 15 buses each had also left east Aleppo. The second had reached the rebel-held area of al-Rashideen, an insurgent said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said late on Thursday that some 3,000 civilians and more than 40 wounded people, including children, had already been evacuated.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Ambulances and buses with militants leaving Aleppo are accompanied by Russian servicemen and Red Cross staff, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said that the first convoy of buses with militants has already left eastern Aleppo.
The evacuation of 5,000 militants and their families from Aleppo started earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, the operation to evacuate 200 wounded is underway in the eastern part of the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Red Cross Syria said. "In Aleppo, conflicting parties appealed to the the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to help in the evacuation of the wounded," the Red Cross said.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
As part of an initiative launched by the Change and Reform bloc to separate the cabinet formation process from an agreement on a new electoral law, a delegation of the bloc visited the Kataeb party on Tuesday and talks focused on devising a law for the upcoming parliamentary elections, the National News Agency reported.
The Change and Reform bloc, comprising MPs Neemtallah Abi Nasr and Ibrahim Kanaan met with Kataeb party leader MP Sami Gemayel, in presence of lawmakers Nadim Gemayel and Samer Saade.
“We are working on clinching an agreement over the coming stage and we will reach a formula in the nearest time possible. We refuse to return to the 1960 law after all the efforts we have made,” Kanaan told reporters following the meeting.
Civilians and rebel fighters were to start evacuating from Syria's Aleppo "within hours" under a deal reached Tuesday that would end years of opposition resistance in the city.
Rebel officials, Russia and Turkey confirmed the agreement which, if implemented, would mark a major victory for President Bashar Assad over opposition forces who rose up against him in 2011.
Russia's U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin said the Syrian military had stopped its operations in Aleppo under the agreement, adding: "The fighting around eastern Aleppo is over."
Green government buses gathered at the edges of the divided Salaheddin district late on Tuesday, with some entering briefly but returning empty and parking on the outskirts again, an AFP correspondent said.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Fırat Kalkanı operasyonu kapsamında, Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri’nce Suriye'nin kuzeyinde IŞİD ait 157 hedef ateş altına alınarak imha edildi. El Bab ve Bzagah bölgelerinde tespit edilen 28 hedefe ise hava harekatı düzenlendi.
The Syrian army and its allies are in the "last moments before declaring victory" in Aleppo, a Syrian military source said, after rebel defenses collapsed on Monday, leaving insurgents in a tiny, heavily bombarded pocket of ground.
A Reuters journalist in the government-held zone said the bombardment of rebel areas of the city continued non-stop on Monday, and a civilian trapped there described the situation as resembling "Doomsday".
"The battle in eastern Aleppo should end quickly. They (rebels) don't have much time. They either have to surrender or die," Lieutenant General Zaid al-Saleh, head of the government's Aleppo security committee, told reporters in the recaptured Sheikh Saeed district of the city.
Rebels withdrew from all districts on the east side of the Aleppo river on Monday afternoon after losing Sheikh Saeed in the south of their pocket in overnight fighting, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Preparations are under way for a final operation by Turkish-backed rebels on the Islamic State-controlled city of al-Bab in northern Syria, Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.
Speaking at a news conference after a cabinet meeting, Kurtulmus also said humanitarian aid shipments to Syria's Aleppo city should not depend on the establishment of a ceasefire and called on the international community to help set up an aid convoy.
Syrian rebels have received a U.S.-backed proposal to leave Aleppo along with civilians under safe passage guaranteed by Russia, rebel officials said as government forces closed in on Sunday, but Moscow denied a deal had been reached.
If the proposal were to be taken up by all sides, it would end four years of fighting in the city, and months of siege and intense bombardment that have created a humanitarian crisis - particularly in rebel territory that has now shrunk to a small pocket crammed with civilians.
Three officials with insurgent groups in Aleppo told Reuters that a letter outlining the proposal had been received, offering an "honorable" departure for the rebels to a place of their choice
Rebel groups have yet to respond. But if fully accepted, the proposal would give Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his military coalition of Russia, Iran and Shi'ite militias their greatest triumph in the civil war against the rebels who have fought for nearly six years to unseat him.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Saturday, December 10, 2016
The Syrian army said it has sent reinforcements to Palmyra, where Islamic State fighters have advanced to its outskirts in some of the heaviest fighting since the group lost the historic city earlier this year.
The group had taken over areas to the northwest and southeast of Palmyra, and clashes continued on Saturday, the army said in a statement.
A rebel commander from the Jaish al-Mujahideen group based in the Aleppo countryside said the IS attack was forcing the Syrian government to divert troops from Aleppo, where the army and its allies are on the verge of a major victory against rebels.
The army did not specify where reinforcements were brought from.
Islamic State's assault, which began late on Thursday, has killed dozens of Syrian soldiers and quickly taken over grain silos and control of some oil and gas fields around Palmyra, monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.