Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s summer residence on the Black Sea for talks on Thursday about the Syrian conflict, the Kremlin said, a visit that underscored Moscow’s status as Assad’s chief backer.
In his first interview since the chemical attack on civilians and the airstrikes by the United States and European allies in early April, Assad speaks to Kathimerini’s executive editor Alexis Papachelas about a wide range of issues including US President Donald Trump, who has called Assad an “animal”.
Hundreds of mines, some said to originate from NATO countries, as well as scores of mortar shells and frag grenades have been retrieved by Syrian sappers in the town of Douma. The mine-clearing effort was caught on camera.
The days of ISIS controlling territory and terrorizing the people of Syria are coming to an end,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday.The operations will be conducted by the US-led coalition and local partners, including the Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces.
As the US is reviewing funding aimed at helping war-ravaged Syria rebuild, it’s not neglecting the White Helmets – a controversial militant-linked group instrumental to the media campaign against Assad and Russia.
In an email from October 2016 Roger Waters is being invited to a fundraiser organised by Saudi billionaire Hani Farsi – to honour the work of White helmets. In it, he’s also being encouraged to watch a documentary about the group.
After speaking with eyewitnesses on the ground in Syria, even mainstream media are beginning to cast doubt on the West’s narrative of an alleged gas attack in Douma, as medics tell French, German and UK media it never happened.
Moscow is prepared to join forces with the Arab League in an effort to help Iraq and Syria recover from protracted wars, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. He also urged that Arab nations’ sovereignty be respected.
The Kremlin had warned Washington that Russia would fend off any strike that jeopardized its servicemen in Syria. The West respected that red line by giving advance notice of Saturday’s attack, just as it did a year ago when it struck a Syrian air base.
Russia feels threatened by the US decision to strike Syrian targets in retaliation for the alleged chemical attack in Douma on April 7, which Moscow believes was staged.