Monday, June 18, 2018 | ePaper

Syrian army vows to press war, rebels say strikes not enough

  • Print


A Syrian soldier inspects the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC) compound in the Barzeh district north of Damascus, during a press tour organised by the Syrian government after US-led strikes.

Reuters, Beirut :
The Syrian opposition said Western strikes on Saturday would not change the course of the seven-year-old war as the army said it would crush remaining rebel parts of the country.
The missiles by the United States, Britain, and France targeted President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons capabilities in response to a deadly poison gas attack near Damascus a week ago, Washington said.
But rebels and opposition politicians said the Western powers should also hit Assad's conventional weapons which have killed many more people during the war.
Some insurgent officials said they feared an onslaught against the rebel bastion of Idlib, which a senior Iranian official has indicated could be the next target.
"Maybe the regime will not use chemical weapons again, but it will not hesitate to use weapons," opposition leader Nasr al-Hariri said.
A rebel fighter said he was bracing for further attacks as "revenge" by the government with its allies on rebel territory in the northwest, including the Idlib region.
"More was expected from the American strike to affect the path of the war and to curb Assad's crimes," he told Reuters from Hama province.
Damascus and its allies have said reports about poison gas in Douma were fabricated as a pretext for Western strikes.
After the suspected gas attack, which medical relief groups said killed dozens, rebels holed up in Douma finally surrendered the town. That clinched a big victory for Assad, wiping out the last insurgent pocket in the eastern Ghouta region near the capital.
The war has been going Assad's way since Russia intervened on his side in 2015. From holding less than a fifth of Syria in 2015, Assad has recovered to control the largest chunk of the country with Russian and Iranian help.
Mohamad Alloush, political chief of the Jaish al-Islam faction that had controlled Douma, said the Western strikes on Saturday would not be enough.
"As long as this regime and its security agencies exist, the chemical (attacks) will continue because there is safety from the consequences that would end it," he said. "And (Assad) is portraying what happened as a victory."
The Syrian presidency posted a video appearing to show Assad arriving for work on Saturday morning a few hours after the U.S.-led attack, dressed in a suit and tie and carrying a briefcase.
Though swathes of Syria remain beyond his grasp, the insurgency currently poses no military threat to his rule.
The opposition has praised President Donald Trump for taking action against Assad after criticizing former U.S. President Barack Obama for failing to enforce his own red line when Assad was accused of using gas in 2013. But they want more.
"The strike has weakened the regime, but has not strengthened the opposition," said another rebel commander.

More News For this Category

World can `sleep well` after North Korea summit: Trump

World can `sleep well` after North Korea summit: Trump

A jubilant-sounding President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that his "deal" with Kim Jong Un has ended the North Korean nuclear threat, as his top diplomat said he hoped to see

US hopes for 'major' North Korea disarmament by 2020: Pompeo

US hopes for 'major' North Korea disarmament by 2020: Pompeo

Reuters,  Seoul :The US secretary of state has admitted there is still "a lot of work left to do" following the historic summit in Singapore.The US wants to see a

UN rights office calls for int’l probe in Kashmir

UN rights office calls for int’l probe in Kashmir

AP, Geneva :The U.N. human rights chief called Thursday for an independent, international investigation into reports of rights violations in the disputed region of Kashmir, laying blame for civilian deaths

News in brief

Erdogan to lift state of emergency if re-electedReuters, Istanbul Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the state of emergency that has been in place since July 2016 will be lifted

UN rights office calls for int’l probe in Kashmir

UN rights office calls for int’l probe in Kashmir

AP, Geneva :The U.N. human rights chief called Thursday for an independent, international investigation into reports of rights violations in the disputed region of Kashmir, laying blame for civilian

News In Brief

Erdogan to lift state of emergency if re-electedReuters, Istanbul Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the state of emergency that has been in place since July 2016 will be

World can 'sleep well' after North Korea summit: Trump

World can 'sleep well' after North Korea summit: Trump

AFP, Washington :A jubilant-sounding President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that his "deal" with Kim Jong Un has ended the North Korean nuclear threat, as his top diplomat said he

US hopes for 'major' North Korea disarmament by 2020: Pompeo

US hopes for 'major' North Korea disarmament by 2020: Pompeo

Reuters,  Seoul :The US secretary of state has admitted there is still "a lot of work left to do" following the historic summit in Singapore.The US wants to see

N Korean state media hails Kim-Trump summit success

N Korean state media hails Kim-Trump summit success

Reuters, Seoul  :US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were splashed across North Korea's official party newspaper on Wednesday as state media hailed Tuesday's historic summit

Trump thanks Kim for taking 'bold step towards new future' after historic summit

Trump thanks Kim for taking 'bold step towards new future' after historic summit

PTI, Singapore :US President Donald Trump today thanked Kim Jong-un for taking the "first bold step" towards a bright new future for his people and said the North Korean leader