Wednesday, October 17, 2018 | ePaper

BREAKING NEWS:

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

Saudi considers admitting Khashoggi died during interrogations

Saudi considers admitting Khashoggi died during interrogations

Saudi Arabia is considering an admission that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died during an interrogation that went wrong, US media reported on Monday.Khashoggi, a Saudi national and US resident who became

Koreas, US-led UN Command discuss disarming border area

Koreas, US-led UN Command discuss disarming border area

AP, Seoul :The rival Koreas and the U.S.-led United Nations Command met Tuesday to discuss efforts to disarm a military zone the rivals control within their shared border under a

Daniels' defamation suit against Trump rejected by US judge

Daniels' defamation suit against Trump rejected by US judge

AFP, Los Angeles :US President Donald Trump scored his first major legal victory Monday against porn star Stormy Daniels, as a federal US judge rejected her defamation suit against him.Daniels-real

Maldives court rejects Yameen's secret witnesses

Maldives court rejects Yameen's secret witnesses

AFP, Colombo :The Maldives' top court rejected on Tuesday three "secret" witnesses offered by President Abdulla Yameen in his petition to have his September election defeat annulled, in what is

US defence chief Mattis says Trump is '100 percent' with him

US defence chief Mattis says Trump is '100 percent' with him

AFP, Ho Chi Minh City :US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said President Donald Trump has assured him of his full support, one day after Trump appeared to cast doubt over

News in brief

Senate aide pleads guilty to lying to FBIAP, Washington A former Senate intelligence committee employee has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. James Wolfe appeared in federal court in

Saudi Arabia warns against any sanctions over missing Khashoggi case

Saudi Arabia warns against any sanctions over missing Khashoggi case

Reuters, Washington :Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as European leaders piled on pressure and two more US

Trump says he is ‘comfortable’ as President despite political battles

Trump says he is ‘comfortable’ as President despite political battles

Reuters, Washington :President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he was "comfortable" in the White House after almost two years in office, despite political storms over

Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby

Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby

AFP, London :Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby in the spring of 2019, they announced on Monday as they began a Pacific

May under mounting pressure to rethink Brexit plan

May under mounting pressure to rethink Brexit plan

Reuters, Belfast :British Prime Minister Theresa May was under mounting pressure on Monday to rethink her plan for leaving the European Union after Brexit talks reached a stand-off at the