A senior Iranian official affirmed that the Islamic Republic feels “obliged” to bolster Syria’s air defence systems in a bid to repel future aerial attacks from Israel.
Hamzeh Qalandari, an Iranian Brigadier General and deputy minister for international affairs, affirmed Tehran’s commitment to securing Syria’s skies on the sidelines of a ceremony commemorating the International Mine Awareness Day and Assistance in Mine Action in Iran’s capital.
He further reiterated that Tehran is committed to assisting all its regional allies in the field of air defences. During the ceremony, he said, “We find ourselves committed to helping friendly countries, like Syria, improve their air defences and fend off aerial attacks.”
He noted that Syria used to be completely defenceless; however, in recent months, Damascus has repelled several Israeli airstrikes from the occupied Golan Heights.
The Brigadier General also mentioned that there has been a growing interest in Iranian weapons since the UN lifted an arms embargo on Tehran.
In a statement, the foreign ministry added that Damascus is prepared to face this “fascist aggression” and reclaim sovereignty over the entirety of the country.
Why the U.S. Fears Arab Normalization with Syria
The Jordan Times published an analysis discussing why the United States is concerned about the Arab rapprochement with Syria.
The article argues that the U.S. fears Arab normalization with Syria as it would undermine the sanctions regime that the US has imposed on Syria, and enable the country to begin to recover from years of warfare and degradation by sanctions.
U.S. Syria experts and former officials have urged the Biden administration to step up pressure on Arab governments to end reconciliation, calling for sanctions on Jordan, the Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the Arab League.
However, the author argues that U.S. meddling has been the main driver of regional insecurity and instability and that normalization erodes the international community’s capacity to shape a political process aimed at meaningfully resolving the crisis.
The US has also deployed its troops in northeast Syria, blocking reconstruction and depriving Syrians of energy supplies, and is determined to keep the sanctions regime in place.
Iraqi intelligence kills the most dangerous ISIS terrorist in Syria
Iraqi intelligence announced on Wednesday the killing of Khaled al-Jubouri, whom it described as the most dangerous terrorist in the ISIS group, according to a statement issued by the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS).
The INIS illustrated that a qualitative intelligence operation led to the killing of the terrorist Khaled Al-Jubouri, known as Yaqoub Al-Muhajir.
The INIS confirmed that the dead man is considered one of the most dangerous terrorists belonging to ISIS, and an arrest warrant has been issued against him by the concerned magistrate.
The INIS indicated that Al-Jabouri was targeted in the Syrian governorate of Idleb.
Al-Jubouri formerly joined the terrorist organization of Al-Qaeda, then joined the ISIS group where he held several positions.
The most important positions Al-Jabouri held were the military official for areas outside Nineveh, the security officer for the state of eastern and northern Nineveh, and the last of which was the governor of Turkey, as he was planning to carry out a terrorist operation in Europe.
The INIS pointed out that the operation is part of the directives of the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces to target leaders of the ISIS group, stressing that it will continue to pursue ISIS remnants inside and outside Iraq.
Syria slams EU again for “flagrant double standards”
Syria affirmed that the European Union Council and Parliament’s agreement to adopt the so-called “anti-coercion tool” in the field of trade revealed the flagrant double standards adopted by this Union, according to a statement by the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Wednesday.
“Syria is astonished of such an agreement adopted by the Union, as the EU punishes countries it alleges that they impose coercive measures on other countries, while the Union itself imposes illegal coercive measures on numerous developing countries, including Syria.” The Ministry said.
These measures caused the suffering of millions of civilians and obstructed the efforts of the targeted countries to meet the needs of their people and achieve the goals of sustainable development, well-being and prosperity” the Ministry added.
The statement read that this stance unequivocally reveals the blatant double standards adopted by the European Union.
Syria calls on European Union to adopt a policy that is more balanced and consistent with the principles of international law, UN resolutions and human rights instruments, along with the immediate, complete and unconditional lifting of illegal unilateral coercive measures and the cessation of collective punishment policies against the peoples of the targeted countries, the Ministry concluded.
Turkey’s security forces torture earthquake victims with Impunity – HRW
Turkish security officials beat and tortured earthquake victims as a state of emergency was imposed on the region, human rights groups said on Wednesday. At least one person died in police custody.
According to a joint investigation by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW), at least 13 cases of police violence involving 34 victims were recorded in quake-affected regions, 12 of whom were tortured, and two of whom were threatened at gunpoint. HRW said they were privy to more cases of police violence in the aftermath of the earthquake, but could not corroborate all cases.
The report, shared by North Press, said the government-imposed state of emergency in the ten affected provinces has created a lawless environment, where security forces were free to exert violence without consequences. According to one victim interviewed for the report, a police superintendent he complained to told him, “there’s a state of emergency here. Even if that officer kills you, he won’t be held accountable. No one would be able to say anything to him.”
Another victim interviewed by al-Monitor said that the state of emergency “serves as further cover for lawlessness among security officials who are confident they won’t face the consequences.” Torture and police ill-treatment in custody has risen sharply since the failed coup attempt in 2016, al-Monitor reports.
Security officials have accused their victims of wrongdoing, but the HRW added that in only two cases they recorded there has been an official investigation into the victims for alleged crimes.
The state-sponsored violence seems to disproportionally target minorities. In a third of the cases outlined by the HRW, the victims were Syrian refugees and the attacks “bore signs of an additional xenophobic motivation.”
Violence against Syrians is commonplace in Turkey. A nine-year-old Syrian girl was killed in the southern city of Kilis this week.
Canada repatriating 14 citizens from Northeastern Syria – statement
Canada on Thursday said it was in the process of repatriating 14 Canadians – four women and 10 children – from detention camps in northeast Syria where foreign women and children who had allegedly been affiliated with Islamic State have been held, the foreign ministry said.
“Amidst reports of deteriorating conditions in the camps in northeastern Syria, we have been particularly concerned about the health and wellbeing of Canadian children,” said a foreign ministry statement, quoted by Reuters.
“Today, 4 Canadian women and 10 Canadian children are being repatriated to Canada. As long as conditions allow, we will continue this work.”
Assad receives President of the Supreme Judicial Council in Iraq
President Bashar al-Assad received Thursday the President of the Supreme Judicial Council in Iraq Judge Dr. Faeq Zaidan.
According to SANA, both sides discussed the bilateral relations binding Syria and Iraq, and the challenges facing the two countries in various fields, especially in the security field with the aim of combating terrorism targeting both states.
Both parties also discussed joint judicial and legal cooperation, with President al-Assad affirming that the judiciary is the balance of any state and the basis of its justice and stability, therefore cooperation in this field will be reflected in the security and stability of the two countries.
Zaiden noted that what the Iraqi and Syrian people have faced over the past years requires the two countries to raise the level of cooperation to its highest in various fields, especially those that enhance security and stability.
Zaidan stressed the need to exchange expertise to deepen the experience of the two countries in the judicial field.