Syria Soon to surpass the crisis, Achieve Victory over Foreign Aggression

 DAMASCUS,(ST)_  Minister of Information Omran al-Zou'bi  underscored that Syria , Homeland , State and People  are soon to surpass the crisis, and achieve victory against foreign aggression .

In a press conference held at the Ministry of Information headquarters on Sunday,  Minister al-Zou'bi said that " the victory is but against the enemies of Syria  who tried to link the future of Syria and its role to the Israeli agendas through Arab and regional tools."

Minister al-Zou'bi blasted the news disseminated by different media outlets about the situation on the ground, as " not  precise" and as " not correct", pointing out that there are armed terrorists groups on the ground including al-Qaeda affiliated  al-Nusra front .

In reply to a question, Minister al-Zou'bi asserted that there was no change in the Russian stand, nor in the Russian political speech.

" Any bet on a change – in the Russian stance- is but a day dreaming. Russia has a firm political stance: Russia does not interfere in any matter pertaining to the Syrian national sovereignty , and that Russia stands for  a political solution through a political dialogue and a national pure Syrian process and dialogue."

Minister al-Zou'bi underlined that those who reject dialogue are afraid of its outcomes;  that is they are afraid of ballot boxes in fear of popular defeat .

" Had those in the so-called Doha coalition or others had enough  courage  to get  an open national political process, they would not have rejected the dialogue."Minister al-Zou'bi declared.

" All foreign elements and al-Nusra front members who committed acts of killing, sabotage  will be held accountable," said minister al-Zou'bi , declaring that every Syrian  who drops his arm and surrenders  himself to the State under  the authority of law, will be dealt with accordingly.

Minister al-Zou'bi asserted that the Syrian Arab Army is in operation all over the country according to the constitutional, national and political authorization  against terrorism and the armed terrorist groups,  in accordance to the international law, especially UN resolution No. 1373.  

In reply to another question, Minister al-Zou'bi said that the minimum  level of nationality by national opposition is to reject foreign intervention in the Syrian affairs, but the maximum level is martyrs sacrifices, rejection of dictations by the governments of Qatar and Turkey, rejection of finance , support from under the table and rejection of terrorist armed actions  and of al-Nusra front .

The Minister pointed out that the national opposition has  to tell the Arab league to lift sanctions , to tell Qatar, Turkey, France  and the Arab League to halt the trafficking of weapons , training of terrorists  and shipment of sophisticated weapons  to Syria.

The Minister pointed out that Syria has authentic documents and proofs, names, addresses,  etc,  for Turkish and Lebanese involvement  in the crisis, blasting the heinous  acts  by these groups, like the targeting of electricity networks, schools , hospitals, agriculture research centers , cereal silos and smuggling them to Turkey and selling  them  there at lowest prices, with the full knowledge of the Turkish government .

In reply to another question, Minister al-Zoubi asserted that Syria doesn't provide arms to the PKK and never permits any one to carry out aggressive acts against another country.

Answering a question regarding Turkish and Gulf Countries' intervention in Iraq, Minister al-Zou'bi reiterated Syria's rejection to any interference in the affairs of Iraq, , the sisterly country whose security and stability are important to Syria,  calling on foreign forces, particularly Turkey,  to refrain from meddling in the Iraqi affairs.

In reply to another question, Minister of Information pointed out that Syria isn't interested in the names of US designated officials, but in the US policy and whether it would be committed to its enlisting of al-Nusra Front on terrorism list, or it would continue to support it.

In  reply to another question regarding  the recent events in al-Yarmouk camp, Minister al-Zou'bi asserted that the Syrian Arab Army did not interfere  in this issue and that the armed terrorists  withdrew  when they realized that the Syrian army did not interfere.

 He asserted  that Palestine will remain the compass, the essence of the conflict with Israel and that the Palestinian cause will remain ever  the central cause of Syria and that  the Palestinian people  are but of our identity, heritage  and future.

Answering another question, Minister al-Zou'bi said that " had Syria had chemical weapons, it would have never used it , neither inside nor outside the Syrian geography, because  this contradicts our moral and religious culture."

"It is the ripe time  for initiating a political process and drop the arms." The Minister concluded.

T.F. /H.SH/M.A. 




Syria observes Arbor Day

DAMASCUS COUNTRYSIDE, (ST)-“ The process of building and construction is  proceeding forward to build  renewable Syria , the country of  love, tolerance and national unity,  in parallel with the process of challenging the enemies' schemes,” said  Prime Minister Dr. Wael al-Halqi.

 “Paying attention to the agricultural sector and ensuring all its requirements is one of the priorities of government programs,” the prime minister added during a celebration on Sunday held in al-Sabboura area in Rural Damascus marking Arbor Day.

"Today, we are planting  the tree of love, life, amity and the enhancement of national reconciliation," the premier said, stressing that the tree, as a symbol of the present and the future, will continue to tenderly shadow all parts of the country so as to boost the spirit of amity and national reconciliation.

The Prime Minister, who planted several trees, was accompanied by the ministers of agriculture and environment, the governors of both Damascus and Damascus countryside and the chairman of the Farmers General Union.


T. Fateh

State General Budget Specified at (SYP) 1383 billion.. New Faculty of Architectural Engineering Established

DAMASCUS, (ST) – President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday issued a law specifying the State general budget for 2013 fiscal year at (SYP) 1383 billion.

The president also, issued a decree providing for the establishment of a second Faculty of Architectural Engineering in the city of Salamiyeh in Hama. The faculty is to be affiliated to al-Baath University of Homs. 

H. Moustafa

Sheikh Kameel Naser: Syria, an example of National Unity, Coexistence

 Syria's deeply-rooted history, national stances, and unique state of coexistence among all sects of its society, make the Syrians, wherever they are, feel proud of their belongingness to this country, which was, throughout history, the cradle of all civilizations and religions. Unfortunately, Syria is being exposed to a heinous conspiracy targeting its existence and resisting role in the region. 

 “Syria is blessed by God as it is the land of all religions and prophets  and I am proud of my nationality as a Syrian, who grew up and earned the noble values of defending the homeland against any foreign aggression," Sheikh Kameel Naser, member of Levant Scholars' Union, said in an exclusive interview with the “Syria Times".

 “In the past, our ancestors won victories over the Ottoman and the French colonialists and now we are ready to sacrifice ourselves in order to protect our homeland from any foreign invasion," he added.

Talking about the ongoing crisis in Syria and the impacts of the armed terrorist groups' criminal acts on all aspects of life, Sheikh Naser said  “Syria is facing a global conspiracy, backed and funded by Western, regional and Arab parties, to undermine the country, because of its principled national stances and support to resistance,” Naser said, pointing out that the Syrians have been suffering for more than twenty months from the practices of terrorist groups and mercenaries in Syria.

“However, Syria will keep steadfast and overcome the crisis thanks to the unity and cooperation between the Syrian people, their leadership and army,” Sheikh Naser added.

He cited an example of the strong national unity among the Syrian people who, in the city of Sweida, opened their houses for their fellow citizens who came from other governorates fleeing the terrorism of armed groups and mercenaries. He stressed that this is not strange for all the Syrian people countrywide.

Sheikh Naser underlined the essential role that can be played by religious men to convey the right image of Islam to the whole world, explain the real situation in Syria and mobilizes efforts against the enemies’ schemes. He affirmed the need to enrich the religious speech with values like amity, tolerance and coexistence and to abandon sectarianism.

 “Islam forbids killing. It always urges people to adopt noble and sincere values, seeks coexistence with other religions and keeps maintaining healthy relation among all sects on the basis of equality and justice,” Sheikh Naser said.

Thus, he went on to say, the establishment of the Levant Scholars Union, which comprises the elite of the regions’ religious men, has been very important to reflect the spirit of true Islam, to maintain its values and teachings and to build bridges of dialogue with other nations.

Within this context, Scholar Naser said that the Union participated in the recent Tehran conference on national dialogue in Syria to confirm dialogue principles. He pointed out that the participating delegations were keen to provide their views and suggestions on how to put an end to the Syrian crisis peacefully.

On the conspiratory role of some regional and Arab countries in escalating violence in Syria, Sheikh Nasser said, “these countries are tools to implement a US-Zionist agenda in the region and they don’t even have an independent decision. They helped Western countries dominate their resources and supported their plans to divide Syria and the whole region aiming at keeping (Israel) the strongest.”

 “Syria will emerge victorious from the crisis as it has got an open-minded resistant generation which solidifies the country’s position. In addition, Syria has a strong unified national army who has proved a great ability to fight in the most difficult kind of battles, so, by the will of God and the steadfastness of the  Syrian people, leadership and army, the conspiracy is vanishing,” Sheikh Naser concluded.  


Khaled Falhout




Terrorist Concentrations Demolished in Several Areas




GOVERNORATES,(ST)_ one army unit  on Saturday clashed with a terrorist group in Daraya area  and left its members wounded or killed and confiscated their weapons. Among the killed terrorists were  Muhammad al-Sayyad, Ahmad Shbeib and Faraj al-Homsi.

A number of terrorists who committed acts of murder and havoc in  Douma farms were  eliminated, including Anas al-Naghdadi, Anas al-Masri, Osama Touma, Zuheir Hamzeh, Abdullah Abu Zeinah, Moutaz Leila, Ghayyath Badran, Majid al-Masri, Ezzat Toumah  and Muhammad Seif Jum'a, according to an official source.

The source added  that another army unit, in a qualitative operation , exterminated  several terrorists in Erbeen  including  Nuri al-Qalesh, Muhammad Juma, Muhammad al-Esta, Hakim Shaghouri and  destroyed their heavy machine guns.

Most dangerous terrorists were killed  in Hujeira town  including Abdul Rahman Muhammad Abdul Rahman, leader of the so called group Ansar Allah ( God 's partisans) and Adnan al-Ahmad, leader of one of the terrorist groups which committed all forms of crimes  and acts of looting  and robbery  targeting public and private property.

Also exterminated in Hujeira town  were  terrorists  Qasem al-Hawdaji, Adnan Khaled al-Awad and Ali Jasem al-Ahmad while  one car fitted with a mortar and  ammunition  was destroyed.

In al-Bahdaleya and al-Huseineyah towns the armed forces killed or wounded  several terrorists and destroyed their US-made weapons. Saeed Barakeh and Kheir eddine al-Manzouri were among the killed terrorists.

The armed forces also destroyed one car equipped with a US- made 106 mortar gun  and a second car fitted with a heavy machine gun behind al-Zeizafoun canteen in al-Huseineyah town.

On the other, several civilians were killed or wounded  when a car exploded while terrorists booby trapped  it in al-Naher street in al-Qaboun area in Damascus, an official source said, adding that five terrorists were killed other 15 wounded; heavy material losses were inflected  at the site of the explosion.

In Aleppo city and countryside,  the armed forces targeted terrorists  concentrations and gatherings in al-Atareb, Tqad village, al-Sfeira, Tell Zeitan, al-Wdeihi, and Hreitan, and al-Shaar and Bustan al-Bacha , where heavy losses were inflicted in the ranks of the terrorists  and their weapons were destroyed .

Meantime, the competent authorities clashed with an armed terrorist group , which assaulted citizens and property near Abu Samra palace in northern Hama and achieved  direct  hits in their ranks.

 "The clash resulted in the  elimination of the  group leader and all its members," SANA reported.

In Idleb, the armed forces also destroyed in a series of qualitative operations  terrorists  shelters and  killed or wounded scores of them in al-Ghsaneyah, Taftanaz, al-Taleiha, Maaret al-Nasaan, Bennish and Arieha.

In Homs countryside,  the armed forces killed several terrorists in Burj Qai village  in al-Haula area and destroyed  a depot for  their weapons, several machinery and a  car equipped with a heavy machine gun used by terrorists in committing  criminal acts  against civilians.

Leader of one terrorist group Abdul Hadi al-Agha was killed  during the operation.

In al-Sultaneyah and Joubar farms in Homs several terrorists were killed including  Muhammad and Suleiman al-Ghintawi, Khudr al-Zouri, Salman al-Molhem, Ahmad al-Asaad, Muhammad Khattab and Hammoud al-Khadeir

In Deir ezz Zour, scores of terrorists  were exterminated  in Ghassan Abboud crossing, al-Reshdeyah, and al-Hweiqah, including  the leader of the so called al-Khadraa battalion  Abdul salaam al-Dahhan, Ayham Kardoush, Ali Hussein al- Sheikh and Aysar Abdul karim Ezz Eddine leader of the so called  al-Furat battalion, according to an official source.

The source added  that one car and the terrorists inside it were destroyed  near the cereal silos and the leader of the group Abdul Latif  Hussein al-Tayeb was killed.

In cinema Fouad Street and  Husseiniya  several terrorists were  killed during clashes with the armed forces. Among the killed terrorists were  Hussein al-Saleh and Muhammad Abdul Razzaq al-Ashari .

In lattakia countryside, the armed forces  destroyed   a shelter for one armed terrorist group with all its members  and weapons  in al-Saraya village  in al-Rabeea district, SANA reported, adding that  four cars fitted  with heavy machine guns were  destroyed, used by terrorists  in targeting citizens  in the area.

Meantime, General Command of the Army and Armed Forces: An Army Unit Repels Terrorist Attack on Technical Battalion in Damascus Countryside

The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said an armed terrorist group had attacked a military technical battalion in Shabaa area in Damascus Countryside, stressing that the battalion members countered the attack, but the terrorists targeted the battalion commander who was martyred during the fulfillment of his national duty in defending the battalion.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the General Command added that a unit of the Armed Forces regained control over the battalion after killing the terrorist group's members who attacked it and attempted to take over it and sabotage its equipment.

"Targeting such sorts of military divisions by the terrorist groups indicates the goals of the regional and international sides that support these groups, which are first and foremost serving Israel's security," the statement said.

It stressed that "the Armed Forces will continue working side by side with the Syrian people to foil the schemes of these criminal groups and those behind them to keep Syria strong, immune and fortified."


ST / B.N




Protests against Turkish PM's hostile policy towards Syria

LATTAKIA/ ANTAKYA, (ST)_Hundreds of women from Lattakia staged on Saturday a solidarity stand to hit out at the Turkish Prime Minister's policy against Syria,

According to SANA, the participants said the conspiracy against Syria won't succeed in destroying the Syrian people's culture, stressing that the hostile policy of Erdogan's government against Syria is rejected by the people of Turkey.

They stressed the Syrian women's adherence to the Arabism of the Iskenderun and the necessity of returning it back to the homeland.

"This stand reflects coexistence and fraternity between the Syrian and Turkish peoples who stress the importance of the cultural values which were born through history and which won't be destroyed byErdogan's government," Ola Hallaq from the Iskenderun said.

The Syrian MP, FayhaaTreifi, said that this meeting reflects that Syria is facing an aggression as a result of a US-Zionist scheme targeting the unity of Syria and its national and patriotic stances.

She asserted the Syrian people's determination to foil this colonial scheme and continue struggle for liberating all occupied Arab territories, including the Iskenderun.

'No to Patriot missiles'

Meanwhile, thousands of people protested in the main square in Antakya city denouncing the policy of the Turkish government led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and prime minister RecepTayyip Erdogan towards Syria.

The protesters, who were mostly women, expressed the Turkish people's solidarity with the Syrian government and people against the imperialist conspiracy hatched against it.

The banners read 'No to NATO' and 'No to Patriot Missiles',chanting slogans against Erdogan's government's support for the armed terrorist groups in Syria.

Press TV reported that Protesters accused the Turkish premier of being an agent of the United States, demanding an end to his meddlesome involvement in Syria.

The protest staged amid tight security measures by the Turkish government was organized by the Turkish Labor Party.

Over the past few months,Antakya city has witnessed similar protests in support of the Syrian people and leadership in their struggle against the international conspiracy targeting Syria and the whole region.



Patriarch Yazigi for Rejecting Violence and for Dialogue Among the Syrians

 DAMASCUS, (ST)_ Patriarch John X Yazigi of Antioch and All the East for the Greek- Orthodox  Church has stressed  the need to reject violence in all its forms and to sit at the table of dialogue in the interest of our country , our people and  peace in the entire region

In a press conference he held at the Holy Cross Church in Damascus on Saturday, Patriarch Yazigi said: "We are advocates of peace, love and tranquility as we are celebrating the  Christmas,” recalling  and we have to remember the divine saying  :”  Do not be afraid, we  bring you great joy .”  

"As Christians, we still live in amity  with the people  of our country, realize the meaning of citizenship and patriotism in challenging the outsiders , who seek evil for this country.” he said

“We,  Muslims and Christians, stand together  ,shoulder to shoulder,  and will continue  to withstand difficulties  and are confident that the face of Christ will not miss this land  from where Christianity  was given birth.”

The Patriarch extended his greetings and blessings to all Syrians at home and abroad , appealing to the God Almighty  to bless the Arab region, and Syria and Lebanon, in particular.

Replying  to questions raised by  journalists, Patriarch Yazji said the Patriarchal Center will remain  in Damascus in the Church of Mary in  Bab Touma.

He explained that "Syria is our homeland and we encourage all our people  to stay  in it and the Patriarchate would seek all ways and means for help ."

His Eminence the Metropolitan Archbishop of Western and Central Europe has been elected Patriarch of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East. The Patriarch-elect Youhanna X (Yaziji) was elected by the members of the Holy Synod  on December 17th , during a special session held at the Balamand Patriarchal Monastery of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.

The Patriarch-elect was born in 1955 in the city of Latakiya, Syria into a pious Orthodox home. His father was Syrian and was a professor of Arabic Language. His mother is Lebanese. He has four brothers, with his brother Paul being the current Metropolitan of Aleppo, and he has one sister who is a nun. During his early studies, he played a key role in the leadership of Orthodox youth, and organized many choirs to sing in the local churches.

T. Fateh