Thousands flee east Aleppo as clashes intensify
Government forces, in close coordination with allied troops, have managed to recapture a third of the militant-held areas in Aleppo. The latest gain was made in al-Sakhour and al-Haydareyah districts, which were fully liberated by Syrian forces, practically purging the city’s northeast of the militants. Government soldiers are now also in control of six eastern districts, including the strategic Masaken Hanano and Jabal-Badro areas. Masaken Hanano was the biggest militant-held area and the first district the terrorists took in 20-12. Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says nearly ten-thousand civilians have fled east Aleppo to seek refuge in the safer government-held areas and Kurdish-controlled neighborhood of Sheikh Maksoud
Syria dismissed chemical weapons use claims as “lies”
Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad made the comment during an annual conference of signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Mekdad said the accusations are leveled without any tangible evidence. A U-N inquiry, the Joint Investigative Mechanism, has accused the Syrian army of three chemical attacks on villages in 20-14 and 20-15. But Mekdad said the report is based on inaccurate findings. Russia has also dismissed the findings as unconvincing and sometimes even partial. Western governments, led by the U-S, have long accused the Syrian army of using chemical weapons. Damascus has repeatedly denied such charges, blaming Daesh and other Western-backed militants for the use of the banned arms.
Syria raps Qatar for pledge to support militants
Syria’s Foreign Ministry labeled the comments by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul-Rahman Al Thani as an attempt to QUOTE boost the morale of terrorist groups. Damascus also accused the Qatari regime of being one of the sources of extremism, terrorism and Takfiri thought. Last week, the Qatari foreign minister said Doha would continue to arm anti-Damascus forces in Syria, regardless of international developments. The Syrian government says Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, along with the West, are funding and supporting terrorists in Syria. The U-N estimates that some 400-thousand people have been killed in the turmoil that has gripped Syria since 20-11.
The Debate – Battle for Aleppo
The Syrian army is on the brink of winning Aleppo. At this point, 40% of eastern Aleppo has been freed from the terrorists and is under the control of the Syrian army. Once and if Aleppo is reclaimed by the Syrian army, this may end the terrorists fate in Syria, unless the support continues to be provided, like from the U-S and its regional allies. In this edition of the debate, we’ll discuss Syria, the terrorists support from Persian Gulf Arab countries like Qatar. We’ll also discuss the use of chemical weapons by the terrorists.
-Mohamad Ali, PRESS TV (Damascus).
– Former U.S. Senate Foreign Policy Analyst, James Jatras (WASHINGTON).
– Security Studies Program, MIT, Jim Walsh (BOSTON).