For the Government yesterday's clashes represent a "serious escalation" and aim to derail peace efforts. Behind the terrorists violence is the hand of "evil regimes" in Riyadh, Ankara and Doha. Strong condemnation by the US and UN. Moscow hopes for the resumption of peace talks.
Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Syrian government is accusing Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s governments of being the masterminds of yesterday’s bombing of the coastal cities of Tartous and Jableh, in Latakia province, a Bashar al-Assad stronghold. According to Sana news agency reports, the attacks represent a "serious escalation" and aim to derail peace efforts.
Syrian State media claim the explosions (at least seven), claimed by militants of the Islamic State (IS) killed 78 people; local groups instead speak of more than 145 victims.
So far the coastal area, a stronghold of the Syrian president, had been spared by the violence of the war in Syria which over the course of five years has caused more than 280 thousand people dead and millions displaced.
The main target of the attack was a Russian naval base (Tartous) and air field (Jableh), where fighters engaged in the air raids against the IS and the Front of al-Nusra Front jihadist positions in the country are stationed.
AsiaNews sources also argue that, more than Assad, the attacks are a "message" to Moscow launched by militants, that they are able to strike anywhere. The Kremlin has expressed concern about the attacks and stresses that they make the need for a resumption of negotiations under the aegis of the United Nations even more urgent.
In connection with the attacks, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent some letters of reaching the UN pointing out that the bomb attacks "constitute a serious escalation" caused by "extremists" and "evil regimes in Riyadh, Ankara and Doha." "They are trying to derail the talks [peace] in Geneva - adds the ministerial note - the cessation of hostilities and neogitations for the ceasefire".
The United Nations and the United States firmly condemned the bombings. In a statement the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon expressed "great concern" about the military escalation not only in Damascus but in different areas of Syria including Daraya, Aleppo, Idlib and Homs. The government in Washington promised greater commitment to the fight against the Islamic State and other jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.
Food, bread and other basic necessities lacking for days. United Nations denounces block in aid distribution. The government's siege of the eastern part of the city could be a turning point in the Syrian conflict. In the northeast of the country a Syrian Orthodox Church on fire; behind the raid (maybe) Islamic State militiamen.
For Msgr. Georges Abou Khazen the situation in the northern cities "is still though". People fear to go out onto the streets to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Improvement in electricity and water supplies. Church offers rare moments of leisure for a battered community with summer camps. Thanks to Pope Francis for his support and solidarity.
According to Fr. Ibrahim in this "tragic war" religious leaders are the only true "peacemakers". Without the intervention of Christian, Sunni and Shiite leaders Aleppo would be "destroyed". The meeting with the Grand Mufti source of peace and reconciliation. Rashideen refugees attacked to foment sectarian divisions. Amid destruction, the joy of Easter celebrations.
68 children are among the dead. At the moment there is no official confirmation of who is responsible for the massacre. Civilians targeted as they were fleeing the towns of Foah and Kefraya under government siege. The Western media alludes to involvement of Damascus. But all indications point to al Qaeda.
Mufti Al Muhaysini addresses jihadi fighters across Syria, calling for "unity, organisation and rapprochement" based on the "general fundamentals of Islam." A sworn enemy of the Islamic State, the qur‘anic judge has tried to ingratiate himself with the likes of Shia Hezbollah. However, his unifying language has not convinced any jihadi groups.