Assad meets Russia envoy, hails ‘partners in victories’

Syrian President Bashar Assad (R) welcomes the Russian President’s Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev to Damascus. (AFP)
Updated 24 May 2018
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Assad meets Russia envoy, hails ‘partners in victories’

  • Alexander Lavrentiev relayed Putin’s congratulations to Assad on the capital’s recapture.
  • Russia has backed Syria’s government for several decades but intervened militarily in its war in 2015.

DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar Assad hailed Russia’s hand in his recent victories during a meeting in Damascus on Wednesday with the Kremlin’s special envoy to talks on the conflict.
It came just days after his troops secured the capital from militants and less than a week since Assad traveled to Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Wednesday, the Russian envoy to Syria was in Damascus to meet Assad and other top Syrian officials, state news agency SANA reported.
Alexander Lavrentiev relayed Putin’s congratulations to Assad on the capital’s recapture, according to the agency.
Russia has backed Syria’s government for several decades but intervened militarily in its war in 2015, turning the tides for Assad.
“Russia’s leaders and its people are partners in these victories, which will not stop until the last terrorist is killed and the last terrorist pocket is liberated,” Assad said.
Also present at the meeting were Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, his deputy Faisal Mekdad, and top Assad adviser Buthaina Shaaban.
The meeting comes less than a week after Assad met Putin at Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Putin at the time insisted foreign armed forces would withdraw from Syria but did not provide any details.
In addition to Russian forces, there are Iranian, Lebanese, and Iraqi fighters battling on behalf of Assad in Syria.
Lavrentiev later told journalists the withdrawal of foreign troops should be done “as a whole” and include both Iranians and allied Lebanese militia Hezbollah.
But Mekdad shot back on Wednesday, saying those fighters were in Syria to fight terrorism.
“This topic is not even on the agenda for discussion,” he told RIA Novosti state news agency.


Yemen army captures Houthi leader, 7 Hezbollah members in Saada

Updated 25 June 2018
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Yemen army captures Houthi leader, 7 Hezbollah members in Saada

  • Forces carried out an operation that captured the leader of the militia along with seven military experts from Hezbollah
  • Meanwhile the commander of the third brigade said the battles lasted a week in Mount al-Ruqi and surrounding areas

Yemen’s national army captured a senior leader of the Houthi militia, and seven members of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia in the Al-Malahit district, southwest of the northern province of Saada.

A military source told the official website of Yemen’s National Military, “26 September Net,” that the forces carried out an operation that captured the leader of the militia along with seven military experts from Hezbollah during fierce battles in the province.

The group has been listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the European Union.

Meanwhile the commander of the third brigade, Major General Abdul Karim Al-Sudai said the battles lasted a week in Mount al-Ruqi and surrounding areas.

He pointed out that the Arab coalition fighters supported the army during the operations and bombed militia positions.