Syrians rally in Damascus in support of Assad against U.S.-led strikes
OPCW starts emergency talks on Syria ‘gas attack’
The controversy around the United States-led attack on Syria grows day by day. Critics blame Washington, London and Paris for taking a unilateral measure against a sovereign country and a member of the United Nations in a U.S.-led attack under what they claim to be a chemical attack on Syrian people.
Many analysts find such claim very strange, arguing that after years of foreign instigated war the government of the Syrian Arab Republic President Bashar al-Assad had the upper hand in mopping out the Takfiri terrorists and people who were forced to flee their home and properties due to the massacre of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Daesh) terrorist outfit and the likes, were returning back to their hometowns with joy.
How come, just on the brink of the terrorists’ total defeat another chemical attack takes place and gives the terrorists a momentum to flee or reinforce and why would the Syrian government forces gas their compatriots after what both sides had been through, the government forces fighting terrorist Wahabi outfits and the Syrian people were forced to leave behind everything, not just their home, car, shop, school, garden, flower boxes, family and loved ones, or a leg and arm or perhaps their precious life, they left their soul. The international community will burden the consequences for years to come.
Analyst also say why the conscience of the world was asleep when the slain Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein gassed the defenseless Iraqi people in Halabja.
The Halabja chemical attack also known as the Halabja Massacre or Bloody Friday, took place on March 16,
1988, during the closing days of the Iran–Iraq War in the Kurdish city of Halabja in Iraq. The attack killed between 3,200 and 5,000 people and injured 7,000 to
10,000 more, most of them civilians. The Halabja attack has been recognized as genocide conducted by the Iraqi regime under Saddam.
However and in defiance of what the biased media say the supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have poured into the streets in the capital Damascus in support of their government after the United States and its allies fired more than 100 missiles at Syria.
Honking car horns and waving Syrian flags the crowd cheered on Assad, celebrating what they see as a triumph in resistance to the U.S.-led airstrikes.
The airstrikes were carried out in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma last week.
Meantime, the United Nations chemical watchdog has started emergency talks on the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma, diplomatic sources say.
The British, Russian and French ambassadors to the Netherlands are participating in the closed-door talks which are in session at the headquarters of the 192-member Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.
The talks come as OPCW inspectors arrived in Damascus on Saturday at the request of the Syrian government to determine whether chemicals were used in Douma near the capital Damascus.
Monday’s meeting of the body’s governing executive council, which consists of 41 states, was called by its chairman, Bangladeshi ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal.
The alleged chemical attack was used as an excuse by the United States, Britain and France to launch an airstrike on targets near Damascus and Homs before any investigation was conducted.
The Western trio fired more than 100 missiles at Syria in the early hours of Saturday, for the declared purpose of crippling the county’s chemical production facilities over the alleged gas attack.
Russia vows ‘not to interfere’ in OPCW work in Syria
Also on Monday, Russia vowed not to interfere with the OPCW fact-finding mission in Syria.
“Russia confirms its commitment to ensure safe (sic) and security of the mission and will not interfere in its work,” the Russian Embassy in The Hague posted on its twitter account.
The embassy also censured the U.S., noting that Saturday’s bombing of Syria was a bid “to undermine the credibility” of the mission.
The Syrian government surrendered its chemical weapons stockpile during a process monitored by the OPCW in 2013.
Assad’s aide: Syrian defenses smarter than U.S. missiles
The political adviser to Syrian President Bashar alAssad has praised Syria’s air defenses for intercepting most of the missiles fired by the U.S. and its allies at the country on Saturday.
Bouthaina Shaaban said in remarks published on the Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen website that the victory marks the beginning of the end of the American empire.
“The breaking of their evil aggression is the beginning of the vanishing of their empire, which will be replaced by new forces which respects the humanity, sovereignty and safety of peoples,” she said.
Turkey rejects Macron’s comments on AnkaraMoscow rift after Syria strikes
Elsewhere, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag has slammed remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron that a recent U.S.-led military operation in Syria drove a wedge between Ankara and Moscow.
“Turkey’s Syria policy is not a policy of being on the same side or being opposed to another country,” Bozdag said on Monday.
The reaction came after Macron said the airstrikes by the United States, France and Britain on a number of Syria’s military facilities had a tangible result and that was a separation between Turkey and Russia.
“With these strikes and this intervention, we separated the Russians and the Turks on this issue... the Turks condemned the chemical strike and supported the operation that we conducted,” the French president said in reference to an alleged chemical attack on April 7 in Syria’s Douma, which the West claims was carried out by the Damascus government. The Syrian government has rejected the allegation, saying the U.S. and its allies used the suspected chemical attack to launch airstrikes on Syria.
Bozdag, however, said Turkey’s policy on Syria remained unchanged even after the Saturday strikes, adding that Ankara differed with Russia and Iran, another major backer of Syria’s fight against terror, and even the U.S. on the situation in Syria.
He told reporters in Qatar that Turkey “has different policies to Iran and Russia,” adding, “Until now, has the policy put forward by Turkey changed? No.”
Cavusoglu: Turkey-Russia ties too strong to be broken
In reaction to Macron’s remarks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said that Turkey’s ties with Russia were too strong to be broken by France’s president.
“We can think differently but they (our relations with Russia) are not so weak that the French president can break them,” Cavusoglu said at a press conference with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday.
“We have strong relations with Russia,” Cavusoglu added. “But our relations with Russia are not an alternative to NATO relations or our allies.”
British Labor Party declares Syria strike ‘unlawful’
Britain’s opposition Labor Party also has released an expert opinion about the recent U.S.-led air strikes against Syria, describing them as unlawful.
Tom Watson, the deputy Labor leader, released the five-page legal opinion from Dapo Akande, a professor of public international law at Oxford University.
A summary of Akande’s conclusions were published on Monday by the Guardian newspaper.
“Contrary to the position of the (British) government, neither the UN charter nor customary international law permits military action on the basis of the doctrine of humanitarian intervention,” the opinion said.
“The legal position advanced by the government ignores the structure of the international law rules relating to the use of force,” it added.
EU FMs set to discuss Syria, tensions with Russia
The developments follow as Foreign Ministers from the European Union (EU) are set to review the bloc’s foreign policy on issues of common concern, including the Syria crisis, and possibly take a united stand against Russia amid diplomatic tensions between the two sides.
The foreign minister from the 28 EU member states gathered on Monday in Luxembourg to discuss the developments in Syria.
The EU foreign ministers are said to be divided in their views about the legality of the missile strikes on Syria, and reaching a unified policy in regard to the incident could be a tough challenge.
France and Britain have defended the attack on Syria, some were neutral, and those at the other end of the scale were opposed to the strikes, possibly due to worries regarding Russia’s reaction.
Moscow, which has close proximity to Europe and supplies gas to the continent, has warned European leaders against unknown consequences of taking antiDamascus measures.