Syrian PM says countdown of rebels’ collapse started

DAMASCUS, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) — Syrian Prime Minister Wael al- Halqi said Wednesday the countdown of the rebels’ collapse has started, as the Western-backed exiled opposition repeated its old- new demand for the departure of the Syrian administration as a prelude to a “roadmap” to end the protracted crisis.

“Syria is facing a military, economic, media and political war that tries to target its structure as a state and the unity of its people,” al-Halqi said during a cabinet meeting.

Slamming the West’s biased stance in favor of the Syrian opposition, al-Halqi said the pro-Syrian opposition countries ” have opted to target the economy of Syria after the failure of their tools on ground to achieve any victory.”

The prime minister’s remarks coincided with a report by the state media that declared the victory of the Syrian army in al- Khmais Mountain in the northern countryside of the coastal province of Latakia on Wednesday.

Checking on military outposts in Latakia Wednesday, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said “the victories achieved by the Syrian army will bring the ultimate victory against the armed terrorist groups in all Syrian provinces,” hailing the ” heroism and bravery” of the army, according to the state media report.

Meanwhile, state-run SANA news agency reported successful military operations in the cities of Homs, Daraa and Aleppo.

In the countryside of Damascus, SANA said one person was killed and two others were wounded on Wednesday by sniper shots in Harasta area, accusing the rebels of being behind the attack.

In Homs city, five people were injured when a mortar shell struck the Ashrafieh district, according to SANA.

As the military showdown is incessant across Syria, the Western- backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC) outlined what it called a ” roadmap” that would lead to ending the 28-month-old crisis in Syria.

Convening in Istanbul of Turkey, the SNC’s proposed “roadmap” started most notably with stipulating the departure of the current administration in Syria.

“The plan starts with the toppling of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, including his inner circle of military and security decision-makers,” Radwan Ziadeh, executive director of Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said at a press conference.

The SNC’s old-new demand has always met with a rejection from the Syrian government which repeatedly said any political solution should start with unconditional dialogue. Yet, the opposition seems determined to stick to its adamant stance, which, according to observers, would not be conducive to establishing a common ground for negotiation with the Assad administration.

The “roadmap” came also as preparations for the international meeting in Geneva on the Syrian issue are still ongoing, and is believed to fall on deaf ears in Syria.

The Syrian opposition has for long asked the international community to back the rebels with arms and ammunition that could tip the balance in the battles in favor of the rebels.

On Tuesday, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi preceded the SNC’s “roadmap” declaration and outlined Syria’s recent stance toward the political solution.

While stressing Syria’s readiness to resolve the crisis politically to preserve its sovereignty and independence, al-Zoubi said “the opposition has one aim represented by toppling the state without any political project, while the Syrian state works to defeat the armed opposition linked to the United States and Israel, with commitment to finding a national opposition which has productive presence as it is a mirror to the government.”

He said the Syrians would not accept any political solution if it was not approved by Assad, considering that the political solution has to go in parallel with confronting terrorism.

(Source / 16.08.2013)

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