“We have won the war in Syria…” the leader of Hezbollah declared
“We have won in the war (in Syria) … and what remains are scattered battles,” the leader of Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah militia group Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah declared, according to a report by a pro-Hezbollah newspaper today, demonstrating the growing confidence of the parties supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters reports.
Syrian government forces have liberated about 85 percent of the country and Islamic State fighters still control an area around 27,000 square km (10,425 square miles), the Russian military said today. Nataliya Vasilyeva reports at the AP.
Jordan and Russia aim to end fighting in southwestern Syria “in the fastest possible time,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said yesterday at a joint conference with Russian Minister Sergei Lavrov, with diplomats telling Reuters that the proposed “de-escalation zone” includes the final positions of fighting forces. Suleiman Al-Khalidi reports at Reuters.
Saudi Arabia expressed support for de-escalation zones in Syria, Lavrov told reporters yesterday, adding that Saudi Arabia would cooperate in their creation and “implementing other initiatives” being developed as part of the Astana peace process, referring to the talks being held in the Kazakh capital. Fares Akram reports at the AP.
Israel’s “Good Neighbors” program supporting Syrians offers humanitarian relief, but also seeks to establish a friendly zone at the Syria-Israel border as a buffer against the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia. Loveday Morris explains at the Washington Post.