Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says: “Over the course of the operation, a total of more than 87,500 militants have been eliminated, and 1,411 settlements in addition to more than 95 percent of Syria’s territory have been liberated. Key settlements have been liberated and main communications have been brought into operation. Syrian armed forces currently control territory, where 90 percent of the population resides.”
Jordanian state news agency Petra reported early on Monday that Jordan and Syria had agreed to open the border to all in a change from an earlier statement that normal traffic would not be allowed until a later date.
“We are fully ready to receive passengers and transport of goods,” Imad Riyalat, head of the Jaber crossing said. “We expect the traffic to be slow now at the start, but in coming days we expect passenger movement to pick up.”
Syria’s army Friday warned residents of the country’s last major rebel bastion to stay away from jihadists, who have yet to withdraw from a buffer zone ahead of a looming deadline.
“Get away from the fighters. Their fate is sealed and near,. Don’t allow the terrorists to take you as human shields.”
Former US secretary of defense Chuck Hagel says: “The US doesn’t even control half of Syria. You’ve got 2,000 [US] troops up in the northeast corner. I mean, come on, you’re not going to drive Iranians out of Syria with 2,000 American troops,” Hagel said, rejecting US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s call for the removal of Iranian forces from Syria. It’s complete folly to think you’re going to threaten the Syrians or the Russians or the Iranians into anything.”
Oil is the real reason behind all conflicts in the Middle East while Syria is just the latest victim of this struggle, Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl told the UN General Assembly in a speech she started in Arabic. The very existence of the modern Middle Eastern states have been “shaped by oil business,” Kneissl told the UNGA.
Russia, for example, wants to rebuild Syria’s train network. “Russia built it in the first place, and wants to rebuild this and strategic economic ties,” said independent Russian analyst Vyacheslav Matuzov. “Russia wants … a new Mideast security order,” said Emile Hokayem, Middle East security expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Over the past three years, Israel has been highly successful in preventing the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and Iranian attempts to transfer lethal weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon. We will continue to act to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and we will continue the military coordination between the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) and the Russian army.