Russian Troops in Idlib; Military and Political Changes in Syria; Gulf Security and Western Weapons
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on August 21 in last twelve hours from BulgarianMilitary.com:
Russia acknowledges its ground troops are fighting in Idlib
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has acknowledged for the first time the presence of Russian military fighting alongside Syrian regime forces in the Idlib assault, confirming numerous earlier reports, MEMO reported.
During a press conference he held following a meeting with Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Botchway yesterday, Lavrov confirmed that “There are Russian soldiers on the ground in the Syrian province of Idlib,” stating that Russia would respond to any attack on its soldiers in Syria.
The acknowledgment by Russia of its direct military presence on the ground in the province is the first which has been made following months of speculation and reports of the troops’ presence over the past month, particularly after Syrian opposition forces sighted the deployment of Russian troops in July.
Assad announces military, political changes
During a meeting with Russian Parliamentarian Dmitry Sablin, Syria President Bashar Al-Assad announced “positive” military and political changes, MEMO reported.
A statement issued by the Battle Brotherhood Veterans Organisation reported that Al-Assad was advancing towards the strategic city of Khan Sheikhoun and the armed militants in the area were fleeing towards Turkey.
This comes as the Syrian army is making progress in Idlib a month after the start of a wide-scale military offensive to recapture the area. It has so far regained strategic pockets.
The Syrian army – backed by Russian forces – has continued its operations towards Idlib countryside and has widened its grip around Khan Sheikhoun, causing losses among opposition and militant groups in the area.
Iran says Gulf Arabs won’t ensure security by splurging billions on Western weapons
The Gulf Arabs won’t ensure their security by spending billions of dollars on Western weapons, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Wednesday, Yeni Safak reported.
Speaking at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), he added that it was possible to agree upon confidence-building measures in the Gulf to ensure freedom of navigation.
“No amount of foreign military presence (in the Gulf) can prevent insecurity.”
British Royal Marines seized the Adrian Darya, previously Grace 1, vessel in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions.
The initial impounding of the Grace 1 kicked off a sequence of events that saw Tehran seize a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf two weeks later, heightening tension on a vital international oil shipping route.
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Source: MEMO, Yeni Safak