25 May 2017

syria

Ledakan Besar Guncang Kawasan Bandara Damaskus, Diduga Ulah Israel

KONFRONTASI-Ledakan besar terjadi di kawasan Bandara Internasional Damaskus yang kemudian diikuti jilatan api di tempat yang sama Kamis pagi buta waktu setempat, kata Observatorium HAM Suriah seperti dikutip Reuters.

Observatorium ini mengatakan penyebab ledakan belum diketahui pasti.

Namun saluran televisi Al-Manar yang pro-Hisbullah di Lebanon menyebutkan bahwa ledakan di tangki-tangki bahan bakar dan kompleks gudang dekat bandara Damaskus itu kemungkinan adalah ulah dari serangan udara Israel.

French intelligence says Assad forces carried out sarin attack

KONFRONTASI-French intelligence has concluded that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out a sarin nerve gas attack on April 4 in northern Syria and that Assad or members of his inner circle ordered the strike, a declassified report showed.

The chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun killed scores of people, according to a war monitor, Syrian opposition groups and Western countries. It prompted the United States to launch a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base, its first deliberate assault on the Assad government in the six-year-old conflict.

Assad has said in two media interviews since April 4 that the evidence of a poison gas attack was false and denied his government had ever used chemical weapons.

The six-page French document - drawn up by France's military and foreign intelligence services and seen by said it reached its conclusion based on samples they had obtained from the impact strike on the ground and a blood sample from a victim.

"We know, from a certain source, that the process of fabrication of the samples taken is typical of the method developed in Syrian laboratories," Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters after presenting the findings to the cabinet.

"This method is the signature of the regime and it is what enables us to establish the responsibility of the attack. We know because we kept samples from previous attacks that we were able to use for comparison."

Among the elements found in the samples were hexamine, a hallmark of sarin produced by the Syrian government, according to the report.

It said the findings matched the results of samples obtained by French intelligence, including an unexploded grenade, from an attack in Saraqib on April 29, 2013, which Western powers have accused the Assad government of carrying out.

"This production process is developed by Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) for the regime," the report said.

The United States on Monday blacklisted 271 employees belonging to the agency.

Syria agreed in September 2013 to destroy its entire chemical weapons program under a deal negotiated with the United States and Russia after hundreds of people were killed in a sarin gas attack in the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.

The report said that based on its assessments, there were "serious doubts on the accuracy, completeness and sincerity of the dismantlement of Syria's chemical arsenal."

Israel says Assad's forces still have several tonnes of chemical weapons

KONFRONTASI-Israel's military said on Wednesday it believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces still possess several tonnes of chemical weapons, issuing the assessment two weeks after a chemical attack that killed nearly 90 people in Syria.

Israel, along with many countries, blames the strike on Assad's military. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said French intelligence services would provide proof of that in the coming days.

U.S.-Russia relations at another low after Syria attacks

KONFRONTASI-The presidents of the United States and Russia on Wednesday both presented souring views of the relationship between their two countries, exchanging sharp words as Moscow extended an icy welcome to the United States' top diplomat in a face-off over Syria.

In Washington, President Donald Trump said the United States' relationship with Moscow "may be at an all-time low."

White House accuses Russia of Syria chemical attack 'cover up'

White House spokesman Sean Spicer

KONFRONTASI-President Donald Trump's administration accused Russia on Tuesday of trying to shield Syria's government from blame for a deadly gas attack, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson brought a Western message to Moscow condemning its support for President Bashar al-Assad.

Trump, who has faced criticism for lacking a broader strategy to deal with the Syria crisis, insisted he has no plans to "go into" the war-torn country.

US to Russia: Abandon Syria's President Bashar al-Assad

KONFRONTASI-The US secretary of state has said he hopes Russia will abandon its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because actions such as last week's chemical attack have stripped him of all legitimacy.

Rex Tillerson made the remarks at the conclusion on Tuesday in Italy of a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) and "like-minded" countries.

"It is clear to us the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end," he said shortly before leaving the Tuscan city of Lucca for Moscow.

U.S. air strike gives Tillerson a boost for Moscow talks

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Italy's Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano arrive to attend a ceremony at the Sant'Anna di Stazzema memorial, dedicated to the victims of the massacre committed in the village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema by Nazis in 1944 during World War II, Italy April 10, 2017. [foto: Reuters/Max Rossi]

Assad allies say U.S. attack on Syria air base crosses 'red lines'

KONFRONTASI-A joint command center made up of the forces of Russia, Iran and militias supporting Syrian President Bashar al Assad said the U.S. strike on a Syrian air base on Friday crossed "red lines" and it would respond to any new aggression and increase its support for its ally.

The United States fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base on Friday from which it said a deadly chemical weapons attack had been launched earlier in the week, escalating the U.S. role in Syria and drawing criticism from Assad's allies including Russia and Iran.

Assad tells paper he sees no 'option except victory' in Syria

KONFRONTASI-Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said there is no "option except victory" in the country's civil war in an interview published on Thursday, saying the government could not reach "results" with opposition groups that attended recent peace talks.

The interview with Croatian newspaper Vecernji List appeared to have been conducted before U.S. President Donald Trump accused Assad of crossing "many, many lines" with a poison gas attack on Tuesday.

Russia pledges to stand by Syria in anti-terror battles

KONFRONTASI-Russia has vowed to keep up support for the Syrian army in its fight against terrorism, calling for the establishment of a fact-finding mission to probe a reported chemical attack in the Arab country’s northwestern Idlib Province.

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