Terrorists have increased their activities ahead of the next week’s inter-Syrian talks, with insurgents in the Syrian province of Aleppo receiving reinforcements from Turkey, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.
The much-anticipated talks between the Syrian government and different opposition groups are scheduled to take place in the Swiss city of Geneva on January 25.
"Unfortunately, in recent days, it’s especially noticeable that ahead of the planned start of the inter-Syrian negotiations in Geneva the activities of terrorist groups have intensified. Obviously, they’re trying to turn the tide in their favor on the battlefield,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing in Moscow.
According to Zakharova, Attempts to launch counter-attacks against the government forces were performed by Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar ash-Sham groups, which “got serious reinforcements from Turkey.”
The increased activity of the terrorists was witnessed in several suburbs of Damascus, Homs and Idlib provinces of Syria, she added.
Russia will continue providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in Syria, Zakharova stressed.
She reiterated that Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has performed 30 flights “not only to Syria, but also to Lebanon and Jordan” in January, delivering 600 tons of food and essentials for those affected by the conflict.
Besides humanitarian assistance, “Russia has also been involved in evacuation of citizens who want to leave dangerous areas," she added.
Zakharova said that Russia is concerned over Ankara’s increased military incursions into Syria, adding that “it cannot be ruled out that… fortifications [built by Turkey] along the Syrian-Turkish border may be used by militant groups as strongholds.
The German government has admitted it cannot account for 600,000 of the 1.1 million migrants who arrived into the country last year – raising concerns that the migrants have absconded into Germany and other European Union (EU) nations.
Eighteen months after its last war with Israel in Gaza, Islamist terror group Hamas has rehabilitated itself and is ready for a fresh round of hostilities, a senior defense official said Friday.
“Hamas in Gaza has recovered, and (its military wing) is ready to confront Israel again if it is asked to do so,” the Israeli official told leaders of local authorities of the Gaza border communities, according to a report on the Ynet news website.
Earlier this month, Haaretz reported that Hamas is believed to currently have as many terror tunnels reaching under the Gaza border into Israel as before the summer 2014 conflict.
A month earlier, The Times of Israel reportedthat hundreds of workers were digging tunnels in various parts of Gaza, including under the Israeli border, inside the Strip and on the Egyptian border. Some in the Israeli defense establishment, that report said, “have a working assumption that, a year after Operation Protective Edge, it is likely that Hamas already has one or more tunnels crossing the border fence and reaching inside Israel. Hamas is putting an enormous amount of effort, personnel and money into digging with heavy engineering equipment.” However, it added, Hamas was hamstrung by a shortage of some of the materials “vital to the tunnel industry.”