Tuesday, February 18
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Author: onlinearabnews.com

Syrian Government Captures Last Stretch of Highway Between Damascus and Aleppo

General
CAIRO - Syrian government forces now control all of the strategic Damascus to Aleppo highway, which they had been trying to wrest from Turkish-backed rebels for weeks. As Syrian troops continue to push ahead inside the rebel-held enclave of Idlib, Turkey sent reinforcements to observations posts it occupies, while dispatching its foreign minister to Moscow.Syrian state TV showed bulldozers and engineering crews clearing rubble from the final stretch of the Damascus to Aleppo highway, which government forces captured from Turkish-backed rebels in Idlib province during the past several days.Chief Highway Engineer Mohammed Wazzan said the highway is the main lifeline between Damascus and Aleppo, and government crews were working to reopen the last stretch which it just captured despite the ...

Lavrov, German counterpart discuss situation in Syria, Libya

General
Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed with his German counterpart Heiko Maas the situation in Syria and Libya as well as bilateral issues.The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that Lavrov met Maas on the sidelines of the 56th Munich Security Conference where talks concentrated on the situation in Syria particularly in the des-escalation zone in Idleb.The statement pointed out that the two sides discussed the bilateral relations and exchanged viewpoints regarding the situation in Libya and Ukraine.Source: Syrian Arab News Agency

Turkey Continues Military Buildup in Syria, Seeking Diplomatic Solution From Moscow

General
ISTANBUL - Turkey is deploying tanks and armor in Syria's Idlib province as Damascus continues its offensive against the last rebel enclave. But in an apparent gesture to Moscow, Ankara is pledging to crack down on radical elements in Idlib, along with calls for a lasting cease-fire. Damascus's forces are claiming they are advancing against the rebels' last stronghold. But in a sign of the intensifying fighting, rebels claimed to have to shot down a Syrian government military helicopter Friday, the second this week.Ankara reportedly is stepping up its arming of rebels with sophisticated anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, along with deploying hundreds of armored vehicles and tanks. The escalating military presence follows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's vow to drive back Damasc...

Saudi Arabia and Djibouti sign commercial and investment program

General
Riyadh, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Gasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Commission for Foreign Trade, and Hasan Hamad Ibrahim, Minister of Trade of the Republic of Djibouti, co-signed in Riyadh today a cooperation program between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Djibouti aiming at enhancing and promoting commercial and investment exchanges.The event was attended by a number of senior officials on the two sides.The two sides confirmed their endeavor to upgrade and diversify trade of goods and services and create appropriate environment for investments, exchange of experiences and information flow in a number of fields as well as opportunities for investments, market research and encouraging of joint activiti...

Turkey Continues Military Buildup in Syria, Seeking Diplomatic Solution From Moscow

General
ISTANBUL - Turkey is deploying tanks and armor in Syria's Idlib province as Damascus continues its offensive against the last rebel enclave. But in an apparent gesture to Moscow, Ankara is pledging to crack down on radical elements in Idlib, along with calls for a lasting cease-fire. Damascus's forces are claiming they are advancing against the rebels' last stronghold. But in a sign of the intensifying fighting, rebels claimed to have to shot down a Syrian government military helicopter Friday, the second this week.Ankara reportedly is stepping up its arming of rebels with sophisticated anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, along with deploying hundreds of armored vehicles and tanks. The escalating military presence follows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's vow to drive back Damasc...

Yemeni minister of foreign affairs lauds unified position of the UN security council towards the crisis in his country

General
Munich, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Yemen Mohammed Al-Hadrami met in the German city of Munich today with the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu on the sidelines of Munich Conference for Security, currently being held in Germany.During the meeting, the Yemeni minister of foreign affairs lauded the unified position of the UN security council on Yemen, confirming his country's desire to reach a political solution of the crisis in Yemen.He said the rebel militia is using the floating oil reservoir at Ras Isa port as a political pressuring card, holding them completely accountable had any environmental disaster occurred once the reservoir was subject to collapse, and underscoring the importance of the UN security council paying a special attention to the oil...

DCA reviews preparations for WRO national championship

Education
Damascus, The Administration of the Distinction and Creativity Agency (DCA) reviewed on Saturday the preparations related to the National Championship of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) for the year 2020.During its annual meeting, which included the coaches and the heads of robotics clubs in Syria, the DCA reviewed the conditions of applying for this championship and the mechanism for supporting the candidates in the framework of the agency's initiative to support scientifically and financially the projects which will be participating in the Open Category competition, which will be launched this year to support scientific creativity and encourage the teams that would like to participate in this competition.Dr. Muheib al-Nuqqari, the Head of Scientific Committee for Robotics in the DCA, said...

Western Democracy Under Threat, Security Conference Warns

General
MUNICH - The annual Munich Security Conference got underway Friday, with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier issuing a warning that Russia, China and the United States were endangering global security. Russia has made military force and the violent shifting of borders on the European continent the means of politics once again, Steinmeier told the audience of leaders, military chiefs and diplomats at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in the southern German city.He added that China accepts international law only selectively where it does not run counter to its own interests. And our closest ally, the United States of America, under the present administration itself, rejects the idea of an international community. We fall back into the classical security dilemma: more mistrust, more armament an...

Western Democracy Under Threat, Security Conference Warns

General
MUNICH - The annual Munich Security Conference got underway Friday, with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier issuing a warning that Russia, China and the United States were endangering global security. Russia has made military force and the violent shifting of borders on the European continent the means of politics once again, Steinmeier told the audience of leaders, military chiefs and diplomats at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in the southern German city.He added that China accepts international law only selectively where it does not run counter to its own interests. And our closest ally, the United States of America, under the present administration itself, rejects the idea of an international community. We fall back into the classical security dilemma: more mistrust, more armament an...

Displacements From Syria’s Idlib Hit Record Levels

General
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations said Friday that more than 140,000 civilians have been displaced from northwestern Syria in just the last three days. An escalation in fighting across Idlib and Aleppo has pushed more than 830,000 people to flee their homes since early December, causing what the U.N. has said is the biggest humanitarian catastrophe since the conflict started in 2011. Some 3 million people live in the province.Women and children are among those that are suffering the most they make up about 81% of the recently displaced people, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. Temperatures across northwest Syria have been below freezing for several days, leaving families exposed to increasingly harsh conditions. Many of the displaced are moving north toward already overc...