Foreign statements contrast on potential military strike in Syria, and Firas Tlass seeks initiative
Political and international updates:
Foreign contradictory statements continue regarding the potential military strike on the Syrian government following the chemical massacre in the city of Douma in Eastern Damascus on Saturday, which killed and injured hundreds of civilians.
On Thursday, the United States President Donald Trump tweeted saying that he had never set the date for an attack against Syria, and the attack could occur soon or not at all. Earlier, Trump vowed a “decisive respond” against the Syrian government and called Russia to get ready for U.S. smart missiles targeting Syria.
Following a meeting between Trump and U.S. national security officials, the White House stated that Trump has reached no final decision on the response to the chemical attack. The White House added that Trump will discuss the situation in Syria with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and the British Prime Minister Theresa May.
French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the decision on the response in Syria will be made in due time. The British parliament emphasized the need to deter the Syrian government from using chemical weapons again.
Theresa May ordered the submarines of the British fleet to relocate to the Eastern Mediterranean in case of military strikes in Syria.
Russia called to an open meeting in the United Nations Security Council about what Moscow called the "threatening of peace" amidst U.S. statements about a military action against the Syrian government.
Germany and Italy stated that they will not participate directly in case of military action in Syria.
Local and field updates:
Firas Tlass, a business tycoon and son of Mustafa Tlass, the former Defense Minister of the Syrian government, said that he will propose an initiative to hand over the administration of the Northern Homs and Southern Hama to Russia. Tlass refused to state the terms of the initiative before submitting it to the unified leadership of Central Syria and the Hmeimim Russian airbase.
Tlass added that if the initiative succeeds, it could make Central Syria's local administrations more powerful and connected to the central government in Damascus.
In Central Syria, a landmine explosion killed a civilian near a Syrian government forces’ checkpoint near the town of al-Lataminah in Hama. Government artillery forces shelled the town of Talaf, killing a civilian. On Thursday, suspected Russian airstrikes killed a civilian and injured five others in the village of al-Humayrat.
A group of unknown gunmen attacked a checkpoint of the Jaysh al-Nasr of the Free Syrian Army in the city of Qalat al-Madiq, Hama, Central Syria. Local activists reported that the Jaysh al-Nasr fighters killed a gunman and captured the rest of the group. One of the Jaysh al-Nasr fighters was killed in the attack.
A booby trapped car explosion injured 15 civilians in central Azaz, Northern Aleppo, as a result of a new security breach in the areas controlled by the Euphrates Shield factions.