Middle East

Syrian president praises armed forces for sacrifices in battle against terrorism

President Bashar al-Assad has hailed the achievements of Syrian Armed Forces on the battlefield against foreign-backed militant groups, saying final victory over terrorism is close thanks to their sacrifices.

He made the remarks in a speech published by the Jaish al-Sha’ab (People’s Army) magazine on Wednesday in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the national Syrian military.

Assad congratulated Syrian soldiers for “moving from one achievement to another and from one victory to another in the face of the systematic terrorism and its regional and international backers.”

The army, he said, has managed to foil the “Zionist-American” plot against Syria by liberating most of the country from the grip of terrorists, and thus should be regarded as an example of nationalism and sacrifice.

“Our heroic armed forces, you have proven to the whole world over the past seven years that you are an integrated example to follow in nationalism and sacrifice and that you are the fortresses in the face of terrorism,” Assad said.

The Syrian army’s sacrifices led to the restoration of security and stability to most areas and undermined the Zionist-American plot against the country’s sovereignty, he pointed out.

The Syrian president further noted that locals are now returning to the liberated areas, vowing that “victory will be achieved soon.”

“They (the terrorists) were ultimately forced to leave — humiliated, rolled back, their tails between their legs — after you gave them a taste of bitter defeat,” he added.

In recent weeks, the Syrian army has been trying to wrest control over the southern provinces of Dara’a and Quneitra, which border the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Takfiri militants have been handing over their heavy weapons to Syrian government forces and leaving the region in negotiated surrender deals.

The full liberation of both Dara’a and Quneitra by Syrian government forces would cut the much-reported collaboration between Israel and anti-Damascus militants operating in the two regions.

Recently, President Assad told Russian media that Damascus’ next priority would be retaking the northwestern Idlib Province, which is mostly held by terrorists.

“Now Idlib is our goal, but not just Idlib,” he said. “There are of course territories in the eastern part of Syria that are controlled by various groups… So we will be moving into all these regions.”

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