NEW DELHI: The Syrian Army has retaken the town of Maraat al-Numan in Idlib province that was one of the last strongholds of ex- Al-Qaeda affiliate Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and other rebel groups. On the back of thousands of Russian airstrikes, the military is engaged in a double-pronged attack on the ground in Aleppo as well. The aim is to reclaim the crucial highway that links Damascus to the former commercial capital. Syria’s Ambassador to India Dr Raid Kamel Abbas speaks to StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi on how the government controls about 70 per cent of the country’s territory, why Russia and Iran are crucial allies, what General Soleimani’s killing means for the U.S. in the region and how India has a balanced policy in Syria. He also addresses the civilian crisis with the UN saying almost 300,000 people have been displaced from Idlib province since December 2019. Dr Abbas talks about Turkey’s President and his ambitions and how Moscow is firmly on Damascus’ side.
Russian language speaker and conflict journalist. Amitabh Revi has been there, done that—from the battlefields of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to sublime Russia, Australia and the United States. Along the way he's picked up the Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship, the Ramnath Goenka award for coverage of the Iraq War and RT's Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria.