Syria is nearing "victory" over rebels, premier says

Photo: Syria is nearing "victory" over rebels, premier says / Arab World

Syria is "approaching the historic moment in which it will proclaim its victory over its enemies," the country's prime minister told parliament on Monday, reported dpa.

"The government is determined to advance alongside the defiant people to complete victory and crush the conspiracy against Syria and its people," Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi told the People's Assembly, according to state television.

Al-Halqi claimed that forces loyal to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad retained control of most of the country and were collaborating with local communities to protect factories and other vital installations.

But in a sign of the toll that the conflict is taking on Syria's infrastructure, members of the hand-picked assembly themselves criticized the constant electricity shortages across the country.

Al-Halqi's defiant statements came as opposition activists reported that the airport of Syria's largest city, Aleppo, was closed in the aftermath of an explosion and fire.

The airport was closed to traffic on Sunday but it was unclear what had caused the original explosion, the Britain-based opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Observatory also reported shelling of towns and villages by troops in many parts of Syria, including the Damascus suburbs, where it said three civilians died in the town of Douma and one in Daraya.

State television said that the army was "continuing their pursuit of armed terrorists" in Daraya and had "eliminated a number of snipers and seized their weapons."

The Observatory also reported two civilian deaths in southern Deraa province and two more in eastern Deir al-Zour.

The group put Sunday's death toll across Syria at "over 150", with the highest figures in Aleppo province.

Tens of unidentified corpses were also found Sunday near a military installation in Damascus' northeastern Berzeh suburb, bearing signs of torture, the group added.

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