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Syria rejects Amnesty ‘false’ report of mass jail hangings



Damascus has slammed as “inaccurate and politically-motivated” an Amnesty International report claiming that Syrian military police hanged as many of 13,000 people over the course of four years.

The Syrian Justice Ministry, in a statement published on Tuesday, rejected the account of mass hangings at Saydnaya prison near Damascus between 2011 and 2015 as bogus and false, saying such claims are meant to ruin the Damascus government’s reputation in the international community.

The statement further emphasized that based on Syrian law, writs of execution are issued only after judicial trials run through several degrees of litigation.

Such allegations come in the face of recent gains by Syrian army forces and allied popular defense groups in battles against foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists, and the atmosphere of national reconciliation in the country, it added.

Syria finds militant tunnel near Damascus

Meanwhile, Syrian military forces have discovered a long tunnel used by foreign-backed militants during a clear-up operation on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.

Army soldiers and pro-government fighters from popular defense groups found the 500-meter long in Harasta city, situated roughly 8 kilometers northeast of Damascus, on Tuesday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

A Syrian army soldier walks along a 500-long tunnel dug beneath the ground by foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in the city of Harasta, Syria, on February 7, 2017. (Photo by Syria’s SANA news agency)


An unnamed Syrian military sources said terrorists with the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front, reportedly used the tunnel to sneak into a Syrian military site but army units managed to thwart their attempt and eliminate dozens of terrorists in the process.

Additionally, scores of Daesh militants were killed and two pickup trucks equipped with heavy machine guns destroyed as Syrian forces engaged the terrorists in the al-Bayarat district of the country’s central province of Homs.

Syrian fighter jets also bombarded militant hideouts in the al-Msheirfeh al-Shamaliyeh district of the same Syrian province, killing and injuring many Daesh terrorists.

Elsewhere in the northern province of Aleppo, Syrian soldiers mounted an ambush against members of a terrorist group affiliated to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and killed scores of of them.

A Syrian army soldier flashes the sign of victory during an operation to recapture the militant-held village of Hawsh Nasri on the eastern outskirts of Damascus, on November 22, 2016. (Photo by AFP)


Government forces and their allies also targeted Daesh terrorists on the outskirts of Dayr al-Zawr Military Airport, and killed a large number of them in the process.

Also on Tuesday, Syrian government representatives and militant officials exchanged 112 prisoners and hostages in the west-central province of Hama.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the exchanges took place in the militant-held Qalaat al-Madiq town, and that many of those released had been detained for years.

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