Lattakia, SANA-President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday toured a number of areas affected by fires few days ago in Lattakia province.
In the first station of his tour, President al-Assad visited Ballouran area in Lattakia northern countryside, inspecting the damage caused by the fires and met the locals.
President al-Assad listened to the needs of the locals of Ballouran village to secure them and help enhance the factors of their adherence to their lands and re-cultivating them as soon as possible.
In Qardaha countryside, President al-Assad visited Bsout village whose locals were forced to leave their homes during the fires, and they returned after extinguishing them in cooperation between the civil defense, the Syrian Arab Army and the locals of the village and its surroundings.
The locals of the village expressed high appreciation over the efforts exerted by the state institutions and the locals of the area which have contributed to securing their village and extinguishing the fires before devouring it along with the surrounding areas, asserting that their immediate return to their houses reflects their adherence to their village and lands despite of all the difficulties they have been facing.
In a statement to the national media during his visit to Bsout village, President al-Assad said that the damage and challenges are large at the same time, adding that “the most important thing which we know is that overcoming these challenges is not impossible at all, as all problems which we have heard about before our visit or which we have monitored in the reports and have heard about from the citizens and the affected families, all of them surely have a solution.”
“They only need some arrangement; however, the state will shoulder the biggest responsibility with regard to this support which is primarily a financial support to enable these families to stay on these lands and invest them,” the President added.
President al-Assad said that there are many challenges; the first is that the majority of the affected families have lost the current season, so, at minimum, we are talking about the loss of resources for one year, and there are families who have lost the trees, particularly the olive which need from 5 to 8 years, here we are in front of the challenge of re-production to let people remain in this region through technical support, whether through seedlings or alternative plants.
“The other side is the human support, we have to bear financial burdens and help those families who have lost the resources.. the third challenge is that the families may tend to sell the land because they have lost the trees, and of course there are persons who attempt to exploit the citizens’ need to buy these lands and change them from productive lands into real estates,” the President said.
President al-Assad went on to say that those points are linked to each other and the main goal of the visit is to inspect details and be assured that the plans which will put during the coming days are realistic and reasonable which are possible to be applied.
“As for forestry areas, as I know, the largest part of fires has affected the forestry.. more than 60%…the fear is from the spread of random buildings in those areas.. so there should be governmental decisions to strongly prevent any person to randomly build… these lands are national wealth,” the President said.
President al-Assad added that the catastrophe that took place is a national catastrophe in the human, economic or environmental meaning.. it is normal to continue the round… and I will go ahead in this tour according to a certain timetable because we want to support all the lands and areas, support every affected tree, family and each individual.
President Al-Assad added that this visit is a beginning for another visits and an opportunity to meet those kind people from whom we take strength, patriotism and also dignity.
“I want to avail this opportunity to salute the civil defense men … I was not able to meet them and they had a very effective and basic role and we all know this fact despite the lack of capabilities… I greet them and greet everyone who has contributed to putting out fires in a very short time in light of the capabilities… of course, there is no need to talk about the role of the Syrian Arab Army, whether on the fronts with terrorists or on the fronts with fire,” the President said.
President al-Assad also greeted journalists who have covered all the news and conveyed the images of fires in a transparent and true way.
President al-Assad continued his tour to include Kfar Dabil area in the countryside of Jableh city where fires devoured a large part of the town’s forests.
Nisreen Othman/ H.Zain/ Mazen Eyon