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Syria Today – Israeli Strike Kills Four; Turkey Arrests Eight

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.
Syria Today – Israeli Strike Kills Four; Turkey Arrests Eight

On Monday, during an Israeli missile attack near the Syrian capital Damascus, four Syrian soldiers lost their lives, and four others were wounded. Concurrently, Turkish Intelligence, in coordination with the Military Police affiliated with Turkish-backed armed opposition factions, known as the Syrian National Army (SNA), apprehended eight individuals in the countryside of Hassakeh Governorate, northeast Syria.

Four Syrian soldiers killed in Israeli attack on Damascus 

Four Syrian soldiers were killed and another four wounded in an Israeli missile attack near the Syrian capital Damascus early on Monday, Syrian state media reported, citing a military source.

State news agency SANA said the attack caused “some material damage” and that the missiles had targeted “some points in the vicinity of the city of Damascus,” but gave no specific details.

Syrian air defences intercepted the Israeli missiles and shot down some of them, the military source told SANA.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said it had documented two additional fighters killed in the strikes that were members of non-Syrian militias aligned with Damascus.

Observatory head Rami Abdulrahman could not immediately confirm the nationalities of the two additional fatalities. He said the sites targeted included warehouses near the Damascus airport.

Erdogan and Putin to discuss Azerbaijani-Armenian relations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss Azerbaijani-Armenian relations during the meeting, Azerbaijani Trend reports.

The sides will also discuss the Zangezur Corridor project, the situation in Syria, the grain deal and bilateral trade relations.

The exact date of Vladimir Putin’s visit to Türkiye has not yet been announced. However, it is expected that the visit will take place in August.

Illegal detention of British children must end, says former UK minister

A former UK cabinet minister has condemned his government’s continued funding of what he described as the illegal detention of British minors in camps controlled by the Kurdish-run Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria’s northeast, Middle easy Eye reported

In a letter sent on Sunday to James Cleverly, the UK’s foreign secretary, David Davis demanded that the government disclose the numbers of British nationals detained in the camps, described by one NGO as “Britain’s Guantanamo in the desert”.

Their detention, he wrote, was illegal and arbitrary, constituting a “collective punishment… funded by the British taxpayer”.

The letter comes after the recent emergence of video footage showing Australian teenager Yusuf Zahan, who had been detained in northeast Syria since he was 14 and was presumed dead.

Zahan was believed to have been killed in a 2022 air strike by the Islamic State (IS). The recent video, dated September 2022, revealed the 19-year-old was still alive. 

According to Human Rights Watch, an estimated 23,000 children, who are not originally from Iraq and Syria, are being held in indefinite detention based on their alleged links with the IS.

In his letter, Davis highlighted the “dire conditions” faced by minors held in detention, including the overcrowded and poorly ventilated cells, and the limited access to food and medical care.

“Boys in these prisons are at risk of violence, sexual violence, trafficking, forced recruitment, and death.” he wrote.

In 2021, a report by Rights and Security International (RSI) found that British children and women were being held in “life-threatening” conditions in the camps.

Turkish forces arrest 8 civilians in Syria’s Sere Kaniye

North Press reports that Turkish Intelligence, in coordination with Military Police, affiliated with Turkish-backed armed opposition factions, aka Syrian National Army (SNA), arrested on Monday eight individuals in the countryside of Hassakeh Governorate, northeast Syria.

An exclusive source told North Press that a security unit of Turkish Intelligence supported by the Military Police raided five houses in the village of al-Mabrouka in the countryside of Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), north of Hasakah, and arrested eight individuals who had arrived from areas held by Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) on charges of terrorism.

Those who were arrested headed to the SNA-held areas for the purpose of crossing to Turkey, the source added.

The detained individuals are reported to be from the governorates of Homs, Raqqa, and Deir-ez-Zor, the source noted.

The Turkish forces and the SNA occupied Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad after the so-called “Peace Spring” military operation in October 2019.

Mekdad, AOAD discuss means to boost cooperation in the agricultural sector

In a meeting attended by various high-ranking officials, including Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mekdad, Director General of AOAD Ibrahim al-Dukhairi, AOAD Executive Chairman, Lebanese Minister of Agriculture Abbas Hajj Hassan, Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform Mohammad Hassan Qatana, and Director-General of the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Drylands (ACSAD) Nasr Edin Obaid, the necessity of fostering collaboration between governmental agencies and expert Arab agricultural organizations was emphasized. They also underscored the significance of strengthening joint Arab action.

According to SANA, Minister Mekdad highlighted the crucial need for closer cooperation in the agricultural sector between Syria and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development. He stressed the importance of devising action plans to improve the agricultural landscape and elevate the performance of the agricultural sector in all Arab countries.

Director General al-Dukhairi explained that the organization is aligning its efforts with Uzbekistan’s Agriculture Development Strategy for 2020-2030, which concentrates on agricultural and food systems, safeguarding agricultural resources, and facilitating collaboration between the organization and its member states.

Moreover, al-Dukhairi pledged the organization’s support to the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform in Syria in protecting its integrated environmental assets from fires, using fire early warning systems.

Minister Qatana expressed that al-Dukhairi’s visit would aid in communicating Syria’s challenges to other member states and the global community.

Minister Hajj Hassan conveyed his gratitude for Syria’s efforts in strengthening agricultural and food cooperation between Syria and Lebanon, as well as fostering cooperation among Arab nations to achieve a shared vision of Arab food security.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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