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Syria Today – Syrian Activist Disappears in Turkey; ISIS Children Repatriated to UK; Iranian Bank to Open its Doors in Syria

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.

Syrian human rights activist Ahmed Katie was arrested by Turkish authorities without disclosed reasons, prompting concerns and legal action from his wife. At the same time, the first Iranian bank in Syria is set to start operations, strengthening economic ties between Tehran and Damascus after discussions during President Raisi’s visit. In parallel, children of ISIS brides from the UK are being repatriated from Syria and discreetly put up for adoption, with at least 10 youths involved. All this comes while a rocket fired from Syria at northern Israel prompted the Israeli army to return fire with artillery shelling at the source of the attack.

Syrian human rights activist arrested by Turkish authorities

The Syrian opposition website Enab Baladi has reported that Ahmed Katie, a Syrian human rights activist, was reportedly detained by Turkish authorities last week.

The arrest was made without providing any details about the background or reasons, as confirmed by another human rights activist. Katie has ceased all communication with his relatives since 5:00 pm on Monday, November 27.

His wife stated that she had appointed a lawyer to find out the reason for his arrest. She also mentioned that some of his relatives are reaching out to various human rights organizations and government agencies to uncover the circumstances surrounding the detention. Katie is active in the defense of the rights of refugees in Turkey and was preparing to move to France where was given asylum.

First Iranian bank to open in Syria to boost trade, cooperation

The Kurdish News Agency North Press has reported that the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Muhammad Reza Farzin, announced that the first Iranian bank in Syria will soon start operating.

In early May, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited Damascus and reaffirmed with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, developing trade and economic relations, as well as enhancing cooperation regarding the reconstruction phase after 12 years of war. The Iranian news agency IRNA reported that during a meeting between Farzin and his Syrian counterpart, Muhammad Hazim, the former stated that Tehran and Damascus are interested in enhancing banking, commercial, and joint investment relations.

Children of ISIS brides from UK repatriated from Syria for adoption

The British News website has written that children of ISIS brides from Britain are being discreetly sent back to the UK and put up for adoption. At least 10 youths are believed to have been repatriated to this country from detention camps for families in Syria following the fall of ISIS. Among them, it has been reported, are two siblings, both aged under eight, who are currently being fostered in the southeast of England.

The children, who are awaiting adoption, lost their mother, who was British after she was killed during fighting in Baghuz in eastern Syria in 2019. Their father, who is not British, was captured and jailed in prison for foreign fighters following the collapse of the so-called caliphate, the Sunday Times reports. The children were initially transferred with other relatives to the al-Hol detention camp for ISIS suspects in northeast Syria. However, they were later moved to a Kurdish-run orphanage.
Rocket fired at Israel from Syria lands in open area, IDF returns fire
The Israeli army said one rocket was fired from Syria at northern Israel on Sunday. According to the Times of Israel, the rocket fire set off sirens in the southern Golan Heights community of Keshet. However, Israel said the rocket landed in an open area, causing no injuries. It also said it was responding with artillery shelling at the source of the fire in Syria.

What Russia’s war in Syria says about its war in Ukraine

In Syria there’s little can do when Russian warplanes come, except hide and hope for the best. Tim Mak wrote in Politico he went to Syria to check how Moscow is fighting its “other war”.

The Russian military has continued to fight and commit atrocities in Syria for eight years, with no sign of slowing. It’s a signal to Ukraine of just how long Russia is willing to conduct indiscriminate attacks and a warning that Russia can drag out conflicts over long periods of time. The war in Syria is also a sad reminder that public attention in the West fades and that the Syrian civil war — once a central point in the U.S. foreign policy discussions — continues even after the vast majority of attention has shifted to other conflicts.

More than 12 years ago, it was war in this part of the world that riveted the world’s attention. As part of the broader Arab Spring, Syrians marched for democratic rights in 2011. For a time they won Western attention and sympathy, as dictator Bashar al-Assad’s brutal crackdown was revealed through photographs and videos of torture, killings and the use of chemical weapons. But over the years, the war ground to a stalemate, and the world’s attention drifted away. But only some wars have the misfortune of fading into the public consciousness while the killing continues largely unabated, ignored by nearly all except for victims and aggressors.

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