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What Happened Over the Weekend

Regime bombardments kill children in Syria, repatriation of ISIS families and fighters advances, and protests for the continuation of cross-border aid. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.
What Happened Over the Weekend

On Friday, a delegation of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) discussed with politicians and diplomats, in the Swedish capital Stockholm, stability, the fight against terrorism, and Turkish policies in the areas Ankara controls in Syria’s north, North Press reported. Kenneth G. Forslund, head of the Swedish Parliament’s Relations Committee, said, “We are grateful for the relationship we share, and we appreciate the sacrifices you have made in the fight against terrorism and to achieve stability.” Badran Chiya Kurd, AANES’ representative in Europe, said, “The essential issue that brought us together is the war against terrorism and the policies of the Turkish state in the occupied Syrian regions, including Afrin, Sere Kaniye, and Tel Abyad.”

On Saturday, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) repatriated the tenth group of orphan children of the Islamic State (ISIS) to an official Russian delegation in Qamishli. According to al-Etihad, the Russian delegation was headed by the assistant of the Children’s Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation, who visited the Foreign Relations Department to meet with officials. The commissioner signed the children’s handover documents with the Foreign Relations Department’s co-chair, Abir Iliya, in front of journalists. Both officials raised the document, which bore the AANES’ symbol.

On Saturday, artillery fire from regime-controlled territory and airstrikes killed at least eight civilians in Syria’s last rebel enclave, most of them children, and destroyed a civil defense center and a water station, rescue workers and a war monitor said. The shelling in Iblin, a village south of the province of Idleb, hit the home of Subhi al-Assi, killing him, his wife, and three of his children in their sleep, according to the rescue service known as White Helmets and Idleb’s Health Directorate. Assi was an administrator in a local health center. Shelling also struck the home of a volunteer for the White Helmets, known as the Syrian Civil Defense, killing his two children. The volunteer, Omar al-Omar, and his wife were wounded, according to the White Helmets. Another child was killed and four others from the same family were wounded in a nearby village.

Hundreds of humanitarian workers formed a human chain on Friday stretching from a border crossing with Turkey toward a rebel-held city in northwestern Syria to protest Russia’s attempts to close the only remaining border crossing that allows aid into areas held by Syrian insurgents, Asharq al-Awsat reported. More than 2,000 humanitarian workers took part in the demonstration ahead of a July 10 deadline on whether the Bab al-Hawa crossing will remain open for aid. Syria’s government and its ally Russia want the aid to start coming through government-controlled parts of the war-torn country. Russia has come under intense pressure from the U.N., U.S., and others who warn of dire humanitarian consequences for Syrians in the rebel stronghold if the crossing is closed.

The Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner called Friday for member states to allow the return of citizens detained in Syria for joining ISIS, a move long resisted by France and Britain in particular, Asharq Al-Awsat reported. While some countries such as Germany and the Netherlands have repatriated some citizens who fought with the extremists, others have brought home only wives and children who were with them. Paris and London, wary of returning radicalized nationals, insist that adults who joined the insurgents and are now held in Kurdish-controlled camps must be tried and sentenced by local courts. But rights commissioner Dunja Mijatovic argued that nationals of the Council’s 47 countries “fall within the jurisdiction of those states,” according to a statement from her office, AFP reported.

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