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What Happened Over the Weekend

Russia and the regime resume airstrikes in Idleb, book fair opens in Damascus, displaced people leave a camp in Hassakeh and the UN to investigate hospital attacks. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.
What Happened Over the Weekend

1. Regime and Russian attacks have killed at least six civilians in Syria’s northwestern Idleb province, two weeks after Moscow declared a ceasefire in the jihadist-dominated region, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday. AFP reported that the truce, which brought a halt to four months of devastating bombardments on Idleb province by the government and its ally Russia, had largely held apart from sporadic artillery fire and airstrikes. But on Tuesday, Russia carried out its first airstrikes in the area since the ceasefire began. On Friday, regime rocket fire on the towns of Maarat al-Nu’man and Kafranbel in southern Idleb province killed five civilians including a child. A sixth civilian was killed in a Russian airstrike in the rural area west of the province, it added. That brought the of people number killed since the ceasefire came into effect to 11, according to the Britain-based monitor, which has a network of contacts across the war-torn country.

2. On Thursday, Vice-President Najah al-Attar inaugurated the 31st edition of Book Fair at the al-Assad National Library. According to SANA, six countries; Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Oman, Iran and Denmark, are taking part in the current round, through 235 publishing houses, among them 150 from Syria with more than 50,000 titles. The Fair will witness many activities, cinema screenings and book signings for nearly 400 different books.

3. Almost 375 displaced people, mostly women and children, have left the Kurdish-run al-Arisha camp in the northeastern province of Hassakeh, heading their hometowns in Deir ez-Zor province, activists told Zaman al-Wasl. Local sources confirmed to Zaman al-Wasl that a convoy of 40 vehicles left the Qana camp, also known as “al-Sad” camp in al-Arisha town, carrying 371 displaced people, including children and women, returning to their hometowns in Deir ez-Zor province. Thursday’s evacuation followed an agreement brokered by the Kurdish administration and Arab tribal leaders in Deir ez-Zor.

4. On Friday, the UN announced that it will investigate a series of bombings that hit hospitals in Syria, which had provided their coordinates to avoid being targeted in Russian airstrikes. Al-Araby al-Jadeed reported UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced he was setting up an internal investigation into the strikes on medical centres in opposition areas. Guterres said in a statement that the board would look at “a series of incidents that have occurred in northwestern Syria” since the establishment of the so-called “Idleb de-escalation zone” in September 2018 by Russia and Turkey. The committee is not a “criminal investigation” but aimed to “establish the facts for the secretary general”, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.


This article was 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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