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What Happened Over the Weekend

Russian and Turkish joint patrols halted, insistence of no presence of coronavirus, a fresh US convoy enters Syria and dissidents urge further action by the US. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.
What Happened Over the Weekend

1. Russia and Turkey were forced to cut short their first joint patrol along the M4 highway linking Syria’s east and west on Sunday due to rebel provocations, the Russian Defense Ministry was cited as saying by Russian news agencies. The patrol was the result of a recent agreement between Moscow and Ankara on a ceasefire in Syria’s Idleb province. “To carry out provocations, terrorists were trying to use civilians as a human shield,” the Russian Defense Ministry was quoted as saying by Russian state news agency RIA, explaining the reason for the shorter route.

2. To date, there are no confirmed infections of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Syria, Health Minister Dr. Nizar Yaziji has been quoted by SANA. In a press conference held on Saturday with the Resident Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Syria, Dr. Neama Saeed, Minister Yaziji added that all samples analyzed in public health laboratories for suspected cases of the virus were negative. The government’s measures and raising of the health sector’s readiness are preventive and precautionary measures to control the spread of infection, if any infection is recorded, he clarified.

3. The Interior Ministry stressed that what had been circulated on social media pages regarding the suspension of the land journeys between provinces are false. In a statement to SANA, the Interior Ministry asserted that it had not issued any statement about suspending land travel, adding that such a statement will be issued through the official media outlets, its official website and Facebook. The Ministry called on those social media websites to take news from the right sources and not to promote fabricated and false posts.

4. A new US convoy, loaded with military reinforcements and logistic equipment, entered the Syrian territory coming from northern Iraq. Local sources told SANA that a convoy belonging to the US occupation forces consisting of 62 trucks loaded with military and logistical supplies, as well as 11 military vehicles entered the Syrian territory coming from northern Iraq via the illegitimate al-Walid crossing, to fortify the occupation’s positions in the Syrian al-Jazira area and loot the Syria’s natural resources and the main crops.

5. A group of Syrian dissidents have urged US senators to enforce tougher measures against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, warning that the international community’s tame response was giving Damascus a “green light” to continue human rights abuses. According to Middle East Eye, Caesar told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that while a fragile ceasefire was holding in the war-ravaged province of Idleb, forces loyal to Assad were continuing to commit atrocities with impunity.


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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