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What Happened Over the Weekend in Syria

New evidence of war crimes in Syria; 2022 deadly for the Syrian pound; and AANES calls for reopening of border crossing with Iraq. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.
What Happened Over the Weekend in Syria

An NGO specializing in the legal accountability processes in Syria has revealed that murder, torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and other crimes against humanity took place in Damascus in 2014, the pan-Arab al-Araby al-Jadeed reported. Huquqyat said that local Shia militias affiliated with Bashar al-Assad’s regime committed these crimes on the 5th of January 2014 at the Ali Al-Wahsh checkpoint in the south of the Syrian capital. According to the investigation by the NGO, as thousands of civilians were trying to flee the Syrian capital nine years ago, militiamen detained groups of refugees, using violence against them and even executing some.

The value of the Syrian pound declined against the U.S. dollar by up to 100% during 2022, the opposition website Enab Baladi has said. During the month of December alone, the Syrian pound recorded a decline of more than 23% monthly and by nearly 10% weekly. On December 31st 2022, the selling price of one dollar reached 7,150 Syrian pounds, while on the first day of the same year, it was about 3,600 pounds. On January 2nd, the regime’s Central Bank weakened the official exchange rate to 4,522 Syrian pounds to the greenback, as opposed to 3,015 previously.

The Kurdish agency North Press has reported that Loqman Ahmi, spokesman of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), called on Saturday active powers in the Syrian issue and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to pressurize to re-activate al-Ya’rubiyah (Tel Kocher) border crossing. He told North Press that “the closure of the crossing has affected the access of humanitarian supplies to northeastern Syria.” The Tel Kocher border crossing is located on the Syrian- Iraqi border and was the most important crossing between the two countries prior to the Syrian conflict in 2011. It closed in 2019 after a Russian-Chinese veto on its renewal.

Sweden is confident that Türkiye will approve its application to join the NATO military alliance, but cannot fulfill all the demands Ankara has made as the price of its support, Sweden’s prime minister said on Sunday, the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat has said. In November,  Sweden’s new Foreign minister announced his country would seize support to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria in a bid to satisfy Ankara and get access to the alliance, leaving the Kurdish group more isolated than ever9

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