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What Happened Over the Weekend

The return of festivals, Syrian-Iranian business, regime casualties and a withdrawal by the opposition. Catch up on everything you missed over the weekend.
What Happened Over the Weekend

1. Locals of Quneitra and the occupied Syrian Golan took part in a popular festival in Ein al-Tina overlooking Majdal Shams town. They marked the 45th anniversary of the October Liberation War, after a 7-year hiatus due to presence of terrorist in the area. SANA quoted Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badr-Eddin Hassoun as saying “the locals of the occupied Golan who have never relinquished their claims to their lands have dashed the Zionists’ dreams of establishing an entity on the Syrian land, indicating that Syria is more determined than ever to liberate the entirely of its occupied territory.”

2. On Saturday, Syrian and Iranian businessmen held a meeting in Damascus. The meeting, co-organized by Damascus and its Countryside Chamber of Industry and the Syrian Investment Agency (SIA), came on the sidelines of the reconstruction expo ‘Imaar 4’. According to SANA, the Head of the Damascus and its Countryside Chamber of Industry, Samer al-Dibes, unveiled plans to hold a conference for Syrian and Iranian businessmen, which is due to be held in Tehran in the coming few days. The conference will highlight proposed investment projects in the two countries and address existing problems.

3. Zaman Al Wasl reported that at least 19 troops from the coastal province of Tartous were killed in September, pro-regime news feeds said. Most of slain soldiers have been killed by the Islamic State and the US-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in eastern and southern Syria. The death toll included two army officers and a Major General. The slain soldiers were operating in the Fourth Armored Division and in the Air Force Intelligence.

4. On Saturday, opposition groups in Syria's northwestern Idleb announced that they had begun withdrawing heavy weapons from the frontlines, in accordance with the Turkey-Russia deal. Anadolu Agency quoted a spokesman for the National Front for the Liberation of Syria affiliated with the Free Syria Army (FSA), as saying that the opposition groups began withdrawing their heavy weapons in line with the Sochi agreement, in which Russia and Turkey agreed to set up a demilitarized zone. Naci Mustafa said the light weapons would remain and they would continue digging ditches as a measure against a possible attack by the Syrian regime.

5. On Friday, the families of Syrian Druze hostages held by the Islamic State, gathered at a government building to demand that the regime take action to free them. Al-Araby al-Jadeed reported that the protesters conducted a sit-in at the government's provincial headquarters in the southwestern city of Suweida, according to witnesses. Negotiations between the regime's Russian ally and the militants for the release of the Druze captives had stalled, but Radwan said they resumed on the first day of the sit-in.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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