What Happened Over the Weekend

Saudi funding, the ending of aid, US airstrikes and condemnation at the UN. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.

1. Syria has condemned the contribution of $100 million by the Saudis to the “illegitimate US-led international coalition, which is part of Saudi Arabia’s full compliance with the US administration at the expense of the Saudi people.” An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry told SANA that the Saudi authorities, who are plotters against the interests of the Arab nation, have pledged $100 million to the international coalition led by the Washington in defiance of the UN Security Council resolutions related to the crisis in Syria. [SANA]

2. The Trump administration is ending funding for Syria stabilization projects as it moves to extricate the US from the conflict, citing increased contributions from anti-Islamic State coalition partners. US officials said the administration notified Congress on Friday that it would not spend some $200 million, which had been planned for programs in Syria and would instead be shifted to other areas. [Al-Araby al-Jadeed]

3. US-led coalition airstrikes have pounded regime-held areas in eastern Deir ez-Zor province, activist said Thursday. The strikes hit regime bastions in the town of al-Shamiyyah on the western bank of Euphrates River. The US-led coalition have also dropped leaflets on last the Islamic State (ISIS) pockets in Deir ez-Zor province, urging ISIS militants to surrender otherwise their death is inevitable. [Zaman al-Wasl]

4. Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the need to help the displaced Syrians return to their homeland, calling on relevant sides to exert all possible efforts to achieve this as soon as possible. During a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, prior to their meeting on Saturday, Putin said that the increasing number of displaced people can become a heavy burden for Europe, which is why it is necessary to provide humanitarian aid to the areas in Syria to which these displaced people can return to. [SANA]

5. Qatar and Liechtenstein delivered a joint message to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, expressing their deep condemnation and concern at reports that monitor the Syrian regime's violations, abuses, torture and the systematic killing of prisoners whose only charge was to demand freedom, justice and peaceful coexistence. The message was signed by Qatari and Liechtenstein officials, on behalf of 41 countries: the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Estonia, Portugal, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Mexico, Austria, Greece, Andorra, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Ukraine, Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland, Turkey, Georgia, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, France, Finland, Cyprus, Canada, Croatia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand and the Netherlands. [The Syrian National Coalition]

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