What Happened Over the Weekend

US airstrikes on civilians, protests in Idleb, women and children released and Jan Egeland resigns. Catch up on everything you missed over the weekend.

1. The Syrian Foreign Ministry has condemned the “heinous crimes committed by the illegitimate US-led Coalition in al-Sousa and al-Bubadran villages in Deir ez-Zor countryside, proving once again its disregard for international law.” The Ministry, according to SANA, demanded a transparent and independent international investigation into this crime and other crimes on its territories. At least 22 civilians were killed in US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria’s eastern Deir Ez-Zor province, according to local sources. The coalition airstrike targeted a mosque in the town of al-Susah in eastern Deir Ez-zor during the weekly Friday prayer, killing 16 people. Six more civilians were killed in another strike that hit a local religious institute in Hajin city in the same province, the sources added. Since Wednesday, 65 civilians have been killed in Deir ez-Zor province in airstrikes carried out by the US-led International Coalition. Syria’s demand came in two letters addressed to the UN Secretary-General and President of the United Nations Security Council on Saturday.

2. For the eighth consecutive Friday, thousands of people came out on to the streets of rebel-held areas to rally against the regime, condemning the Russian call to deport White Helmets workers out of Syria. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the demonstrations, which took place in Idleb province, were in solidarity with the Civil Defense rescuing agency. Demonstrators held up the three-star flag of the Syrian revolution, White Helmet flags and placards recalling the first days of the Syrian revolution in 2011, saying their goal is the toppling of the Assad regime and stopping Russian aggression.

3. A group of women and children kidnapped by the Islamic State (ISIS) from al-Shabki village in Suweida's eastern countryside since Jul. 25, 2018, have been liberated. Pro-government newspapaer al-Thawra reported that after receiving the liberated abductees at the Governorate’s building, Suweida Governor Amer al-Ashi, said in a statement that, “upon directives of President Bashar al-Assad, the terrorist organizations were hunted down by our armed forces and the affiliated security apparatus tracked the remnants of terrorists to the depth of Suweida's eastern Badyia.”

4. On Saturday, Syria and Iran discussed mechanisms of strategic cooperation in economic, trade and investment domains. The discussion, SANA reported, was during a meeting between a delegation of Syrian businessmen, headed by Secretary General of the Syrian Chambers of Commerce, Mohammad Hamshou, and the Advisor to First Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chairman of the Iranian Committee on the Development of Economic Relations with Syria and Iraq, Hassan Danaiefar, and Chairman of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Masoud Khansari. Hamshou and Khansari affirmed both sides’ determination to work on upgrading the level of economic, trade and investment relations to reach the level of the distinguished political relations between the two countries.

5. The head of the UN Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance in Syria, Jan Egeland, has said he would leave office at the end of November, noting that "his work is very difficult." AFP reported that this comes after the announcement that UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will in turn leave office at the end of November, but Egeland told reporters in Geneva that it is nothing more than a "coincidence". "I decided to leave the end of November when my contract was renewed in September," the Norwegian told a news conference, adding, "I have done this work for nearly three years. It was very hard work," he told a meeting of the humanitarian working group.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Syrian Observer.

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