What Happened Over the Weekend

A US court ruling against Syria, eleven dead after a building collapse, a humanitarian disaster brewing in eastern Syria and student protests in Idleb. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.

1. A US federal court in Washington, D.C., found the Syrian government culpable for the 2012 killing of Marie Colvin, a correspondent for the British newspaper, The Sunday Times, and ordered the government to pay 302.5 million dollars to her family, AFP has reported. The court said that the Syrian government, “discovered that foreign journalists were broadcasting reports from a media center in Baba Amr” and, “launched an artillery attack to kill the journalists inside.” Colvin was killed alongside French photojournalist Remi Ochlik in Homs, in 2012. Evidence unsealed during the lawsuit found that Syrian military officials responsible for the killing were rewarded with new cars and promotions. Marie Colvin’s sister, Cathleen Colvin, and other relatives filed the lawsuit with the Center for Justice and Accountability.

2. Four children were among the 11 people killed when a war-damaged block of flats collapsed in Aleppo on Saturday, state media said. One child was pulled alive from the rubble of the five-storey block after rescue teams toiled, many of them with their bare hands, to remove the shattered breeze blocks that had buried him, AFP reported. He was the sole survivor of the collapse in the formerly rebel-held neighborhood of Salaheddin, the official SANA news agency reported. Saleheddin was heavily bombed before the army overran the rebel district with Russian support in late 2016.

3. On Friday, the United Nations called for “unhindered humanitarian access” to people fleeing the last Islamic State (ISIS) pocket in eastern Syria. More than 10,000 people have fled from the conflict zone to al-Hol, where the main camp for people displaced by the fighting against ISIS is located. Anadolu News Agency quoted a spokesman for UNHCR as saying that, “humanitarian actors have collectively requested forces in control of the area to designate a transit site to al-Hol, where life-saving assistance can be provided. So far the request “remains unanswered”.

4. Students of the International Salvation University in Ma’aret al-Nu’man, Idleb, renewed their protests against the decision of the National Salvation Government (NSG), affiliated with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, to close the university because it is not registered with the NSG. On Saturday, student Mohammad Khalaf told Smart News that they have been demonstrating for nine days in a row and will continue to carry out protests and sit-ins until the Higher Education Council of the Salvation Government retreats from the decision. On the fourth day of demonstrations, about 300 students participated in the demonstration. They marched through the streets of the city and stood in front of the university building.

 

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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