A conference on Syria by the Turkish opposition, anti-regime protests in Deir Ezzor, and the announcement of the reopening of a border crossing with Iraq, are among the main news of the weekend
- The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party stressed on Saturday the importance of restoring peace and stability in Syria to maintain tranquility in Turkey. “The channel between Ankara and Damascus is the easiest way to peace,” Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chairman of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), was quoted as saying by Asharq al-Awsat, during an international Syria conference in Istanbul organized by his party. The conference, “Gate to Peace in Syria,” aims to contribute to establishing lasting peace in Syria. Underlining that Syria and Turkey share a common history and have strong cultural ties, Kilicdaroglu expressed hope for the reestablishment of friendship and good neighbourly relations between the two countries.
- Protests were held in several areas under the slogan “Al-Salhiyah Martyrs Friday”, according to Deir Ezzor 24 network correspondent. Our correspondent said that after Friday prayers, hundreds of Deir Ezzor’s people marched to the industrial zone roundabout near Al-Salhiyah town, where they gathered and shouted slogans against the Iranian militias and Assad forces, demanding that they leave villages and towns east of the Euphrates. The protestors raised slogans in support of Idlib province, and other ones glorifying the Syrian revolution.
- The Syrian government accused US-backed SDF militias of abducting 300 civilians while storming houses in Ras al-Ain, al-Shadadi cities and Tal Nimr, and Tal Hamis towns in the Hasaka countryside to forcibly recruit them. Local sources in Hasaka told SANA that patrols of QSD militias raided the towns of Ras al-Ain, al-Shadadi, Tal Nimr and Tal Hamis, and abducted 300 youths to forcibly recruit them. The kidnapping acts also included children and women where a patrol of QSD militias kidnapped a woman from al-Hamrat area in Raqqa eastern countryside and took her to an unknown destination.
- Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has approved the reopening on Monday of the Qaim border-crossing with Syria, Iraqi state news agency INA said, the latest sign of normalization between Baghdad and Bashar al-Assad’s government. The crossing will be reopened for travelers and trade, INA reported on Friday, citing Iraq’s border agency chief. The western Anbar province town of Qaim, 300 km (185 miles) west of Baghdad, was recaptured from the Islamic State in November 2017 and was the group’s last bastion in Iraq to fall.