What Happened Over the weekend

Regime forces strike opposition in western Syria, one-off payment granted to public employees, and Russia concerned about the US removing military equipment. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.

On Saturday, Syrian government forces targeted the sites of the opposition groups in the countryside of Idleb and Lattakia, northwestern Syria, with artillery and missile strikes. Speaking to North Press, military sources in the opposition said that government forces targeted al-Tuffahiyyah area in Jabal al-Akrad, north of Lattakia, from their positions in the surrounding checkpoints, with heavy artillery shells, and rocket launchers. The government forces intensified their shelling of the area in response to an operation carried out by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) on the government sites near al-Malaja village, south of Idleb, on Friday.

SANA reported that President Bashar al-Assad issued on Saturday a legislative decree granting 50 thousand Syrian pounds to military and public employees and 40 thousand pounds to the retired ones, on a one-off basis. The grant is exempted from any tax on salaries and wages.

The President of the Executive Committee of the Syrian Democratic Council Ilham Ahmed said she hopes the US does not plan to withdraw again in the future, Al-Monitor reported. “We hope that Syrian Kurdish fighters do not see the same decision of withdrawal and that the US protects its allies who helped fight the Islamic State [ISIS] for years,” she said. Ahmed also mentioned recent fighting between the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) security forces and a pro-government militia in the regional capital of Qamishli. Last month, clashes broke out between internal security forces and the pro-government National Defense Forces. The fighting ended after a few days with a Russian-brokered cease-fire.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has expressed worry over the US-led coalition removing military equipment to its areas of deployment in the Syrian al-Jazeera, SANA reported. The Russian Coordination Center in Hmeimim said that the US-led air transport of military equipment and land movements of military convoys to the eastern region of the Syrian Arab Republic stir concern. The Russian Center added that “such military mobilization, synchronized with the economic and social situation, may result in the US blockade damaging opportunities of finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria.”

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