What Happened Over the Weekend

COVID spreads in Syria while shelling in the North intensifies. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.
Syria

The Health Ministry announced on Saturday that 103 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Syria, adding that 21 cases recovered, while 5 passed away. According to SANA, the Ministry noted that the total number of coronavirus cases recorded in Syria has reached up to 27,539, out of which 22,410 have recovered while 1,998 have passed away.

A giant puppet of a nine-year-old Syrian girl named Amal has been traveling across Turkey and Greece for much of the past month. It is the first leg of a 5,000-mile journey, one that is rich in symbolism as a new migration crisis looms in Europe following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. The puppet, according to NY Times,  is the lead character in an ambitious theater project called “The Walk” that aims to draw attention to the experience of refugees by following a route similar to that taken by some Syrians who escaped the civil war in their country. “Little Amal” and her handlers plan to cross eight countries and dozens of cities in an 8,000-kilometer bid to shine a light on the plight of millions of displaced refugees.

Read Also: Efforts to Save Russian Roadmap in Southern Syria After It Faltered in Daraa

Amnesty International on Friday urged the Bashar al-Assad regime to immediately allow humanitarian aid into an opposition holdout under “siege” in the southern city of Daraa. “The Syrian government must immediately lift the siege to facilitate unfettered access for humanitarian organizations and allow the medical evacuation of the sick and injured,” said Amnesty’s Syria researcher Diana Semaan. She called on all sides to “grant safe passage to civilians wanting to flee the area.” Amnesty said the regime now rarely approved medical evacuations, while many of the ill or wounded feared they would be detained or face reprisals if they stepped into regime-held territory. One woman told Amnesty last week the shops were almost empty of all food. Her cousin had died because he was not granted permission to leave for urgent medical treatment, she told the rights group.

On Saturday, Russian warplanes renewed their aerial shelling of areas held by Turkish-backed armed Syrian factions south of Idleb in addition to targeting a training center belonging to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front), while Syrian government forces shelled several villages in Zawiya Mountain. North Press reported that Russian warplanes targeted the outskirts of the towns of Kansafra, al-Bara, Ain La Rose in Zawiya Mountain, south of Idleb, with four airstrikes. Russian airstrikes coincided with interrupted artillery and missile bombardment by government forces of the villages and towns of al-Fatira, Kafr Oweid, Sufuhun, Majdaliya, al-Bara, Rowayha, Deir Sunbul, Shnan, and Binin, south of Idleb.

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