What Happened Over the Holidays in Syria

Lice spreads in Damascus schools, Syria denies talks with Erdogan, and Kobani under attack. Catch up on what happened this holiday.

The Education Ministry in Syria acknowledged the spread of lice in schools in Damascus and its countryside but denied that it was related to poor hygiene. The director of School Health in Damascus, Hatoon al-Tawashi, claimed that the spread of lice in schools is not new and there are infections in all governorates, noting that “lice are like any other disease and it is not linked to poverty, and is present in public and private schools, and is transmitted to anyone through infection.” In statements to al-Watan, Tawashi advised the families to use sprays and shampoos to combat lice, adding that some families treat the issue of infestation as a stigma, but it is normal, and it does not happen as a result of a lack of personal hygiene, but infection.

Turkish air space has been closed to military and civilian planes carrying troops from Russia to Syria after consultation with Moscow, Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT Haber cited Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying on Saturday. NATO member Turkey has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine and has sought to mediate between them to stop the war. “We closed airspace to Russia’s military planes and even to civilian planes going to Syria and carrying soldiers,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying to reporters on a plane en route to Uruguay. He said permission had been given for three-month periods until April, and then the flights stopped.  He said talks were continuing between Russia and Ukraine and the sides were working towards a draft joint declaration. Cavusoglu said if progress is made in negotiations, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had agreed that a meeting could be held in Turkey.

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Syria denied the existence of any contact with the Turkish regime, unlike what some of its officials claim. Damascus said that there can be no cooperation in the fight against terrorism with a terrorist regime that supports, trains and spreads terrorism in the region and the world, SANA reported. ” Coinciding with the brutal attacks launched by the Erdogan regime forces and their terrorist groups against citizens in northern Syria, this regime is trying, as usual, to publish fabricated news,” An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The targeting of Kobani [by Turkey] and shelling of innocent civilians hinder anti-ISIS operations, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi tweeted Saturday. “The targeting of Kobani and shelling of innocent civilians hinder anti-ISIS operations, & killings of administrative figures by drones are provocations that threaten security & peace & hinder anti-ISIS operations,” Abdi said.  “Turkey is escalating violations of international covenants with guarantor countries against our regions,” the tweet added.

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