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What Happened Over the Weekend

Wildfires are raging across Syria in a number of different area, as arson is suspected and ammonia nitrate is moved, the Autonomous Administration has issued an amnesty and regime prisoners are released. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.
What Happened Over the Weekend

1. “The situation in Lattakia is tragic,” is how the Minister of Local Administration and Environment in Syria, Hussein Makhlouf, described the effects of the fires, most of which are still out of control. Wildfires hit Syria over the weekend, killing two people and leaving dozens suffering with breathing problems. The wildfires also burnt wide areas of forests, mostly in the central province of Homs and the coastal province of Lattakia. According to SANA, fires were recorded at 85 different sites. Fires in President Bashar al-Assad’s hometown of Qardaha heavily damaged a building used as storage for the state-owned tobacco company, part of which collapsed.

2. Sources told North Press that the Syrian government had secured 150 tons of ammonium nitrate and transferred it to an alternative warehouse in the city of Jableh, after fires approached its main warehouse in the town of Haffah. Raed Ibrahim, the Mayor of Haffah in northeastern Lattakia, warned on Friday of a “major disaster” if the fires reached the Agricultural Bank. In a statement to Al-Watan, Ibrahim appealed to authorities to send support firefighters and helicopters to extinguish the fire before the whole town burned.

3. On Saturday, a security source said that initial investigations proved that the fires along the Syrian coast towards Homs were “deliberate”, based on the fact that they were started at one time. “The statements by villagers are now being matched with sources and information to understand the background of this sabotage, which is not being ruled out as a terrorist act,” the source told North Press. “Work is underway to discover who was involved, seeing as the matter cannot be as a result of negligence,” the source added.  

4. On Saturday, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria issued a general amnesty for all crimes committed before Oct. 10, 2020. Basnews reported that the amnesty decision comes after a series of meetings of the Syrian Democratic Council and many requests from the residents, dignitaries, and sheikhs of the region’s tribes. According to this decision, full penalties for offenses and misdemeanors are pardoned.

5. On Thursday evening, the Syrian government released three women detained in a town near Damascus, whose arrests have caused anti-government protests over recent weeks. Sowt Al-Asima reported that government forces lifted the siege on the town of Kanaker, west of the capital Damascus, after releasing the detainees in an agreement with the town’s notables.

6. The 120 member-strong Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has issued a political declaration whose points include the demand that Israel withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan. The NAM, according to Al-Masdar, declared that its members, “condemn all measures taken by Israel to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and demand once again that Israel withdraws fully from the occupied Syrian Golan to the Jun. 4, 1967, borders.

 

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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