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Shelling from Syrian government and Russia kills and injures civilians in Aleppo and Idlib; Turkey demands Russia to abide by its pledges to ceasefire in Idlib

Editing: Obaida Al Nabwani |
Translation: Glory Jabr

Local and field news:

On Wednesday, the Syrian government forces launched air and artillery shelling on southern Idlib, Northern Syria, killing two civilians and injuring a child and a woman.

Russian airstrikes and Syrian government’s artillery shelling also killed two women and a civilian and injured other civilians in western Aleppo, Northern Syria. 

The Response Coordinators Team in Syria said that 67,507 people have fled southern and western Aleppo since Jan. 14 to Jan. 22, 2020, as a result of shelling from Russia and the Syrian government forces.

Free Syrian Army factions killed and injured members of the Syrian government forces using missile strikes in western Aleppo. The Iranian-backed Fatemiyoun Brigade militia sent military reinforcements to participate in the fighting alongside the Syrian government forces in the governorate of Aleppo, Northern Syria.

The Kurdish Autonomous Administration in Northeastern Syria determined the maximum age of the people required for compulsory recruitment in its self-defense duty in all areas under its control.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units arrested the widow of a former official in the Islamic State in western al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria.

The Kurdish Autonomous Administration allowed about 400 forcibly displaced people to leave the al-Hol camp, which is supervised by the Autonomous Administration in southern al-Hasakah, Northeastern Syria. The forcibly displaced people headed to the governorate of Deir al-Zor, Eastern Syria.

The Druze Spiritual Leadership called on the Syrian government to devise an economic plan to solve the deteriorated living situation in the governorate of al-Suwayda, Southern Syria, and to hold corrupt and manipulative people accountable.

Over the last week, people have been protesting on a daily basis in he Syrian government-controlled governorate of al-Suwayda, as part of the movements entitled "We want to live." The protesters demanded the Syrian government to improve the deteriorated living and economic situation.

A young man, woman, and two volunteers with the Syrian government forces disappeared in the governorate of al-Suwayda, which is controlled by the Syrian government.

Weapons, murders, robberies, and frequent kidnappings spread in Syrian government-controlled areas, mostly for a financial ransom, amidst the absence of the Syrian government security role. Activists accuse the Syrian government of facilitating and neglecting the gangs' work.

Syrian government media reported that the criminal security branches of the Syrian government in the governorates of Damascus and Aleppo detained 11 people after accusing them of using currencies other than the Syrian pound. The media added that after interrogations, the detained people confessed of working in money exchange without a license and transferring funds illegally for financial profit.

The Syrian government forces also arrested two traders in the city of Maadan, eastern al-Raqqa, on charges of selling in US dollars. The Syrian government forces also closed a food warehouse for the two traders until the end of the investigation. No one knows where the traders were taken.

On Tuesday, the Syrian government forces arrested a number of money exchangers in Damascus, Tartous, and Hama because they exchanged the US dollar at a value that violated the price set by the Central Bank of Syria, which is less than half of its actual value.

On Wednesday, a group of gold traders closed their shops after the 21-karat gold price decreased in the city of Hama, which is controlled by the Syrian government forces, Central Syria. Economic recession prevails Damascus markets as the Syrian pound improved against the US dollar.

On Jan. 16, 2020, the USD exchange rate reached 1,200 SYP in most Syrian areas. This value of the SYP is considered the worst in Syria’s history since its independence and the separation between the Syrian and the Lebanese pounds, as the rate was two SYP in 1961, 53 SYP in 2005, and 47 SYP in 2010. The rate has declined fast since 2011, as it reached 640 SYP in 2016, and then improved slightly to reach 500 SYP in 2017.

The Syrian government forces doubled the taxes they impose on goods, traders, and travelers crossing from their checkpoints in Deir al-Zor governorate, Eastern Syria.

International and political news:

On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called on Russia to honor its pledges to a ceasefire agreement in Idlib governorate, Northern Syria.

During a session on the geopolitical situation of the Middle East and Africa in the city of Davos, Switzerland, Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey is waiting for Russia to abide by its pledges regarding the ceasefire agreement in Idlib, as it is the guarantor of the Syrian government forces.