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Explosion kills and injures Turkish soldiers in Idlib; Trump says that possible coronavirus treatments are under investigation

Editing: Abd Allah Al Darwesh |
TranslationEditor: Glory Jabr |
Translation: Nouha Salti
Publication date: 2020/03/20 16:30
Update date: 2020/03/20 16:37

Local and field news:

On Thursday, an explosive device killed a Turkish soldier and injured others near the village of Muhambal, 23 kilometers south of the city of Idlib, Northern Syria.

Local sources reported to SMART that an explosive device, which was planted in Muhambal, exploded when a Turkish military convoy passed in the village, killing one Turkish soldier and injuring others, without determining their exact number.

On Thursday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Hurras al Din (Guardians of Religion) Organization, affiliated with al-Qaeda, is responsible for kidnapping and forcibly disappearing six activists working for relief organizations in the Idlib governorate, Northern Syria.  

In its report, the SNHR documented at least eight kidnappings targeting local activists working mainly in humanitarian organizations and charities in Idlib governorate; six of these individuals were detained by Hurras al Din.

An explosive device killed two civilians and injured others in the city of Azaz, 43 kilometers north of Aleppo, Northern Syria.

Local sources reported to SMART that an unknown explosion killed two civilians and injured 19 others, including ten children, in Azaz. People suspected that the explosion is from an explosive device.

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) announced killing and injuring several Syrian government forces members after they tried to infiltrate south of the city of Idlib, breaching the ceasefire agreement.  

On its official outlets, the HTS said that opposition factions blocked a Syrian government forces infiltration attempt in the village of al-Bara, 29 kilometers south of Idlib. Clashes between the two parties killed and injured 10 Syrian government forces members; however, the HTS did not mention casualties among the opposition factions.

A man exchanged gunfire with members of the Police and General Security Forces in the city of al-Bab, 39 kilometers east of Aleppo.

Major Haitham Zein, chief of police, reported to SMART that Omar al-Najjar exchanged gunfire with members of a police patrol after they tried to detain him following several arrest warrants. The shooting injured al-Najjar who was transported to a hospital in al-Bab and died there.

The Teacher’s Training Institute in Aleppo, affiliated with the Syrian Interim Government, announced postponing exams as a precautionary procedure to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Aleppo governorate.

The Kurdish Autonomous Administration in the city of al-Tabqah, 55 kilometers west of al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria, announced stopping all parties and events as a precautionary procedure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Kurdish Autonomous Administration imposed a curfew in its controlled areas to prevent COVID-19. The curfew enters into force on Mar. 23, 2020.

The Syrian government Ministry of Interior announced closing all civil registry offices in all Syrian governorates as a precautionary procedure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, Syrian government media announced that all activities of civil registry offices will stop until Apr. 2, 2020, in addition to exempting citizens from the fines resulting from the closure in that period.

The Syrian Government Endowments Directorate issued a decision to prevent prayers in mosques, especially the Friday Prayers, in the Daraa governorate, Southern Syria, as a precautionary procedure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Turnout at the Jumaa Market remarkably decreased in the al-Jurah neighborhood in the Syrian government-controlled city of Deir al-Zor, fearing infection with COVID-19.

Food prices increased in the city of Abu Kamal, 122 kilometers southeast of the city of Deir al-Zor, Eastern Syria, due to the increasing demand after news about a curfew to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

International and political news:

President Donald Trump focused attention on possible treatments for the new coronavirus on Thursday, citing potential use of a drug long used to treat malaria and some other approaches still in testing.

In cooperation with relief organizations, clinics of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, took strict precautionary procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among refugees.  

Jordanian media channels said that the precautions included raising the awareness of ill refugees on how to prevent the infection and stressing the importance of visiting specialized clinics in the camp if any of them suspected an infection.

The Turkish Health Minister, Fahrettin Koca, confirmed the fourth death from COVID-19 in the country amid 359 confirmed cases, after recording 168 new cases during the past 24 hours.