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Response Coordination Group warns of COVID-19 spreading in Idlib; HTS executed four people accused of killing and theft in Idlib

Editing: Mohamad Alaa |
Translation: Nouha Salti

Local and field news:

On Saturday, the Syrian Response Coordination Group warned of the lack of special procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), especially after a decision to open a crossing between the Idlib and Aleppo governorate for one day.

Muhammad Hallaj, head of the Group, reported to SMART that the decision of opening the crossing for one day will lead to an overcrowding in the crossing, amidst fears of infection transmission among thousands of people in the Idlib governorate.

Hallaj added that the cessation of military operations in Northwestern Syria encouraged thousands of displaced people in the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA)-controlled areas, north and east of Aleppo, who number about 320,000, to return to Idlib and western Aleppo.

The SNA killed and injured several Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) members after targeting them with an anti-Tank missile near the city of Azaz, north of Aleppo.

Khaled al-Homsi, SNA’s military police media official, reported to SMART that the SNA targeted a gourp of SDF members near the village of Bosoufane, north of Aleppo, killing five of them and injuring others.

On Saturday, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham executed four people accused of killing and theft in the Idlib governorate, Northern Syria.

Activists in Idlib reported to SMART that the HTS four people by shooting in the town of Muhambal, southwest of the city of Idlib, accusing them of killing and stealing a money exchange shop owner in 2018.

A Turkish military convoy, consisting of dozens of vehicles, entered the Idlib governorate and headed for Turkish bases.

Local sources reported to SMART that the convoy, which included 30 armored vehicles and logistic equipment, arrived at the Turkish base in the town of Ihsim, south of the city of Idlib.

The sources added that the military convoy entered Syria via the Kafr Lusin crossing near the Syrian-Turkish border.

Shelling by Turkey and the SNA on Syrian government forces bases near the city of Tal Abayd, 82 kilometers north of the city of al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria, injured an SDF member and a Syrian government forces member.

Medical sources in the Ayn Issah Hospital in al-Raqqa said that SNA and Turkish heavy artillery shelling on bases in the villages of Qazali and Sufian, west of Tal Abyad, injured an SDF member and a Syrian government forces member.

A bomb explosion severely injured a child in an SDF-controlled village near al-Raqqa.

A medical source reported to SMART that a six-year-old child lost his right arm and had major injuries in his right leg and face due to an explosion while he was playing in the village of Kirbat Hadlah. The child was transported to a hospital in the town of Ayn Issah for treatment.

On Saturday, the Syrian government force sent military reinforcements the perimeter of the city of Jasim, 44 kilometers north of the city of Daraa, Southern Syria.

Local sources reported to SMART that three Syrian government forces artilleries were deployed to the Tall Mutawwaq area, east of Jasim, in addition to other reinforcements that entered the area and the al-Nimr schools. 

Economically, gold price increased in Syria, bringing the price of one 21-carate gold to 56,500 Syrian Pounds in Damascus, while the SYP continued its collapse against the United States dollar, exceeding 1,200 SYP.

Oil trucks crossed SDF-controlled areas in the al-Raqqa and Deir Al-Zor governorate, to the Syrian government-controlled Homs governorate, Central Syria.

A source from the Kurdish Autonomous Administration and truck driver reported to SMART that more than 130 oil trucks belonging to Hussam al-Qatirji, a businessman close to the Syrian government, crossed to the Homs refinery from the Sufyan crossing west of the city of Raqqa after its arrival from Deir Al-Zor. Each truck is loaded with 180 barrels of oil.

International and political news:

Doctors Without Borderes said that health response in Idlib, Northwestern Syria, to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is very weak.

In a statement, the organization said, ““It is well-known that the health system in Idlib is completely overstretched and low on supplies. And this already challenging situation to keep people healthy will be overrun if COVID-19 spreads here.”

The organization based its statement on a slow response with a 65-year-old patient who showed symptoms of COVID-19, yet they were unable to receive him quickly in a hospital.

On Saturday, Lebanon recorded 10 new coronavirus COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of cases to 619.

Lebanon’s Health Ministry reported that the number of COVID-19 cases went up to 619 after recording 10 new cases, adding that no deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours.