Waiting 19 Hours for Gas in a Lifeless City (Bloomberg)
Donna Abu-Nasr writes about her recent visit to the Syrian capital Damascus. The city suffered severe gas shortages that brought it to a halt, war and sanctions have hit the city hard. Residents queued for hours to fill their cars, prices of food and basic supplies soared.
"The government is portraying the hardships as part of the ongoing conspiracy against Syria for standing up to the West, including the U.S. “This is collective punishment,” Mustapha Hammouriyyeh, head of the state fuel distribution company, told government-run Al-Ikhbariyya TV recently while discussing the gasoline crisis."
Antiquities looted in Syria and Iraq are sold on Facebook (BBC)
BBC investigation reveals how looted Syrian antiquities are being auctioned on facebook groups or smuggled through Turkey, and highlights the brave efforts of Syrian academics and individuals to save their history and track down and stop this illegal trade.
"People use the groups to exchange ideas on how to dig up sites. One writes about an excavation that is under way and warns of the dangers of tomb collapse and suffocation.
There are also "loot-to-order" requests. In one case Facebook administrators ask for Islamic-era manuscripts to be made available in Turkey."
What ISIS Did to My Village (The Atlantic)
Hassan Hassan writes about how his village changed by years of ISIS control. He tells of his family suffering under their rule; the fear of random public executions and the imposition of their strict interpretation of Sharia. Now that ISIS is defeated, it left behind a fractured society.
"My family was afraid, but only in August 2014, about two months after ISIS seized the village, did they realize the extent of their danger. During that month, ISIS committed several atrocities against civilians, including the enslavement of Yazidis in Iraq. Then came the massacre of the Shaytat clan."
Exclusive: Danish bunker company involved in case of jet fuel for air strikes in Syria ( DR)
This investigation reveals how a Danish company, despite the sanctions, supplied jet fuel for the Russian shipping company Sovfracht. The company, in turn, has supplied Russian fighter planes carrying airstrike in support of the Syrian regime war effort.
"The jet fuel transactions contravene EU Sanctions, according to several experts who have reviewed the information. EU Council Regulation 1323/2014 prohibits the sale, supply, transfer or export of jet fuel for use in Syria.It was implemented to stop Bashar al-Assad’s conduct and prevent attacks on civilians in Syria."
Syrian refugees struggle for healthcare in Lebanon (The New Arab)
More than 1.5 million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon. Many remain outside work and struggle to provide health and education and basic needs for their children. In this article, we read about Ibrahim and his family efforts to provide him with medical care.
"The main problems that we face in Lebanon are the health services, specifically, getting the health services and the legal situation because when we need to renew our residency permits, we need to find a sponsor and finding a sponsor in Lebanon is extremely challenging," he said.