Weekly Media Digest April 3, 2020

SyriaUntold brings you the latest edition of our digest. We want to share with you the features, investigative pieces and long-form essays that we're reading this week.

03 April 2020


An independent media platform advancing critical perspectives on Syria and Syrians.

Health minister: Mneen to be isolated after death of a woman infected with coronavirus in order to protect citizens’ health and prevent spread of the disease (SANA, Arabic)

“Minister of Health Dr. Nizar Yazji announced that the competent authorities have been asked to enforce the isolation of the town of Mneen in the Damascus countryside following the death of a woman from the town who was infected with coronavirus, one of two deaths announced by the ministry out of a total 10 cases infected with the virus currently recorded in Syria."

Syria’s civil war will make fighting coronavirus particularly difficult (The Washington Post)

"Syria reported its first covid-19 cases a week ago — and has now reported its first coronavirus deaths. But many analysts say the total of cases is much higher, noting independent reports of coronavirus-like cases in Damascus, Tartus, Latakia, Homs and Deir-Ezzor.

How does a country engaged in civil war for the past decade face the coronavirus challenge? The United Nations special envoy called for an immediate cease-fire to prevent an outbreak of the virus in the conflict-ridden country — but no single authority can implement a cease-fire. And Syria’s fragmented and limited health services may leave many regions with little or no outside assistance to fight covid-19 outbreaks."

Israel Targets Iranian Commanders in Syrian Base Near Homs (Asharq al-Awsat)

“Israel fired missiles at the Shayrat airbase in Homs, central Syria, targeting a high-level meeting held between Syrian and Iranian military officials, according to Syrian opposition sources.”

U.S. military fears pandemic could lead to ISIS resurgence in Syria (Politico)

"Already this week, a group of ISIS prisoners tried to break out of a facility in Hassekah, the officers said, although the incident was unrelated to the coronavirus. The SDF was able to quell the riot and none of the prisoners escaped, but officials are increasingly concerned that the guards could be overwhelmed by future incidents, particularly if there is a Covid-19 outbreak."

Economic sanctions should be lifted to prevent hunger crises in countries hit by COVID-19 – UN rights expert (UN News)

“As the world exhibits new bonds of solidarity in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it is a matter of ‘humanitarian and practical urgency to lift unilateral economic sanctions immediately,’ to prevent hunger crises in pandemic-hit countries, a UN human rights expert, said.”

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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad