Weekly Media Digest June 5, 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.

05 June 2020


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

Russian air raids target NW Syria for first time in three months (Al Jazeera English)

"Russian air raids have targeted Syria's last major rebel-held enclave in the country's northwest for the first time since a March ceasefire came into effect, Syria's Civil Defence and a war monitor said.

The attacks, which came in waves on Tuesday evening and at dawn on Wednesday, hit an area where the boundaries of Hama, Idlib and Latakia provinces meet, the the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.”

Rampant inflation adds to Syria’s economic turmoil (Middle East Institute)

“Today, the average government salary is 50,000 Syrian pounds a month, and in the current economic climate that doesn’t go far at all. For the majority of people working regular jobs the choices are bleak; one month’s salary buys slightly more than two watermelons, or if one really pushes the boat out, a kilo and a half of mabrumeh, a popular local delicacy.

In short, workers on an average salary will quickly spend whatever money they earn on basic necessities, before running up debts, relying on assistance from family and friends abroad, or becoming locked into a circle of poverty. Currency exchange companies in Damascus have already registered a 20 percent increase in money sent from abroad over the last few months.”

Syria says Israeli jets flying over Lebanon raid military base in Hama province (Reuters)

"Syria state media said Thursday Israeli jets flying over Lebanon hit military targets in northwestern Hama province causing only material damage, in Israel’s latest escalation of raids in the last few months.”

Syria: Israeli Warplanes Strike Targets in Central Syria (New York Times)

“Syrian air defenses responded to an Israeli attack near a central town on Thursday that caused explosions and a large fire in the area, state-run media said.

According to the Syrian news agency SANA, the Israeli airstrike occurred near the town of Masyaf in the Hama countryside. There was no immediate word on casualties or damage from the attack.”

The Wrath of Caesar (Kheder Khaddour, Carnegie Middle East Center)

“The Caesar Act will deepen the regime’s isolation. Businesspeople and countries across the Middle East who work with Syria will now be very hesitant to do so because of the enormous risks involved. In effect, the legislation will divide Syria into two areas—regime-controlled areas and what can broadly be termed “the north.” Northern Syria includes the northwest, which is controlled by Turkish-backed opposition forces, and the northeast, which is controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces under U.S. protection. Because the Caesar Act names the Syrian government specifically, it will exclude areas outside government control. Thus, as the legislation comes into effect, the regime will feel economic pressure pushing it to rely more on those northern areas.”

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