Inside Syria’s secret coronavirus crisis (Foreign Policy)
“The current running gag among Damascenes making light of their dire circumstances is that the official number of coronavirus infections in Syria is as accurate as that of the Syrian pound’s official exchange rate with the U.S. dollar—that is to say, not at all. Syria—forced to deal with war, sanctions, and economic crisis—has long been rumored to be suffering from a major coronavirus outbreak that the regime won’t admit. Foreign Policy has now confirmed that the outbreak is real—and the regime’s motivations in denying it are even more cynical than they appear on the surface.”
I work as a medic in Syria, where an unreported Covid-19 crisis is unfolding (The Guardian)
“We are treating patients in dirty rooms without enough medication and with little equipment to protect ourselves. Our hospitals are working at over-capacity, with beds and ventilators already occupied. We have the heartbreaking job of turning patients away because there is nothing we can do to help them. As doctors, this is our worst nightmare.”
A collapsing economy and a family feud pile pressure on Syria’s Assad (Reuters)
“Through Syria’s 10-year civil war, Makhlouf had helped Assad evade Western sanctions on fuel and other goods vital to his military campaign. He was part of the president’s inner circle, accused by the United States of exploiting his proximity to power to enrich himself ‘at the expense of ordinary Syrians.’ His business empire spanned telecoms, energy, real estate and hotels, looming large over Syria’s economy.
But now the two men were locked in a battle over money. Security forces had recently raided Makhlouf’s telecoms company, Syriatel, in a tax dispute and detained dozens of employees for questioning.”
'We lost everything': Syrian refugees caught up in Beirut blast (Al Jazeera)
“More than two weeks after the Beirut blast that killed half of her family, Dima Steif, a 16-year-old Syrian refugee from Idlib, is still in shock.
Dima's face is gaunt and emotionless as she recalls August 4, the day she lost her mother Khaldi and two sisters, 22-year-old Latifa and 13-year-old Jude.”
Turkey starves Syria’s northeast of water as virus death toll mounts (Al-Monitor)
“The outcry over Turkey’s continued disruption of potable water supplies to the Hasakeh region of northeast Syria is growing louder. Humanitarian aid agencies and officials in the autonomous administration in northeast Syria say that Turkey is putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk through its actions in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring summer temperatures.”