Weekly media digest

November 7, 2020

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

07 November 2020

Thousands of refugee children in Arsal have no school to go to after the state ordered unlicensed centers to close (L’Orient Today)

“Several thousand Syrian refugee children who had been attending uncredentialed community schools in Arsal found themselves facing the prospect of no school this year, after Lebanon’s Education Ministry ordered the learning centers to be shut down without immediately offering an alternative.” Read more

What’s at stake in the US election for refugees and asylum? (The New Humanitarian)

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“In less than four years in office, the administration of President Donald Trump has largely dismantled the US asylum system and refugee resettlement programme. If elected on 3 November, Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic challenger, has said he will take a starkly different approach, vowing to ‘reassert America’s commitment to asylum seekers and refugees.’

A significant departure from the Trump era, Biden’s proposals represent a return to the traditional US political consensus that the country should offer humanitarian protections to people fleeing persecution, according to policy experts. If Biden wins the election and takes office in January, however, rebuilding the asylum system and refugee resettlement programme will require significant attention and will likely be more politically complicated than advocates might hope.” Read more

Shelling in Syria rebel enclave kills 7, including children (AP)

“Syrian government on Wednesday shelled the last rebel last enclave in the country’s northwest, killing at least seven people, including four children, rescuers and activists reported.

An international humanitarian organization, World Vision, gave a higher death toll, saying eight people—four children and four adults—were killed in the attack, including two staff members from its local partner agency.” Read more

Syria: Inside a refugee camp where Covid is spreading (BBC)

“Doctors say Covid-19 is now rampant in the refugee camps of Idlib, north-west Syria.

The number of positive coronavirus cases rose tenfold in this region last month.

Aid agencies say that due to a lack of testing, the real figure is expected to be much higher.

The BBC's Darren Conway gained rare access to the camps.” Watch video report

Syria's Assad says billions locked in troubled Lebanese banks behind economic crisis (Reuters)

“Syrian President Bashar al Assad said billions of dollars of deposits held by his countrymen in Lebanon’s financial sector that were blocked after a major financial crisis were a main cause of Syria’s deepening economic crisis. Lebanese banks, fearing capital flight and grappling with an acute hard currency crunch, have since last year imposed tight controls on withdrawals and transfers abroad, drawing outrage from local and foreign depositors unable to access their savings.” Read more

Is escalation in Idlib on the horizon? (Middle East Institute)

“After a period of relative calm — in which the front lines have not changed in the last six months—tensions in Idlib were once again ignited as Russian warplanes launched fierce airstrikes on a training camp for fighters from the Turkish-backed Faylaq al-Sham brigade. The attack, one of the deadliest single strikes in Syria’s nine-year-long conflict, killed 80 soldiers and wounded dozens more near Kafar Takharim, an area in northwestern Idlib, on Oct. 26.

In response to the Russian strikes pro-Turkish forces began a concerted bombardment of Syrian army positions, killing 15 Syrian soldiers on several axis points between Hama, Latakia, and Aleppo. With Turkey now engaged in multiple campaigns in Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Syria, the Idlib front could be a key theater of operations that would allow the Russians to once again apply pressure on Turkey.” Read more


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