a. General Syria News
A Syrian-Russian expanded meeting started today in Damascus in order to follow up on the previous joint conference on the return of Syrian refugees that was held also in Damascus in November 2020. The new meeting will last for three days.
The regime’s news agency SANA reported that, “Foreign and expatriates caretaker Minister, Faysal Mikdad, said that the refugees’ return issue is still subjected to politicization and pressure which is practiced on states concerned to obstruct the return of refugees who have the will to return home and they are the majority.”
Mikdad added that, “the government continues its task, within the available potentials to facilitate and support the return of its citizens to their homeland and prepare suitable livelihood conditions in cooperation with friendly countries of Russia, Iran and China.”
b. Regime-held Territory
Regime security forces arrested Amin Saqr Hasan, a citizen from Jabla city in Latakia for criticizing Bashar Al Assad on his Facebook page. Hasan focused in his comments on Assad’s inaugural speech accusing the president of sending threat messages to the Syrian people.
On the other hand, two days after reaching an agreement between the regime and the people of Dara city, regime army lifted a month-long siege on the city, opening a key checkpoint that separated residential areas from the city center.
c. HTS-held Northwest Syria (Idlib, Western Hama, Northern Latakia, western Aleppo
Russian warplanes bombed the villages of Al Bara and Balyoun in Jabal Al Zawya mountain in Idlib. The bombing caused huge damage in infrastructure.
Russian warplanes also bombed Kbaini area in northern Latakia. There were no reports of casualties.
d. Turkish Influence Territory (Afrin, Azaz, Al Bab, Jarablus, Tal Abyad, Ras Al Ayn
Turkish army announced the killing of one PKK element in Tal Abyd/Ras Al Ayan area in the eastern parts of the Turkish-held territory in northern Syria. On Saturday, Turkey announced the killing of seven SDF fighters in retaliation for the killing of two Turkish soldiers the same day on the hands of Kurdish fighters in the Al Bab area in northern Aleppo.
e. SDF-held Northeast Syria (Most of Raqqa and Hasaka, part of Deir Ezzor, parts of Aleppo: Manbij, Ayn Al Arab\Kobani, Tal Rifa’at.)
A delegation from the International Coalition visited the hospital of Jdid Baggara in southeast Deir Ezzor. The hospital was supplied earlier with necessary equipment and operated with support from the coalition command.
f. ISIS Update
New Zealand agreed to a request from Turky to accept the return of a New Zealand citizen accused of having links to the Islamic State, and her two young children. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey after they were caught earlier this year trying to enter Turkey from Syria.