Eight civilians were killed and many others were wounded in explosions of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Wadi al-Theeb valley in eastern rural Hama on Friday. Four civilians, including a woman, were wounded in rocket and artillery shelling by the Assad regime on the villages of Tal Minnis and Ma'arshammarin south of Idlib.
Local activists said that the UXO were cluster bombs that were previously dropped on the area by the Assad regime and Russian air forces. They exploded in a grazing land on Friday, killing eight herders and farmers as well as injuring many others.
UXO that were left behind following months of fighting between the Assad regime and ISIS in eastern rural Hama has killed and maimed dozens of civilians over the past months.
In rural Idlib, meanwhile, regime forces stationed in the village of Abu Dali southeast of Idlib shelled the towns of Tal Minnis and Ma'arshammarin with rockets, wounding a woman and a man who were rushed to a nearby medical center.
Many areas in rural Idlib and Hama have been subjected to frequent artillery and rocket shelling by the Assad regime and Russian forces although the area is covered by the Idlib Agreement calling for halt to military operations in the area. The shelling is causing many civilian casualties.
The Syrian Coalition denounced the international community’s total inaction towards what is happening on the ground and the tragic reality caused by the constant, indiscriminate shelling by the Assad regime and Iranian militias with Russia cover and in violation of the Idlib agreement.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the Coalition said that “the world is required not to waste more time; exert pressure on the Assad regime and its supporters to force them to commit to stopping crime and shelling; and push the political process forward in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and the Geneva Communique of 2012.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Assad regime has intensified arrests against civilians, including women. On Friday, regime forces detained five women in the town of Ruhayba northeast of Damascus on charges of being married to members of the ISIS extremist group.
According to the local media outlet Smart News Network, elements of the Assad regime’s Military Security detained the women in a raid on their homes in Ruhayba. The raid instilled fear in the town as the residents did not dare to ask about the fate of the detainees.
Assad regime forces routinely carry out raids and arrests in the areas under their control. Many young people were detained to be taken into compulsory military services and on political charges.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said it that had registered the arrests of at least 31 women in Syria in January 2019. Most of the arrests were carried out by the Assad regime and its security forces.
In a report published late last year, the Network said that the Assad regime has detained more than 8,000 women, including 300 girls under the age of 18 since the start of the revolution in March 2011. It noted that about 2,000 more women has been forcibly disappeared.
The Assad regime usually levels dozens of false accusations against the detainees and subjects them to brutal torture and inhumane treatment. Observers said that the Assad regime uses the detention of women as a weapon of warfare to put pressure on the opposition and prevent any form of dissent. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee published the requirements for the application for the upcoming Hajj season of 2019/1440. The Committee will receive applications for Hajj soon in its offices in Syria and neighboring countries.
Head of the Syrian Hajj pilgrimage, Samer Birqdar, said that the committee is working for all Syrians in all Syrian regions “without any discrimination and regardless of any regional, ethnic or even political considerations.”
Birqdar pointed out that it had already received applications from Syrian pilgrims from all regions, adding that the offices of the Committee is working to serve the intending Syrian pilgrims in the regime-held areas.
The Committee will receive applications beginning from next week, Birqdar said, pointing out that the intending pilgrims can communicate with the offices of the Committee in Syria and neighboring countries, which number 13 offices.
The Committee has taken on the supervision of Syrian hajj since 2013. Around 19,000 Syrians performed Hajj last season. The Committee is seeking to increase Syria’s quota of Hajj for the current season.
The Syrian Coalition earlier thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the care and services they are providing to the pilgrims and for facilitating their affairs and meeting all their needs to perform the hajj rituals smoothly and with ease.
The Coalition added that it was certain that the Hajj season for this year would be a success thanks to considerable efforts and constant development in the provision of services and the effective organization.
The Coalition noted that it highly appreciates the constant efforts being exerted by Saudi Arabia to take care of the pilgrims, stressing that the Coalition is continuing to coordinate with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj to ensure the provision of services to Syrian pilgrims. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)