Egyptian activists took to Twitter to respond to recent inflammatory speech against Syrian refugees in Egypt, launching an Arabic-language hashtag to express solidarity with Syrian refugees in Egypt.
The hashtag, which loosely translates to “Syrians are welcome in Egypt,’ topped the Twitter trends list in Egypt for several hours on Monday as it attracted thousands of tweets expressing the Egyptians love for and solidarity with their Syrian brethren.
The campaign came in response to calls by controversial Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabry who has recently demanded strict government oversight on Syrian-run businesses. The solidarity tweets stressed that such calls were an affront to the Egyptian people who have always shown outright friendliness and affection towards Syrians and who refuses to call them "refugees". Many Twitter users stressed that Syrians live amongst their Egyptian brothers in their second homeland.
Many Twitter users also commended the Syrian citizens in Egypt and their interactions with the Egyptians, their history and cultural heritage, and the Syrians’ contribution to the enrichment of Egyptian culture and economy.
According to a government report issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Syrian investors contributed about 69.93 million USD to the Egyptian economy during the first nine months of 2018.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 242,000 Syrian refugees live in Egypt as of November 2018, while other estimates suggested that the real number could be three times higher making Syrians the largest foreign community in Egypt. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)
President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa said that the burning of the vital wheat crops in the countryside of Qamishli in northeastern Syria constituted a war crime as he called on the international community to intervene immediately to help contain these fires and ensure that they are not repeated.
“The burning of agricultural crops in the Jazeera area is a war crime," Mustafa said Tuesday. He called on the international community to end the control of the PYD terrorist militias in the region and to provide urgent relief aid for those affected by the fires.
Moreover, Mustafa called for the implementation of the international resolutions on Syria, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254 calling for a political solution that is needed to rid Syria of terrorism, Assad and the rest of the terrorist militias.
Wild fires intensified on Monday and ravaged the wheat and barley crops in and around more than 28 villages in al-Qamishli region. Strong winds caused the fires to expand to the north and east, causing tremendous losses to the local farmers.
Local activists stressed that the fires were man-made and could be attributed to natural conditions, especially as they occurred in several different regions.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Civil Defense Corps announced its willingness to help put out the fires. Civil Defense Director Raed Al-Saleh said that the organization stood ready for emergency response and to help extinguish the huge fires that threaten the food security of Syria.
Al-Saleh called on the countries concerned to give civil defense teams access to the regions ravaged by the wild fires and to benefit from the civil defense’s experience in the fight against fires.
Activists pointed out that the local population are worried about the recurrence of the fires and that they could spread to new farmlands in the region which is considered, along with the provinces of Raqqa and the eastern countryside of Aleppo, Syria’s breadbasket. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
At least 12 civilians, including five children and three women were killed and two others were injured in deadly airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russian forces in the village of Jabala in southern rural Idlib on Monday.
Three others civilians were killed and three more were wounded in similar attacks in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which was hit by eight air strikes, some of which targeted a primary school. Four barrel bombs, 110 rockets, and 10 shells also pummeled the town, causing fires and widespread damage to civilian property.
Three other civilians, including a child and a pregnant woman were killed and 24 others were wounded in airstrikes in the town of Mahershorin on Monday.
Three people, including two men, were killed in the town of Ma'aret Hurma, which was hit by 13 rockets and an airstrike, while in the town of Arih a child died of wounds she suffered in earlier bombardment.
Two airstrikes hit the town of Kafarbattikh, killing a woman and wounding her three children, while two children were wounded in shelling that targeted the village of Tawil al-Shih near the town of Abu Adduhur.
A brutal bombing campaign by the Assad regime and Russian forces has been pummeling dozens of towns and villages in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria. The Emergency Response Coordinators Team on Monday said that the ongoing bombings killed no fewer than 697 people, including 203 children, in the period between February 2 and June 9.
Monitoring groups confirmed that the bombings are mainly targeting civilian areas and healthcare facilities, citing the deaths of hundreds of civilians.
The Syrian Coalition earlier stressed that these attacks constituted blatant war crimes as it called on the international community to take serious, urgent action to protect civilians and put an end to the bombardment as well as to ensure respect for the ceasefire agreement. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)