CURRENT SITUATION

SYRIA
A source of Unicef has reported that, in the last two weeks, at least ten children have been killed in the north-east of Syria.
It is a terrifying signal that violence is strongly affecting again the Syrian territory.
For several days artillery attacks and air strikes have hit the civilian areas within the cease-fire territories, in the suburbs of Idlib and Alep. The attacks, which have been recently increased, have reached their spike just few days before the celebration of Eid al-Adha, the sacrifice feast day.  
Since many days violent clashes between the Syrian regular army and the anti-government groups are going on around the city of Daraa al-Balad, in the southern province of Daraa, which is considered a stronghold of the opposition to Bashar al-Assad.

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CURRENT SITUATION

SYRIA
In March, 10th anniversary of the first demonstrations in Syria has occurred along with what lately had turned into a historic massacre of human beings.
Nevertheless, on March 15th thousands of people took to the streets in Idlib singing the same slogans of ten years ago.
The war is still going on. In the middle of March, West Alep and Idlib were bombed by Russia and Syrian Army, killing civilians inside a hospital and hitting the transports of humanitarian aids and a power plant.
Apparently, the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing and the Syrian President has been infected by the virus as well. He recovered at the end of the month.
At the end of March, two important events happened internationally. The first one has been the European Conference of Donors for Syria and Syrian Refugees which was held on March 29th-30th and collected 6 billion dollars, almost half of the amount planned to receive.

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CURRENT SITUATION

SYRIA-LEBANON
In March, Lebanon has almost reached economic bankruptcy, in fact the country has not been able to pay $ 1.2 billion in bonds: it is practically certain that the economic hardship of the country, linked to the pandemic emergency, will significantly affect the ability to guarantee basic services to its citizens and more than a million of "hosted" refugees.
The first case of Covid-19 was reported in March, causing large-scale closure of schools, universities and public places, and was followed by recommendations of self-isolation for anyone who presents symptoms of the virus.
It is almost impossible to respect self-isolation measures, as well as adequate hygiene standards, for those who live in poor conditions in refugee camps or in crumbling, overcrowded buildings. Many Syrians are torn between the tough decision to continue working, challenging the order to "stay indoors" and risking arrest and contagion or expulsion.

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CURRENT SITUATION

The war in Syria continues in its sixth year of violence, terror and repression to the detriment of the civilian population and its most vulnerable sectors. The month of April opened with the tragic news of the chemical weapon attack in the eastern province of Idlib, which is controlled by various groups of rebels with a strong radical Islamist component. The Syrian regime of Assad and the Russian allies are suspected to be responsible of the bombing as they are the only ones in the conflict to be able to perform large-scale air strikes. United Nations and the European Union recognized that there is strong evidence of a government responsibility in the massacre, which has taken away the life of eighty people, many of whom were children. Chemical weapons are not new in the Syrian conflict, as they have often been used to impose fear among civilians and to cover the advance of the ground troops. Other unconventional weapons used are phosphorus and chlorine. The US President, Donald Trump, declared himself “shocked” by the cruelty of the Syrian government and ordered the bombing of Sharaja air base, from where the aircrafts took off. Russian soldiers in the base were warned 90 minutes before the bombing. Russia and Iran condemned the attack.

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CURRENT SITUATION

Syria

Early on February a report compiled by Amnesty International was released stating that between 2011 and 2015  mass executions were systematically carried out in the prison of Saydnaya in the countryside of Damascus. The report highlights a practice of arbitrary and summary mass executions based on confessions extracted by torture. Syrian government denies any wrongdoing and rejects the accusation, rather speaking of a conspiracy. In the first months of the revolution, following an amnesty, these prisons were emptied releasing previous prisoners (mainly for religious crimes and including many extremists), while  political opponents went to fill them.
A tale of torture and abuse in prison is the one of Abbas, a 40-year-old Syrian engineer, who was arrested for taking part in public demonstrations, one of the few who have survived and wanted to witness such violence. Shady Hamadi, an Italian-Syrian writer, tells his history in an article published on the Italian “Il fatto quotidiano”. Mazen and Shady are right now in Italy to accompany the photo exhibition “Codename: Caesar. Syrian detainees – victims of torture“, a collection of images taken in the regime’s prisons by a former officer.

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