Syrian government lowers gas prices
Syria’s ministry of domestic trade and consumer protection announced a plan to lower the price of premium gas after raising it earlier this month, reported official state news SANA Thursday.
The price reduction occurs amidst an energy crisis throughout Syria.
The price will drop to 135 Syrian pounds [$0.82] per liter from 140 Syrian pounds [$0.86]. A month ago, the same ministry increased the price from 120 Syrian pounds [$0.74] to 140 Syrian pounds.
The change will only be implemented in regime-controlled areas.
Car bomb explodes in pro-Assad Homs district
A car bomb exploded in the pro-Assad, Alawite-majority neighborhood of a-Zahraa in Homs city Wednesday, injuring 38 people, reported pro-regime daily Al-Watan.
The pro-opposition Homs Media Center listed 12 civilians killed and 30 injured in the attack.
No group claimed responsibility for the bombing. “Terrorists” were behind it, reported the National Defense of Homs (otherwise known as shabiha) on its Facebook page, referring to rebel groups.
A member of the pro-opposition Al-Waer Media Center blamed “Shiite militias” for the attack in an interview on Thursday with Syria Direct.
“They still want to fire up regime supporters more and more against the neighborhood of Al-Waer,” the last rebel-held district in Homs city, the activist said
In the aftermath of the bombing, the regime struck the neighborhood of Al-Waer with surface-to-surface missiles and air raids, reported the Homs Media Center.
Al-Waer residents entered into truce negotiations with the regime in July, until twin car bombings in the Alawite-majority neighborhood of Akrama scuttled the talks on October 1.
The second car bomb attack in Homs this month. Photo courtesy of Homs National Defense.
IS releases child prisoners from Manbij
Fighters with the Islamic State (IS) released a group of 25 Kurdish children from captivity in Aleppo province Wednesday, the last of 150 students IS captured in May, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Wednesday.
IS captured the students in Manbij as they were returning to Kobani, their hometown, after taking exams in Aleppo city.
The Islamic State gradually released batches of students, including 28 in June in return for the release of three IS soldiers in the hands of Kurdish forces, reported Human Rights Watch July 1.
Regime at the gates of rebel base
Opposition forces Wednesday recaptured a village a few kilometers east of Douma, halting the regime’s advance towards the rebel stronghold, reported pro-opposition news agency All4Syria.
Rebels sent hundreds of fighters to the village on Tuesday immediately after it was captured by regime forces, wresting control of it hours later.
Regime forces have been advancing towards Douma from the east, penetrating rebel-controlled East Ghouta from the nearby city of Adra, which the regime captured a month ago.
“Units of the Syrian army managed to capture [the village] after violent clashes with Jaysh al-Islam and the Islamic State,” said official Syrian news agency General Organization of TV and Radio Wednesday.
IS’s presence in East Ghouta could not be independently confirmed.
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