Mar 22, 2020 - World

Syria reports first coronavirus case

Members of the Syrian Civil Defence prepare their sterilisation equipment before sterilising a hospital in Idlib, March 22. Photo: Oman Haj Kadour/AFP via Getty Images

Syria reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, according to state media.

Why it matters: The actual number of cases in Syria is likely far higher, especially considering its proximity to Iran — the site of one of the worst outbreaks in the world. Syria faces unique challenges in attempting to curb the spread of the virus, with the country having been ravaged by a civil war for the past nine years.

  • The war has left Syria's infrastructure in shambles, making even simple tasks like washing hands inaccessible for many. And many Syrians are living in shelters and refugee camps that offer little room for social distancing or isolation.
  • Syrian doctors have been asking for more protective gear and equipment from the World Health Organization, but they just received their first new shipment on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.
  • Deliveries to conflict zones can be difficult and often delayed.

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Syria's migrant crisis collides with geopolitics

Heading toward Greece, in Edirne, Turkey. Photo: Osman Orsal/Getty Images

There is war on Turkey’s border with Syria and chaos on its borders with Europe.

Driving the news: Turkey launched an offensive against Syrian government troops after at least 36 of its soldiers were killed in an airstrike last Thursday. It shot down two Syrian aircraft and claims to have killed hundreds of Syrian forces.

Go deeperArrowMar 3, 2020 - World

Turkey and Syria clash in Idlib as refugees head for Greece

Smoke billowing over the village of Qmenas on March 1 following a Russian airstrike. Photo: Ibrahim Yasouf/AFP via Getty Images

Syrian state media said on Sunday that Turkish forces downed two of its warplanes over Idlib, after Syria destroyed a Turkish drone and announced it was closing its airspace over the northwest region, AP reports.

Why it matters: Tensions are continuing to escalate between NATO ally Turkey and the Syrian regime, which is backed by Russia and has been conducting a deadly offensive in the last rebel-held areas of Idlib.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 1, 2020 - World

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrowFeb 28, 2020 - World