| 7 December 2023, Thursday |

Damascus tests alarms, inspects shelters

Syria’s Defense Ministry is testing the readiness of alarm sirens and shelters in the capital, Damascus, and various other cities across the nation.

Late Sunday, the ministry announced that the testing of the central alarm siren in Damascus was scheduled for Monday morning.

The Civil Defense in Latakia had previously announced the trial of alarm sirens on Monday afternoon, all in an effort to ensure preparedness. Additionally, inspections of shelters in several areas within the Latakia province, both urban and rural, were carried out.

The sound of alarm sirens has not been officially heard in Syria since the October 6, 1973 war, except for sporadic tests every decade or so, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The sources added that the newer generations, who have experienced the sounds of explosions and various forms of shelling, are unfamiliar with the sound of alarm sirens, and very few paid attention to its testing on Monday.

In other news, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ways to halt the Israeli “aggression” against Gaza, as reported by the Syrian News Agency (SANA).

Both leaders emphasized the urgent need for “immediate humanitarian assistance for civilians in the sector, as well as ending the shelling and displacement carried out by Israel against innocent people in Gaza.”

This marks Assad’s third conversation since the situation escalated in Gaza, following talks with UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

In a related development, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad received Palestinian Ambassador Anwar Abdul Hadi in the capital, Damascus, on Monday.

The ambassador presented the Syrian minister with an update on the latest developments and the evolving situation in Palestine.

“The Israeli occupation deliberately targets innocent civilians without discrimination, be they women, children, or the elderly, with the support of the US and the West,” said Hadi.

He further pointed out that “the Israeli occupation aims to displace the residents of Gaza as part of its plan to empty the territory of Palestinians.”

Hadi also informed the Syrian Foreign Minister about the efforts made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with world nations to halt the Israeli aggression in Gaza and urgently establish humanitarian corridors.


  • Asharq Al-Awsat