Syria Current Affairs

Russia, Turkey agree to intensify military, intelligence contacts

The Russia and Turkey have agreed to intensify military and intelligence contacts. They also have agreed on the need for aid to get to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

Decision in this regard was taken after meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin on sidelines of World Energy Congress in Istanbul.

Key Facts

  • The two countries also have signed a deal to construct two TurkStream gas pipeline pipelines to send Russian gas under the Black Sea to Turkey.
  • Turkey will use one pipeline for its domestic consumption and the other will supply southeastern Europe, bypassing Ukraine.

Improvement in Relations

  • This was the first time Russian President Putin visited Turkey after their relations were strained after Turkey, a NATO member had downed a Russian war plane in November 2015 alongside the Syrian border.
  • Since then relations between both countries had ebbed after Russia had imposed economic sanctions against Turkey.
  • Turkey is massively dependent on energy imports from Russia for its energy security. Besides, first nuclear power station of Turkey is also being built with Russian help.


  • However, both nations still differ over Syrian strategy and plan. Russia has always stood by Assad regime in Syria throughout the years of unrest.
  • Russia had further intensified its support to regime by launching an air campaign against rebels. Contrastingly, Turkey always stood against Assad and helped the rebel factions.
  • Turkey’s decision was seen counterproductive as it had further strengthened the stronghold of ISIS in Syria and surrounding region and also intensified the Syrian civil war and leading to spread of terrorism and refugee crisis.


Syrian aid group White Helmets wins Right Livelihood Award

Syrian aid group White Helmets has won the prestigious Right Livelihood Award which is also known as ‘alternative Nobel’ prize.

The White Helmets also known as the Syria Civil Defence is a Syrian civil organisation of emergency responders in rebel-held areas.

It has been honoured for their outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians from the destruction of the Syrian civil war.

The White Helmets will share the prize with Russian activist Svetlana Gannushkina, Egypt’s feminist leader Mozn Hassan and leading independent Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet.

About The Right Livelihood Award

  • It is an international award that honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.
  • The prize was established in 1980 by German-Swedish philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull. It is presented annually in early December.
  • An international jury decides the awards in such fields as environmental protection, human rights, sustainable development, health, education, and peace.
  • The award carries prize money of 3.0-million-kronor ($350,000) which is shared among the winners.


Syrian Army recaptures historic city of Palmyra from IS

Syrian Army and popular defence forces have regained control of the ancient city of Palmyra from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

The liberation of the historic city of Palmyra from the ISIS terror group was undertaken by joint efforts of Syrian Army with support of national aviation and Russian Aerospace Forces.

The ancient city of Palmyra is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site and home to some of the world’s most magnificent ancient ruins.


  • ISIS had taken complete control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in May 2015. After the seizure of entire ancient city, they had destroyed many ancient ruins.
  • The city is situated in a strategically important area on the road between Syria’s capital Damascus and the oil rich eastern city of Deir al-Zour.
  • Oil and gas produced from the fields located in Deir al-Zour, Syrian government used to generate electricity for areas under its control in the west of the country.
  • Earlier in March 2015, ISIS had demolished several ancient sites that pre-date Islam in Iraq, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hatra and Nimrud.

Some facts

Ancient city of Palmyra dates back to the first and second Century when it was under Roman rule. Palmyra was once a Silk Road hub and one of the cultural centres of the ancient world. The city occupies mythological status in Syria and is home to some of the most beautiful and well-preserved ruins of antiquity, including the Temple of Bel, built in 1st century.