An atlas of Syria in ruins, the success of Syrian developers across the Middle East region and power outages in Damascus are among the issues discussed in the articles selected this week.
Syrian ‘Monuments Men’ Race to Protect Antiquities as Looting Bankrolls Terror: “Art historians and intelligence officials say that antiquities smuggling by Islamic State has exploded in recent months, aggravating the pillaging by government forces and opposition factions. Looting, often with bulldozers, is now the militant group’s second-largest source of finance after oil, Western intelligence officials say.”
Displaced Syrian developers bringing unique skill sets to benefit the region: “Despite challenging employment situations in the regional countries to which the vast majority have fled, including discrimination in Lebanon, visa problems in the UAE, and lower pay virtually everywhere, Syrian developers in particular are better suited to today’s tech scene than their other Arab counterparts.”
From Syria, an Atlas of a Country in Ruins: “Recent satellite image analysis by Unitar-Unosat, an agency of the United Nations, reveals vast devastation in cities across Syria from the civil war that started nearly four years ago.”
US lacks intel to vet Syrian refugees: “The concern is in Syria, the lack of our footprint on the ground in Syria, that the databases won’t have the information we need.”
Damascus faces continual power outages: “Damascus is now divided along sectarian, military and administrative lines, though all these areas share the constant power outages, whose duration depends on the proximity to the city center, wealthy areas and police centers.”
Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2199 (2015): “Condemns any engagement in direct or indirect trade, in particular of oil and oil products, and modular refineries and related material, with ISIL, ANF and any other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities designated as associated with Al-Qaida.”