Subjects – Syria Report



Recent weeks have seen an acceleration in the restoration of political and diplomatic ties between Syria and the Arab world. These moves have included visits of Bashar Al-Assad to the UAE and Oman the following day, a visit to Cairo by Syrian FM Faysal Meqdad, and reports that Saudi Arabia and Syria would soon reopen their consulates in their respective capitals.
Over a month after earthquakes devastated northern Syria and southern Turkey, local populations and governments are still reeling from the damages and consequences of the crisis.
An affiliate of the Bemo banking group is providing microfinance loans to members of a charity linked to a militia that fought during the war and to various Iranian political figures. The charity is based in the Damascus suburb of Sayyida Zeinab. Another company involved in this project is the local agent of Western Union. The move carries serious risks to the group’s reputation.


Fares Shehabi (b. 1972), also known as Fares Ahmad Al-Shehabi, is a prominent Aleppan businessman who is mainly active in the pharmaceutical sector. Throughout the decade-long conflict, Mr Shehabi has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the regime.