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Photo: Maher Al Mounes/AFP/Getty Images

Aleppo Weekly- March 21-28

by The Aleppo Project on March 28, 2016

THE CONFLICT

Violence levels in Aleppo dropped dramatically, but sporadic gunfire continues. According to Halab News Network, a Citadel-based regime sniper fired “exploding bullets” on Old City districts.

Red Crescent aid reached displaced communities in Western Aleppo countryside.

Along with the Civil Defense Directorate and local activists, the Aleppo Local Council launched a campaign to urge residents to plant their own food and stockpile supplies, Musab al-Khalaf, director of the Local Council of Aleppo City overseeing the campaign, tells Syria Direct’s Alaa Nassar.  How to prepare for encirclement: ‘Top priority is to stockpile food’

THE ECONOMY

The Syrian Lira dropped significantly in Aleppo over the past week, trading at less than one tenth of its pre-war value. Before the war: 1 USD = 47 SL. Now: 1 USD = 531. The drop led to uncertainty in the Syrian market, with merchants of Damascus Souq shutting down hours early on Saturday to avoid losses. Pro-government Damascus Now blamed the recent devaluation on Central Bank Governor Adib Mayaleh.

Photo: Al-Souria

Photo: Al-Souria

Over the past five years, the state-owned Aleppo Transport Company lost eight billion Syrian Lira and only 121 of its 200 buses continue to run. The state company has faced many obstacles, including a lack of drivers and technicians. Only 500 of the original 1100 are still employed.  — Directorate General of Transport in Aleppo Hussein as-Suleiman. 

PALMYRA

Photo Credit: APSA.

Photo Credit: APSA.

The Syrian government and allies recaptured Palmyra from ISIS. The Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology (APSA) published photos of government and allied forces’ destruction of the citadel during the recent military campaign.

Photo Maher Al Mounes/AFP/Getty Images

Photo Maher Al Mounes/AFP/Getty Images

The Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums published a number of photos from photographer Maher Al Mounes detailing destruction to the UNESCO World Heritage site on its Arabic and English websites. Per the DGAM, the photos show the Theatre, Temple of Bel and the Colonnade in good condition. But, in 2015, ISIS blew up the Temple of Baal-Shaminthe Sella in Bel Templethe Arch of Triumph, and several tower tombs.

DGAM Director Professor Maamoun Abdelkarim wrote “Restoring Syria’s pearl of the desert: a reason for optimism amid the storm of terror,” about the Syrian government’s recapture of the site.

Photo Maher Al Mounes/AFP/Getty Images

Photo Maher Al Mounes/AFP/Getty Images

Foreign Policy reported that “The Islamic State Didn’t Do as Much Damage to Palmyra as We Feared.

Russian drone images of Palmyra after Syrian government troops and allies retook the site from ISIS.

The Aleppo ProjectAleppo Weekly- March 21-28