World roundup: May 13 2022
Stories from North Korea, Togo, Ukraine, and more
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
At least ten pro-government militia fighters were killed and another nine wounded on Friday when their military bus was struck by rocket fire west of the city of Aleppo. The Ahrar al-Sham rebel faction posted video of the incident on its Telegram channel but did not directly claim responsibility for the attack. Russian aircraft reportedly carried out retaliatory airstrikes but there’s no word on any casualties. A bit later in the day Syrian media reported another apparent Israeli missile strike, this time on the town of Masyaf in Hama province. The attack killed at least five people, one of them characterized as a civilian.
The US Treasury Department announced on Friday that it was relaxing US sanctions on Syria, but only with respect to parts of northern Syria that are presently outside Syrian government control. The Biden administration contends this move will help open up investment and therefore economic opportunities for people living in areas where Islamic State could capitalize on hardship as it tries to rebuild. Why that same logic wouldn’t apply to areas that are under the Syrian government’s control is unclear.