9/16/2018, 11:56 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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First local elections held in Syria since 2011

Voting in the first local Syrian elections since 2011 began in the areas controlled by the government on Sunday. Over 40,000 candidates are competing for 18,478 seats across the country's provinces, according to the state agency SANA.

The elections take place as violence in the northern Idlib province seizes international attention. Assad's government and its allies began their offensive on the northern province despite warnings from the United Nations that it may lead to a humanitarian disaster. The Syrian military, backed by Russia and Iran, began a "counterterrorism operation" in the rebel province after a failed summit between the three guarantors of the Astana peace process. Meanwhile, Mevlut Cavusoglu, head of the Turkish foreign ministry, told reporters on Friday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will speak with Vladimir Putin on September 17 in another attempt to reach a political solution to the Idlib crisis.

Breaking the News / MD