Syria has been in a state of unrest since March 2011, with protests & acts of civil disobedience erupting in the Southern province of Deraa. As of July 2016, the conflict has claimed the lives on approximately 400,000 people (estimates vary greatly.) The Russian Air Force intervened in 2015 to assist the Syrian army in its fight against armed groups, including the Al-Nusra front & the Islamic State. Syria had a pre-war population of around 23 million, with a range of religious & ethnic groups.
Syrian Government is Developing Arwad Island
Arwad Island, based in the coastal province of Tartous (which is also home to Russia’s naval facility), is set to undergo a million-dollar development project, in a bid to bolster tourism. The plans were announced on the 29/05/2016 by the official Syrian State News Agency (SANA). On a Trip Advisor review, an Irish holidaymaker who visited the island in March 2016 wrote “The island is totally built-up: a small but busy harbor with people coming and going from the mainland, narrow alleyways, clustered houses, a traditional timber-boat yard, and a small well-preserved Crusader fort in the middle on high ground.”
President of Syria, Issues Degree, Increasing Living Compensation for Syrians
According to an article posted on SANA on the 18/06/2016, the President has issued a degree, adding 7,500 SYP (roughly $35) to the living compensation. The article read “Legislative decree number 7 for 2015 stipulated for granting civilian, military service, retired and annual contractors an amount of SP 4000 as a living compensation.”
Despite the war, & crippling economic sanctions, the Syrian government has continued with investment projects across Syria, as well as paying Syrians their living compensation (this is similar to the UK welfare system.) The funds for these projects are likely to have come from Syria’s ally, Russia. Recently, it was reported that Russia is sending an aircraft carrier to assist Syria further.