Collapse of Syrian pound deals blow to struggling shops | AFP

Mohammad Zarqawi ambles around his narrow shop in central Damascus, filling plastic bags with colourful spices and herbs, their aroma spilling out into a dim market once bustling with customers. The middle-aged shop owner said business has slowed since the value of the Syrian pound against the dollar plunged to its lowest level in history this month.

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Turkish President Erdogan welcomes Putin for Syria summit | AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomes his Russian counterpart for their latest summit on Syria, with attention focused on Damascus’s push on the last rebel-held bastion of Idlib. IMAGES

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Syria: rock lovers attend open-air concert in Damascus | AFP

Lovers of rock music attend an open-air concert in the Syrian capital Damascus and get to hear covers from iconic bands such as the White Stripes, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Queen. Such lighthearted event stands in stark contrast with the civil war that has afflicted the country since 2011.

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In post-war areas of Syria, mines upend civilian lives | AFP

In the Eastern Ghouta region just outside Damascus, soldiers sweep a hamlet and surrounding fields for hidden explosives, more than a year after rebels were ousted.

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Syria resumes Idlib air strikes after scrapping ceasefire | AFP

Smoke billows above the Syrian town Khan Sheikhoun after Damascus resumed air strikes on northwest Syria’s Idlib, scrapping a ceasefire for the jihadist-run bastion and accusing its opponents of targeting an airbase of its ally Russia. IMAGES

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US forces patrol Syria’s northeast close to Turkish border | AFP

Armoured vehicles carrying US forces patrol the city of Ras al-Ain and its surroundings in Syria’s Hasakeh province bordering with Turkey. Damascus said Friday it would reject any agreement between Turkey and the US to establish a “security zone” in northern Syria as tantamount to a violation of the country’s sovereignty.

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A slow road to recovery for East Ghouta’s farmlands | AFP

The former opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta was once the breadbasket of Damascus, providing rich harvests of apricots and vegetables to the capital. But a five-year siege by Damascus and an intense bombing campaign that drove out opposition forces from the area last year has taken its toll on farmlands and crops.

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In Syria’s breadbasket, Kurds and regime battle for wheat | AFP

After years of drought and civil war, Syria is expected to rake in its best harvest in a long time this summer. But the lion’s share of that crop lies in the northeast of the country, in a semi-autonomous Kurdish region beyond full government control. Both sides, the Kurds and the Damascus regime, are desperately battling to get their hands on the invaluable crop. The Kurds are determined to hang on to a strategic resource in the third of the country they hold, while the government wants to restock its siloes and feed its people ahead of retaking full control of the northeast.

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