BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 A.M.) – The Syrian government has allocated more than two billion pounds to the Latakia and Tartous governorates to implement projects in the areas affected by the fires, under the direction of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted the Minister of Local Administration and Environment Hussein Makhlouf as saying that Assad had directed to allocate 10 million pounds to each affected village “in order to help mitigate the effects of what befell them as a result of the fires.”

Makhlouf said that Assad’s directives included that the people of the village choose “the service project they need and consider it their priority.”

The minister pointed out that, accordingly, the ministry allocated “1.5 billion pounds to the Latakia Governorate, covering 153 villages affected by fires in the governorate, and an amount of 840 million pounds to the Tartous Governorate covering 84 affected villages in them.”

Makhlouf said that the funds were transferred to the accounts of the Latakia and Tartous governorates, and the governors were also informed of the formation of committees “to supervise and assist in the implementation of projects in the villages and sectors of administrative units according to the needs and priorities of each village and to start working directly.”

Since last Friday, Syria has witnessed simultaneous and unprecedented fires that affected large areas of the countryside of the governorates of Tartous, Latakia and Homs, and there has not yet been an official count of the final losses that resulted from those fires.

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