1. Assad loyalists are turning on Syria's government as living standards deteriorate. Damascus' residents say life has become more difficult in recent months than at any point in the past eight years. Acute shortages of fuel, cooking gas and electricity have left citizens shivering in darkness through an unusually cold winter. The Syrian currency, which had plunged and then stabilized after the war broke out, is sliding again, sending prices soaring, The Washington Post reported.
2. U.S. sanctions hit Iran's oil lifeline to Syria, using maritime big data. Iran has been unable to deliver oil to Syria since January 2, according to maritime-data provider TrankerTracker.com. The use of new big data techniques led to Egypt turning back an Iranian tanker headed for Syria over U.S. Treasury warning, The Wall Street Journal reported.
3. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey will take the issue of the Golan Heights to the United Nations. On Friday, in a speech at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Friday, Erdogan said the legitimization of the occupation of the Golan Heights cannot be allowed, Reuter reported.