Regime forces and the Iranian-backed militias continue with their plans to bring about a demographic change in Damascus and its countryside through the mass forced displacement of whole communities from the rebel-held areas.
The Wadi Barada valley northwest of Damascus was the scene of the latest evacuation deal regime forces and their allies forced the local population to agree to after a month-long brutal assault on the rebel-held area.
The Wadi Barada media center said that regime forces and the Iranian militias on Thursday agreed to stop bombing and allow technicians to the area to repair the Ayn Alfija water facility in return for the evacuation of the FSA and rebel fighters as well as residents who rejected the deal to Idlib province. Regime forces and their allies implied they would continue the assault on the area if rebel fighters rejected the evacuation deal, called “reconciliation agreement” by the Assad regime.
Regime forces, the Hezbollah militias, and militias of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard launched a large-scale assault on the Wadi Barada valley nearly a month ago despite the Russian and Turkish-backed ceasefire agreement which was adopted under the United Nations in the UN Security Council resolution 2336. The onslaught was launched on the pretext of the presence of ISIS and Fateh Alsham militants in the area, which was held exclusively by local rebels.
The relentless, indiscriminate bombardment on the Wadi Barada valley left hundreds of people dead or wounded as well as caused severe damage to Ayn Alfija water facility. Nearly 6 million people in Damascus and its countryside have been denied access to clean water for around a month as a result of the damage caused to the facility.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah bin Yahya Moalimi urged the UN Security Council to issue a resolution ordering the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria. The resolution would remove foreign terrorists, Hezbollah forces, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and foreign sovereign military from Syria’s battlefields.
In a session dedicated to discussing the situation in the Middle East on Tuesday, Moalimi strongly defended the Syrian people’s right to unconditioned self-determination, particularly in regards to Syria’s political future.
The Saudi ambassador stressed the importance of resolutions issued by the UN General Assembly with respect to human rights in Syria, especially resolution 203 adopted in December 2016. He also reiterated calls for the establishment of a mechanism to gather evidence that could be used to hold those committing war crimes accountable for their actions.
Moalimi said that Saudi Arabia is determined to continue to participate in all international efforts to bring about peace and stability in Syria. He welcomed the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution 2336 stressing the need to achieve a genuine political transition in Syria in line with Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies)