At the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, President Khoja and his accompanying delegation met with French President Francois Hollande at the UN headquarters to discuss the latest political and military developments. Hollande stressed that France shares the Syrian Coalition its vision for Syria’s future without Assad.
Khoja also participated in a symposium titled “Flee from Assad’s Barrel Bombs” which discussed the indiscriminate effect of barrel bombs dropped by Assad’s air force on residential areas and popular markets, the need to rein in Assad’ air force and to establish safe areas inside Syria.
Khoja profusely explained the regime’s brutal practices against civilians, most notably using barrel bombs which account for nearly 95% of the overall civilian deaths in Syria.
He stressed that what is happening in Syria today is a genocide taking place under the nose of the world, a fact which is attested by over four million Syrian refugees now living in neighboring countries.
Khoja also noted that the international community did not learn from the lessons of the near past in Bosnia and Rwanda, as the same mistakes are being made again with nothing done to stop the carnage in Syria. He added that the failure to hold perpetrators accountable and to implement the UN Security Council resolutions has caused more deaths in Syria and has placed enormous pressure on the region because of the refugee crisis.
Khoja stressed that the current statistics show that the root cause of biggest challenges facing the international community now-the refugees crisis and extremism-are the mass killing of civilians, especially using indiscriminate air strikes.
Khoja also said that a safe zone will help save the lives of 200 civilians a week and will slow down the outflow of refugees. It will also help fight extremist more effectively and will increase the chances of achieving an orderly political transition which has been agreed upon in the Geneva I Communique.
He noted that a safe zone will reveal to Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah militia that continuing to pop up Assad is useless and that reaching a political solution is the only option, adding that Russia has become directly involved in war crimes against the Syrian people. Khoja stated that Russia’s military intervention in Syria will further fuel the conflict and attract more extremists to Syria.
Furthermore, Khoja said that the increased Russian military support for the regime will lead to more crimes against humanity and will undermine the efforts of the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura to reach a political solution on the basis of the Geneva I Communique.
Khoja called on the international community and the United Nations to condemn foreign intervention in all its forms and also demanded that all foreign forces, including ISIS, the Hezbollah militia, Iran, and Russia, to pull out if Syria in order to reach a comprehensive political solution. (Source: Syrian Coalition)