Coalition News
30 November 2016 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition called upon the United Nations, as the main international sponsor of the political process in Syria, to take immediate and decisive action to ensure the protection of the civilians in Aleppo. Action must be taken to stop the barbaric attack on the civilians in Aleppo by compelling the Assad regime to abide by the terms of a cessation of hostilities; allowing unfettered and immediate humanitarian access and medical aid to the city; holding into account those responsible for these crimes; and preventing the repetition of such gross violations.

In a letter sent by President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Abdah to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of the UN Security Council Fode Seck, the Coalition underscored the desperate humanitarian situation in Aleppo as the regime and its allies continue their relentless indiscriminate bombardment of Aleppo and its countryside.

“Every hospital in Aleppo has gone out of service leaving hundreds of people injured by the indiscriminate bombardment at the risk of losing their lives for complete lack of medical care,” the letter said.

Abdah noted that “the Assad regime and his allies are turning the liberated areas of the city of Aleppo into a real coffin given that official food stocks run out and civilians are under siege.”

“This outrageous escalation in Aleppo has killed more than 670, 40% of them are children, caused the displacement of more than 3000 families, destroyed 11 hospitals and medical centers, and known the use of the chlorine gas four times, which constitutes a further crime against humanity and a war crime in the regime's long bloody record of barbarity.”

The letter added: “On the other hand, it runs in the face of all the international relations including UNSCR 2118 (2013) and 2235 (2015), concerned with the use of indiscriminate weapons in Syria, and UNSCR 2254 (2015) and 2268 (2016) endorsing the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access agreement.”

The letter also stressed that “the Assad regime can only persist in this criminality as long as it enjoys the impunity it has enjoyed so far by the international inaction let alone the active support of its allies, particularly Russia.”

“As a pioneer of the human rights and the international peace and security in the world, the United Nations has the responsibility to translate words into action, to protect the civilians in Aleppo, and to make sure that the regime's criminality against its own people no longer goes without consequences.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

30 November 2016 In Coalition News

Secretary-general of the Syrian Coalition called upon the European Union to intervene urgently to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians currently trapped in eastern Aleppo. He also called on the EU to play a more effective role commensurate with its position in the international community.

At a meeting with the EU adviser for foreign affairs Lara Scarpitta on Wednesday, Fahd underscored the enormous suffering trapped residents of Aleppo are going through as a result of the barbaric assault on the city by the Assad regime and Russian forces.

Fahd stressed the need to protect civilians from the brutality of the Assad regime and Russia, noting that stopping the bombardment on Aleppo and other areas across Syria is the Coalition’s top priority.

For her part, Scarpitta stressed the need to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to the civilians trapped in eastern Aleppo, noting that she will do her best to ensure a ceasefire is reached and civilians are protected. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

30 November 2016 In Coalition News

Rescue workers said that 45 people were killed in an artillery barrage by regime forces on a housing area for those displaced in rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Wednesday morning.

The Civil Defense said that dozens more people were wounded in the artillery attack that hit Jub Alqubba neighborhood. Most of the dead were women and children, it added.

It was the second time the Jub Alqubba neighborhood in eastern Aleppo was struck in two days. An airstrike killed at least 25 civilians on Tuesday. Thousands of residents in east Aleppo have in the past couple of days moved to Jub Alqubba and other neighborhoods fleeing regime forces advancing on the rebel-held east.

Images published by the Civil Defense showed bodies strewn on a debris-filled road in the rebel-held neighborhood.

Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Ahad Steifo called upon the US President Barack Obama to intervene to stop the massacres being committed by the Assad regime and Russian forces. “although he is in the last days of his term in office, we are fully confident in the ability of President Obama, as the head of the world’s sole superpower, to stop these massacres once there is a will to do so.”

Steifo stressed that “the death of dozens of civilians fleeing eastern Aleppo by the Assad regime and Russian forces on Tuesday should prompt friends of the Syrian people, especially the United States, Great Britain, and France to take action to stop this despicable, brutal aggression against our people.”

Action has become absolutely necessary even if it meant action should be taken outside the UN Security Council which has been disabled by Russia’s repeated use of its veto power, Steifi said. He added that Russia is a partner of the Assad regime in the shedding of the blood of Syrian civilians.

The people of eastern Aleppo are facing a certain death as a result of the regime and Russian onslaught. If they chose to stay in the besieged neighborhoods, they would be bombed by Russian jets, and if they fled to safer areas, they would be hit by the Assad regime’s heavy artillery. This makes it imperative that friends of the Syrian people take a firm stand to put an end to this bloodshed. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

30 November 2016 In Coalition News

The Assad regime on Tuesday morning committed a horrific massacre in the neighborhood of Bab Alnairab killing at least 25 civilians, mostly women and children. The victims were hit by airstrikes while trying to escape the eastern neighborhoods on foot. Dozens more were injured.

The Syrian Coalition condemned this heinous crime, holding the international community responsible as it has so far failed to take action to protect civilians or stop the onslaught on Aleppo.

A total 54 civilians were killed in airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russian air forces on Aleppo and its countryside on Tuesday, including 9 in the neighborhood Alsaliheen, 8 in Ansari, 5 in Almiyassar, 3 and Karm Albeiq, and 1 in each of the districts of Marjah, Aliza’a, and Salah Addin. Regime aircraft also bombed a medicine factory in the town of Mansoura in rural Aleppo.

“The massacre came amid complete international silence over the brutal onslaught by the Assad regime as well as its Russian and Iranian allies on the besieged eastern Aleppo where hundreds of civilians have been killed over the past few days in deliberate bombardment on residential areas,” the Coalition said.

The Coalition highly commended the “steadfastness and courage being shown by civilians, members of the civil defense, and FSA fighters in Aleppo who have not spared any effort to repel the aggression by the Assad regime and Russia on their city.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

29 November 2016 In Coalition News

Activists in eastern Aleppo said that regime forces committed a horrible massacre in the district of Bab Alnairab where nearly 25 civilians were killed in airstrikes while trying to escape the district on foot. The activists said that most of the victims were women and children, adding that dozens more were injured.

Aleppo civil defense said air strikes and barrel bombs hit several eastern Aleppo districts overnight and into Tuesday. They added that the victims were trying to reach regime-held parts to the west.

Meanwhile, the United States’ State Department has held Russia responsible for the atrocities perpetrated by Assad regime across Syria, saying that Russia bears "the ultimate responsibility.”

Spokesperson of the US Department of State, John Kirby, on Monday said that “Russia has considerable influence over Assad; and when they [the Russians] have shown in the past that they’re willing to use that influence for a positive outcome, it makes a difference,” referencing the Russian role in handing over Assad regime’s chemical arsenal.

“Russia bears the ultimate responsibility here for what the Syria regime is doing – and being permitted to do – in terms of the devastating civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure, to include hospitals in and around Aleppo,” Kirby added.

The Syrian Coalition’s media office on Monday said that it had obtained videos proving Russia’s jets bombed factories compound in western rural Aleppo in October and November.

Russia’s Defense Ministry on November 17 published a videotape showing what it claimed were airstrikes on positions of “terrorist groups” in western rural Aleppo. However, the structures appearing in the video are in fact a factories compound used solely for civilian purposes.

A local source told the Coalition’s media office that the Russian jets bombed the compound located near the town of Atareb on Kafar Nouran road in western rural Aleppo three times in October and November.

The source said that the compound consisted of three factories. One of them manufactured tents for the internally displaced people producing an average of 10 tents a day. The other two factories produced pharmaceutical and medical accessories and equipment.

The Russian and Assad regime air forces have dramatically stepped up aerial attacks on rebel-held areas across Syria since 15 November, targeting mainly medical facilities and vital civilian infrastructure. Over 500 civilians have been killed and 1,600 injured in the ongoing bombing campaign. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

29 November 2016 In Coalition News

Elements of the Asayish forces, the police force of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Monday kidnapped Hawass Khalil, member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee and member of the Kurdish National Council. Khalil was taken from his home in the village of Karki in Hasaka province to an unknown destination.

The Syrian Coalition condemned the kidnapping of Khalil, stressing that this act represents continuation of the PYD repressive practices against the Syrian people.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Coalition denounced “these repeated repressive practices by the PYD, including the kidnapping of political activists and dissidents.”

“The practices of tyrants are the same every time and everywhere. They are aimed at suppressing freedom of speech and any forms of opposition. These practices are consistent with the Assad regime’s mentality of oppression and arbitrary detention,” the Coalition stressed.

The Coalition held the PYD leadership responsible for this unacceptable act and for its consequences as it called for the immediate release of Khalil and his colleague Jad'aan Ali as well as all detainees in the PYD prisons.

“We salute Khalil and his colleague as we call for them as well as all the detainees in the PYD and Assad regime prisons to be freed.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

28 November 2016 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition’s media office obtained videos proving Russia’s jets have bombed factories compound in western rural Aleppo in October and November. Russia persistently denied its air force is targeting civilian targets in Syria. The airstrikes resulted in the complete destruction of the entire compound where two workers were injured.

Russia’s Defense Ministry on November 17 published a videotape showing what it claimed as airstrikes on positions of “terrorist groups” in western rural Aleppo. However, the structures appearing in the video are in fact a factories compound used for civilian purposes only.

A local source told the Coalition’s media office that the Russian jets bombed the compound located near the town of Atareb on Kafar Nouran road in western rural Aleppo three times in October and November.

The first attack took place at 2:00 AM on October 30 and resulted in partial destruction of the compound. The second attack took place between 8:30 and 9:00 PM on November 5, which hugely damaged the roof of the compound. The third and most violent attack took place at 12:00 PM on November 15, when the Russian jets completely destroyed the compound.

The source said that the compound consists of three factories. One of them manufactured tents for the internally displaced people producing an average of 10 tents a day. It employed about 10 workers. The material damage to this factory resulting from the Russian airstrikes was estimated at 100,000 US dollars. The compound also included a factory that produced pharmaceutical and medical accessories such as eyedroppers and plastic containers for pharmaceutical factories in the area to use. It employed five people. The airstrikes destroyed most of the equipment in the factory, with losses estimated at 150,000 USD. The third factory manufactured orthopedic equipment and equipment for operating rooms. It employed four people. The airstrikes resulted in losses estimated at 50,000 USD.

The Russian and Assad regime air forces have dramatically stepped up aerial attacks on rebel-held areas across Syria since 15 November, targeting mainly medical facilities and vital civilian infrastructure. Over 500 civilians have been killed and 1,600 injured in the ongoing bombing campaign. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

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26 November 2016 In Coalition News

The living conditions in eastern Aleppo continue to deteriorate sharply as the siege imposed by Assad regime forces and their allied Iranian-backed militias entered its 87 day. The suffering of the people trapped in the city’s eastern parts has been further aggravated by ferocious bombing raids by the Assad regime and Russian air forces which announced the launch of a major onslaught on the rebel-held areas on November 15.

Head of the Council of Free Aleppo Governorate Abdul Razzaq Razzouk told Shaam News Network that the living conditions in eastern Aleppo were rapidly deteriorating due to the severe shortages of food, adding that people can hardly find a loaf of bread.

Razzouk pointed out that the problem of food shortages in eastern Aleppo became worse after airstrikes have hit food warehouses belonging to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the Big Heart aid organization, Ihasan aid organization as well as those of the Council.

According to figures compiled by the Syrian Coalition’s media office, 595 people, half of them women and children, have been killed in the bombing raids on eastern Aleppo and rural Aleppo during the past 11 days. The office said that it has documented 54 massacres committed by the Assad regime and Russian forces in eastern Aleppo and 21 more in rural Aleppo. The office has also documented the use of chlorine gas by regime forces in three occasions in eastern Aleppo.

The airstrikes have knocked out nine hospitals in Aleppo and its countryside since the Assad regime and Russian forces launched the onslaught on Aleppo in November 15.

Razzouk added that the airstrikes on hospitals denied residents of eastern Aleppo access to basic medical services, noting that a large number of medical personnel were injured in the attacks on hospitals.

On November 19, the directorate of health in Aleppo province announced the suspension of work in all hospitals in the city’s besieged neighborhoods after being directly hit by airstrikes. The directorate said in a statement that it was no longer able to offer medical care to around 300,000 civilians trapped in the eastern parts of the city.

In addition to medical facilities, the airstrikes are also targeted schools in eastern Aleppo. Razzouk said that there are only 98 functioning schools out of 184 that accommodated 29,141 schoolchildren. Moreover, 27 teachers and at least 104 schoolchildren have been killed in airstrikes on eastern Aleppo in recent weeks.

Razzouk concluded his comments to Shaam News Network by stressing that this painful reality is a “dark stain on the forehead of humanity and the whole world which is idly watching the torn bodies, blood and scenes of destruction and the smell of death all around the besieged neighborhoods." (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Shaam News Network)

25 November 2016 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition said that the international community’s silence over the terrible daily tragedy in Syria encourages the Assad regime and its allies to go further in the killing and displacement of the Syrian people. The Coalition pointed out that regime plans to storm the town of Altal and empty it of its local population must not be ignored as the Assad regime has already shown it is willing to commit crimes of unimaginable proportions to achieve its plans.

In a press release issued on Friday, the Coalition said that the Assad regime forces have recently escalated artillery and aerial bombardment of the town of Altal in Rural Damascus despite the so-called truce being put in place. The regime’s escalating bombardment, which is being accompanied by attempts to storm the town, came despite the Free Syrian Army groups in the town agreeing to engage in a new round of negotiations with the Assad regime.

The Assad regime has been pursuing a policy of siege, starvation and bombing of residential areas and civilian infrastructure to break the will of the Syrian people and force them to leave their homes. This tactic, which was previously used in Old Homs, Daraya, Moadamiya, Qudsaya and Alhama in Rural Damascus, is now being used in the towns of Altal and Khan Alsheeh in Rural Damascus as well as the district of Alwaer in Homs to force residents of these areas to leave their homes.

Forced displacement and besiegement are war crimes under international law and international humanitarian law.

The Assad regime forces have escalated bombing of the town of Altal and its outskirts over the past two days, targeting the town with barrel bombs and heavy artillery. The regime shelling has resulted in many civilian casualties.

The Coalition stressed that the international community and the UN Security Council are obliged to exercise pressure on the Assad regime and its allies; to warn them there will be consequences for their actions; and force them to respect international resolutions and meet the requirements of a political solution.

The Coalition strongly condemned the latest bombardment of Altal and the siege which has been imposed on the town for over one and a half year. The siege is clearly aimed at forcing residents of the town out of their homes through the use of starvation as a weapon, water and electricity blackouts, and the deployment of checkpoints on the outskirts of the town to terrorize civilians.

The Coalition renewed confidence in and full support for the representatives of the people and the FSA groups in Altal as it warns of the treachery of the Assad regime given its long record of cheating and reneging on all previous so-called truces. The latest onslaught on Altal is also designed to punish its residents for hosting the people who have been displaced from eastern Ghouta, which still shows legendary resistance in the face of the repeated massacres by regime forces. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

25 November 2016 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition condemned the crime committed by the Assad regime air force where the positions of the Free Syrian Army and the Turkish army participating in Operation Shield of the Euphrates near the town of Albab in northern rural Aleppo were targeted on Thursday. Three Turkish soldiers were killed and ten others were injured by the regime airstrikes.

In a press release issued on Friday, the Coalition said that this “heinous attack represents yet a new attempt by the Assad regime to support and defend the ISIS extremist group as well as provide air cover for its elements in light of the steady advances being made by the Operation Shield of the Euphrates forces.”

“These forces have proved they are serious in the fight against ISIS as they have made spectacular gains against the extremist group with Turkish support. The operations aim is to oust ISIS from Syria’s territory,” the Coalition added.

The Syrian Coalition held the Assad regime responsible for this crime and the consequences that might ensue, stressing that Operation Shield of the Euphrates will continue until all forms of terrorism are eliminated from Syria.

The Turkish-backed Operation Shield of the Euphrates, which began in August 24, aims to oust ISIS from all of northern Aleppo and create a safe zone for civilians fleeing the Russian and Assad regime aerial bombardment. In total, the FSA groups participating in the operation have managed to secure over 3,000 km squared since August 24.

The operation began with capturing the border town of Jarablos after which the FSA fighters advanced on the town of Alraei to the south. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

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