Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Nora Alameer said that Russia’s announcement to open so-called humanitarian corridors in Aleppo violates the UN Security Council resolution 2254 regarding the political process in Syria.
Alameer pointed out that recent operations by the Assad regime and Russia have from the outset been clearly aimed at encircling Aleppo and forcing the evacuation of its residents. The ongoing onslaught on the city is a continuation of the Assad regime’s strategy of leaving civilians no other option than to get out of the blockaded areas, Alameer said. A similar tactic was employed in Homs in mid-2014, she added.
Alameer warned that the Russian announcement is a gimmick designed to prop up the Assad regime and enable it to completely recapture Aleppo. She noted that the United States bears a large part of the responsibility for the latest developments in Aleppo because of its lukewarm reaction to Russia's actions in Syria as well as to the forced displacement policy the Assad regime has pursued since 2012.
Deputy head of Aleppo provincial council Zakaria Aminu said regime forces targeted a family that was trying to get out of the besieged areas of Aleppo. He warned of a humanitarian disaster as a result of the dwindling food and fuel supplies in the liberated districts of Aleppo.
Aminu called on humanitarian organizations to intervene to save the lives of over 300,000 civilians trapped in Aleppo’s eastern parts. He also called on friends of the Syrian people to exert pressure on the Assad regime and its allies to lift the siege and stop the systematic bombardment of civilian targets in the city, especially hospitals.
Aminu noted that nearly 80 percent of the medical facilities in the eastern areas of Aleppo have gone out of service as a result of deliberate airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russian forces. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Smart News Network)
Member of the Syrian Coalition Ahmed Ramadan said that Aleppo residents are calling the corridors that Russia is talking about ‘corridors of death.’ Ramadan accused Russia and the Assad regime of forcing civilians out of their homes through continued bombardment.
"What is taking place right now is not battles, but a complete and systematic destruction of the city of Aleppo and its residents, whether they are civilians or fighters,” Ramadan told AFP on Friday.
Ramadan pointed out that the Syrian opposition sees in the Russian proposal a war crime and a crime against humanity as such a proposal is intended to empty the city of its population with the help of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ militias.
The United States on Thursday rebuked as a “demand for surrender” the Russian Defense Ministry’s announcement of “humanitarian corridors” for civilians and unarmed rebels to leave rebel-held eastern Aleppo.
“Without further clarification, it would appear to be a demand for surrender of opposition groups, and the forced evacuation of innocent civilians from Aleppo,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby told journalists at the State Department press briefing July 28. “Any offensive actions would be inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and our own understandings with the Russians.”
Kirby added: “Our position on humanitarian access has not changed. Russia and the regime must uphold the basic agreed principle that the UN determines what assistance is necessary to relieve the suffering of civilians in besieged communities. And all supplies, including food and medical supplies, must be delivered immediately.”
The US Department of State accused the Assad regime and Russia of exploiting the provision of food and relief items as incentives for Aleppo’s residents to abandon the city in favor of the regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)
Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Ilah Alfahd said that the Assad regime and Russia undermined all remaining chances of political solution in Syria, adding that their ongoing onslaught on Aleppo is a new war crime.
Alfahd called upon the international community to shoulder its responsibilities in protecting civilians and putting an end to the violations of international laws and UN resolutions by the Assad regime and Russia.
The UK foreign minister Boris Johnson and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault called on the Assad regime and its Russian allies to end the siege on Aleppo.
“The ministers solemnly called upon the Syrian regime’s allies to bring an immediate end to these operations, which violate the truce agreed in Munich and international law,” a joint statement said following a closed meeting in Paris on Thursday.
The statement said the consequences of the siege “are already disastrous and could generate further refugees”. The siege also “makes it impossible for peace negotiations to resume.” The joint statement also called for the cessation of hostilities agreement “to be fully and immediately restored, and for progress towards the establishment of a transitional authority with full executive powers.”
The European Union called for “an immediate humanitarian pause in fighting to ensure medical evacuations and the delivery of medicine, food and water from and into Eastern Aleppo.”
A joint statement by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian aid and Crisis management Christos Stylianides on Thursday stressed that the “use of starvation of civilians through the besiegement of populated areas for which the regime bears the greatest responsibility, as a tactic of war, is contrary to international law.”
“What we need is an immediate lifting of sieges across Syria and unhindered country-wide humanitarian access. Furthermore the deliberate attacks on civilian infrastructure, in particular against medical facilities, schools, markets and internally displaced people camps constitute another grave violation of international humanitarian law,” the statement added.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the Russian and Assad regime air forces have resumed a bombing campaign that has extensively used cluster munitions, killing and maiming dozens of civilians over the past two months.
In a report released on Thursday, HRW said it has documented 47 different cluster munition attacks which killed and injured dozens of civilians in opposition-controlled territory across three governorates since May 27, 2016. The actual number of cluster munition attacks is most likely higher, the report added. The majority of the attacks focused on Aleppo. HRW also pointed out it that it has documented the use of 13 different types of cluster munitions in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)
Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition Muwaffaq Nyrabiya said that the barbaric onslaught by the Assad regime and Russia on Aleppo does not only target civilians, but also the city’s cultural heritage and history dating back for millennia.
Nyrabiya urged the United Nations to exert pressure on Russia and the Assad regime to implement UN Security Council resolution 2254 which called for lifting the sieges; allowing the delivery of humanitarian aid; and stopping the targeting of civilians.
The Syrian Coalition condemned the heinous crimes the Assad regime and Russia have been committing against civilians in the liberated parts of Aleppo. It reiterated calls for unity in the face of the onslaught on Aleppo.
A number of Coalition members were hosted by the Musharaka Forum to discuss the situation on the ground in Syria, prospects for the political process and the Coalition’s activities and performance.
France's foreign ministry said Friday that humanitarian corridors allowing civilians to escape besieged parts of Aleppo were “not a credible solution."
"International humanitarian law demands that aid must be sent urgently. The residents of Aleppo must be able to stay home in security and receive all the aid they need," the ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said.
Nadal added: "In this context, humanitarian corridors, which require residents of Aleppo to leave the city, do not represent a credible response to the situation." (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)
President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Alabdah met with Qatari Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs H.E. Sultan bin Saad Almuraikhi and other diplomats in the Qatari capital Doha on Thursday.
Alabdah briefed the Qatari officials on the latest developments on the ground in Syria, particularly the situation in Aleppo and rural Damascus. He warned of plans by the Assad regime and his Iranian and Russian allies to bring about a demographic change in Aleppo and rural Damascus.
The meeting also discussed programs and plans drawn up by the new Syrian interim government and the latest political developments regarding the Geneva negotiations. Alabdah reiterated the Syrian opposition’s commitment to a political solution in Syria through the formation of a transition governing body with full executive powers in line with UN Security Council resolutions.
Alabdah on Thursday said that the onslaught on Aleppo by the Assad regime and its allies is a war crime and a deliberate act of extermination as it is intended to displace the city’s residents by force. Alabdah held Russia legally and morally responsible for the deterioration of the political and humanitarian situation in Syria.
Alabdah emphasized that the United Nations and the international community have a responsibility to protect civilians in Aleppo, calling for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 2254 regarding lifting the sieges; delivering humanitarian aid; and stopping the bombardment of towns and cities across Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Alabdah said that the onslaught on Aleppo by the Assad regime and its allies is a war crime and a deliberate act of extermination as it is intended to displace the city’s residents by force. Alabdah held Russia legally and morally responsible for the deterioration of the political and humanitarian situation in Syria as a result of its actions against the Syrian people.
Alabdah criticized remarks made by Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu who on Thursday said “humanitarian corridors” will be opened for the exit of civilians out of Aleppo. Alabdah stressed that such remarks contravene Russia's obligations as a permanent member of the UN Security Council as well as violate all international and humanitarian laws.
The Coalition’s president over the past few days sent letters to members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and the United Nations urging them to take all necessary measures to force the Assad regime and its allies to stop the brutal onslaught on Aleppo and to lift the siege on the city. Alabdah also consulted with friends of the Syrian people to discuss the latest developments on the ground in Syria, especially in Aleppo.
Alabdah also called on all rebel and FSA groups operating in Aleppo and its countryside to close ranks and unite against the Russian-led onslaught on the city. He also called on all Syrians abroad to go to the streets in capitals across the world to denounce the crimes of the Assad regime and Russia in Aleppo.
Alabdah emphasized that the United Nations and the international community have a responsibility to protect civilians in Aleppo, calling for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 2254 regarding lifting the sieges; delivery of humanitarian aid; and stopping bombardment of towns and cities across Syria.
Amnesty International has issued several reports confirming Russia’s involvement in war crimes in Syria and its use of internationally banned weapons such as phosphorous and cluster munitions against Syria’s civilians. Amnesty also accused the Assad regime and Russian forces of deliberately and systematically bombing hospitals in rebel-held areas in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
A number of Syrian Coalition members participated in the opening of a panel discussion titled: “Developing policies based on polling the Syrian society” in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on Thursday.
Participants included members of the National Coordination Commission as well as civil society organizations.
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Muwaffaq Nyrabiya said that the Coalition’s participation in the panel discussion is aimed at developing mechanisms in the policy-making process to reflect public opinion as well as boosting cooperation with opposition and non-opposition groups across the political spectrum.
The panel discussion, which was organized by the Norwegian People's Aid organization in cooperation with secretariat of the Group of Friends of Syrian People, aims to offer training on the formulation of a unified discourse through dialogue among various parties based on analysis of opinion polls of the Syrian society.
Nyrabiya pointed out that the panel discussion aims to boost interconnectedness among three components: public opinion reflected in polls; those who play a role in decision-making; and the decision makers. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
Head of the opposition’s negotiations delegation to Geneva Asa’ad Alzoabi said that a new round of negotiations could not be launched so long as no progress has been made on the humanitarian track in Syria. Alzoabi said that this lack of progress was the main reason behind the suspension of Geneva negotiations.
Alzoabi pointed out that the UN Security Council resolution 2254 clearly called for lifting the sieges and allowing humanitarian access to civilians in the besieged and hard-to-reach areas. The resolution clearly talked about a sustained humanitarian access, not a one-off delivery that hardly suffices for one or two days, he added.
The UN envoy Staffan de Mistura’s remarks that the humanitarian situation in Syria has improved were made for media consumptions and are contrary to facts on the ground, Alzoabi said.
Alzoabi noted that the UN envoy’s announcement that negotiations will be resumed shortly was made after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov directly has accused the UN envoy of failing to carry out the task he was assigned to do.
The Russians have been recently pressing to resume negotiations with the hope of taking advantage of the new situation in Aleppo, Alzoabi said. He stressed that the stance of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) regarding the negotiations will not be affected by the new situation in Aleppo, adding that the HNC will not give up demands for the departure of Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle nor will it change its position regarding the implementation of provisions set out in the Geneva Communiqué of 2012. (Source: Alsharq Alawsat)
The Kurdish National Council strongly condemned the terrorist attacks that targeted the city of Qamishli earlier on Wednesday claiming the lives of dozens of innocent civilians.
Local activists said that more than 40 people were killed and dozens injured as a result of two car bombings that targeted western Qamishli. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks that also caused massive damage to residential buildings and shops.
The Kurdish National Council, a key component of the Syrian Coalition, called for unity against the forces terrorism, especially at this “decisive phase” of the revolution.
The Council stressed that such “despicable acts will not undermine the resolve of our people, but will instead boost their determination to defend their cause.” (Source: Syrian Coalition)
The Syrian Coalition condemned the terrorist attacks that have targeted France and Germany over the past few days. The Coalition stressed it stands in solidarity with France and Germany in the face of such “heinous crimes,” extending its deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
“On behalf of the Syrian people, the Syrian Coalition condemns the murder of Father Jacques Hamel who was killed in his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray northern France on Tuesday,” the Coalition said in a press release issued earlier on Wednesday.
“The Coalition is confident the French people and their government are able to overcome such terrible crimes aimed at causing chaos and terror as well at undermining security and stability,” the Coalition added.
The Coalition reaffirmed condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, stressing that “it is unacceptable for these crimes to continue to happen without the international community being able to understand and tackle the root cause of these crimes.”
Head of the Syrian Coalition’s foreign mission in Germany Bassam Abdullah strongly condemned the attacks that took place in the German cities of Ansbach and Reutlingen over the past two days. Abdullah expressed hope that such incidents will not negatively impact the humanitarian assistance provided by the German government for Syrian refugees.
Abdullah added that the Coalition’s foreign mission in Germany will spare no effort in helping Germany ensure security and peace in the country that opened its doors for Syrians fleeing death at home. (Source: Syrian Coalition)