The Syrian Coalition said that the international community, especially the UN Security Council, is obliged to shoulder its responsibilities to put an end to the ongoing suffering of civilians in eastern Ghouta an to take action to ensure that the siege on the area and all other besieged areas across Syria is immediately lifted.
In a press release issued on Monday, the Coalition said that “for nearly four years, the people of eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus have been enduring intense suffering as a result of the suffocating siege the Assad regime and Iranian terrorist militias laid on the area in a crime against humanity that continues right under the nose of the whole world. Their suffering is further increased by systematic, relentless artillery and aerial bombardment mainly by Russian air forces.”
Meanwhile, Syrian activists launched a media campaign on social media sites under the title "Assad is besieging eastern Ghouta" to draw the attention of the world to the suffering of about half a million people trapped inside, mostly women and children.
Activists and media workers in eastern Ghouta participated in the campaign along with many activists inside and outside Syria. The campaign seeks to draw the attention of the world to the tragedy unfolding in eastern Ghouta as a result of the siege Assad forces and their allies have imposed on the area since 2013.
In a statement released on Monday, organizers of the campaign said that "the de-escalation zones agreement” which went into effect about three months ago, included the opening of trade routes and allowing the delivery of aid to eastern Ghouta. However, none of these provisions has been implemented yet as the Assad regime has not opened any crossings nor does it allow patients and injured persons to leave for treatment.
Activists noted that the Assad regime is still besieging over 350,000 civilians, including thousands of children, in eastern Ghouta, denying then access to food and medical supplies and other basic necessities.
The statement called for the activation of all civil, media and diplomatic means to lift the siege of eastern Ghouta, which the Assad regime has isolated from the outside world for over 1,850 days.
Dr. Yahia Abu Yahya who works in the Hakeem medical center in the area said that “the center's 11 branches in eastern Ghouta had received 9,700 children in the last three months. He said that the children included 80 who were suffering from severe malnutrition and 200 other who were suffering from moderate acute malnutrition."
Hakeem went on to say that 4,000 more children are in urgent need for micronutrients, describing this “as a very dangerous indicator."
The local population in the eastern Ghouta suffer from extreme hunger and are going through the most terrible days since the beginning of the siege. The average income of a family in the area is around 50 dollars, while the unemployment rate is 70 percent and inflation rate reached 900 percent compared to last year.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the last humanitarian convoy containing food, medicine and other supplies entered only three towns in eastern Ghouta on September 23. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A child was killed and others were wounded in rocket shelling by regime forces on rural Damascus despite the Assad regime’s signing off on a Russian-sponsored ceasefire agreement covering the area.
Activists said that regime forces carried out rocket and artillery shelling on the district of Jobar in eastern Damascus as well as the towns of Ayn Tarma, Kafarbatna, and the outskirts of the town of Hawsh al-Dawahra in eastern Ghouta.
Local residents said that the shelling caused dozens of injuries among civilians and widespread destruction of buildings and infrastructure. Local council leaders said that Russia bears full responsibility for the attacks, stressing that it is obliged to “rein in the Assad regime and force it to cease hostilities in the area.”
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) earlier said that it had documented the deaths of 912 civilians at the hands of the Assad regime and in airstrikes by the Russian forces during the month of September.
In a report released in early October, the Network said that 498 civilians were killed by the Assad regime, including 101 children and 83 women in September. It pointed out that 33 more civilians people were killed under torture.
At teleconferences between the Coalition’s political committee and leaders of local councils in Damascus and its suburbs, the leaders stressed that the Assad regime continues to put increasing pressure on the civilian population in order to starve them and force them into surrender.
The Coalition underscored the need for the United Nations to urgently work on holding perpetrators of war crimes in Syria to account; protecting civilians; and putting an end to the Assad regime’s atrocities against unarmed civilians. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Officials of the Syrian Coalition discussed the situation in Idlib province with leadership of the provincial council and representatives of civic bodies in the province at a teleconference on Friday.
In addition to the field situation in Idlib province, participants discussed the reality of civil institutions in the province, most notably the civil defense and medical facilities which have been subjected to systematic bombing by the Assad regime and Russia’s air forces in recent weeks.
The Coalition members gave a detailed explanation of the political situation and the latest developments regarding the Syrian crisis at the international level.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Yasser Farhan said that forces of the revolution would continue to resist attempts by allies of the Assad regime to impose their vision for a political solution in Syria and to rehabilitate the Assad regime.
Farhan stressed that the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) is the only legitimate representative of the Syrian opposition, adding that it serves as "the executive arm of the opposition in all liberated areas."
Coalition member Riad al-Hassan said that Idlib provincial council is SIG’s representative in the province, reiterating the Coalition’s support for the council to carry out its task of administering the city. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s presidential body and political committee met with representatives of the Friends of Syria countries at the headquarters of the Coalition’s General Secretariat in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday.
The meeting discussed the latest field developments in Syria, especially the situation in Idlib, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces as well as the latest political developments with regards to the revival of the Geneva process and preparations for the upcoming Riyadh II Conference.
Coalition President Riad Seif called on representatives of the Friends of Syria countries to step up support for the Coalition, the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), and the Coalition-affiliated rebel groups to fill the vacuum and administer the liberated areas.
Seif pointed out that the Coalition, SIG, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups are already engaged in the administrative work, the decision-making process and administration of the country. He rejected attempts by some parties to exclude the Coalition and its institutions.
“While the Coalition institutions have become alienated from some areas of Syria, the PYD militias were empowered to recapture Raqqa. Other forces are storming Deir Ezzor and signing off on regional and international agreements without having any kind of legitimacy to do so,” Seif said.
Seif pointed out that Russia is the biggest beneficiary of these policies. “This behavior towards the opposition institutions risks helps Russia directly and indirectly implement its plans to save Bashar al-Assad, dilute the process of political transition and empty it of any meaning.”
Seif warned of the continuation of the current situation, stressing that this "may lead to very serious repercussions on the future of Syria and its unity." He also stressed that the current strategy to fight ISIS and Al-Qaeda is limited to fighting the results without paying attention to the need to eliminate the reasons behind the emergence of these terrorist groups.
In addition to the power vacuum in the liberated areas, the Assad regime played a pivotal role in allowing such extremist organizations to grow and fester by ignoring these groups for a long time while deliberately and brutally targeting civilian areas and the FSA groups, Seif added. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A delegation from residents of Deir Ezzor province met with Adnan Kesici, Turkish government official in charge of following up on the affairs of Syrian refugees to discuss the administrative, humanitarian and military situation in the province. The province has been witnessing heavy fighting between Russian-backed regime forces and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF0 to drive ISIS from the province. The meeting was also attended by Secretary-General of the Syrian Interim Government Hussein Bakri.
The delegation was chosen from those who participated in the workshop which was organized by the Syrian Coalition in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa on Sunday and Monday. Participants included representatives of civil and military bodies in the province.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Okab Yahya said that a similar meeting was earlier held between a delegation from Deir Ezzor residents and the Turkish official in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. The delegation included four from those who participated in the workshop, including a woman.
Yahya pointed out that the meeting focused on two main issues, namely the urgent setting up of camps for the displaced in northern rural Aleppo and equipping them with the basic necessities as well as the securing of safe corridors for civilians to flee from the areas witnessing heavy fighting and the delivery of humanitarian aid to them.
Yahya pointed out that the meeting was very positive as he thanked the Turkish government for the assistance it is providing to the Syrian people and its efforts to alleviate their suffering.
Deir Ezzor province has been the site for fierce battles between regime forces and the Iranian militias backed by Russian aerial cover as well as the US-backed militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on one hand and ISIS on the other. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in indiscriminate aerial bombardment on residential areas, while tens of thousands more were forced to flee and seek refuge in camps erected in the desert that activists nicknamed "camps of death." (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition called on the United Nations and UN Security Council to stop standing idly by while war crimes are being committed against civilians in Deir Ezzor. It condemned the Assad regime's summary execution and mass arrests of civilians in the areas taken recently from the ISIS extremist group.
Deir Ezzor 24 media campaign said that Assad forces are carrying out summary executions of civilians in the province. The victims included Ibrahim Khalaf Al-Hadrous and Ali Suleiman Dabbal who were executed in the town of Boqras on Tuesday. Regime forces also rounded up dozens of civilians inside a house in the town on charges of belonging to ISIS, Deir Ezzor 24 added.
Deir Ezzor 24, an independent media campaign which documents violations against civilians in Deir Ezzor, previously said that regime forces and their allied Iranian militias had carried out summary executions against civilians in the town of Mayadeen which they recaptured from ISIS last week. It warned of a repeat of these crimes in the areas that may fell to regime forces and their allied foreign militias in the future.
Deir Ezzor province has been the site for fierce battles between regime forces and the Iranian militias backed by Russia aerial cover as well as the US-backed militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on one hand and ISIS on the other. Hundreds of civilians were killed in indiscriminate aerial bombardment on residential areas, while tens of thousands more were forced to flee and seek refuge in camps erected the desert that activists nicknamed "camps of death."
Meanwhile, the Coalition held a workshop with leaders and representatives of military and civic bodies in the province of Deir Ezzor in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa on Sunday and Monday (15-16 October to discuss the humanitarian and military situation in the province.
Participants called for sparing the lives of civilians fleeing the fighting in Deir Ezzor province and for the opening of safe humanitarian corridors for civilians who are caught in the middle of battles raging in the province. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition called on the United Nations to provide all kinds of relief aid and protection for civilians fleeing the intensifying fighting in Deir Ezzor as it stressed the right of the people of the province to liberate their towns and villages and administrate their areas in the province.
The calls came at the conclusion of a workshop held by the Coalition in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa on Sunday and Monday (15-16 October) with leaders and representatives of military and civic bodies in the province of Deir Ezzor.
Participants in the workshop were divided into three committees on political affairs and civil administration, military affairs, and relief work. They put forward a set of proposals and suggestions to address the situation of civilians fleeing the province.
Participants called for sparing the lives of civilians fleeing the fighting in Deir Ezzor province as they stressed that the United States and Russia bear full responsibility for their safety.
Moreover, participants in the workshop urged the United States, France, and the United Kingdom to make urgent visits to the camps housing civilians fleeing Deir Ezzor. The camps were dubbed ‘The Camps of Death” in view of the tragic living conditions inside. Representatives from the three countries had previously visited the areas under the control of the militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) where these camps were erected.
Participants also called for the opening of safe humanitarian corridors for civilians who are caught in the middle of battles being fought by Russian-backed regime forces and the US-backed SDF militias against ISIS in the province.
Participants in the workshop suggested setting up a zone in Syria’s north bringing together rebel groups of Deir Ezzor to follow up on the process of organizing these groups and incorporate them in one national army. They stressed the right of the people of the province to liberate the province as they condemned the continued killings of civilians in the province.
They also suggested the establishment of a unified operations room comprising all rebel groups of Deir Ezzor and that the Coalition and the Syrian Interim Government support the room. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition held a consultative meeting with leaders and representatives of civil and military bodies in Deir Ezzor province in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa on Sunday. The meeting discussed the latest field developments in the province and ways to alleviate the suffering of civilians resulting from the intensified campaign by the Russian-backed Assad regime forces and the US-backed militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the ISIS extremist group.
Head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Jawad Abu Hatab said that Russia is working on forming weak local administrations in the province that do not represent the local population and are subject to the Assad regime. He described such moves as "merely cosmetic" and do not meet the aspirations of the Syrian people who demands freedom, dignity and the overthrow of the regime.
The local councils formed by SDF militias do not represent the local population as they serve the objectives of the militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Abu Hatab said. He stressed that SIG will hold meetings with all representatives of civic groups to set up real, elected local councils representing the demands of the Syrian revolution.
Abu Hatab described the reports about the suffering of civilians fleeing the fighting in Deir Ezzor and the tragic conditions in the IDPs camps built in the desert as “heart-wrenching and contradict the values of humanity." He stressed that war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed against civilians in Deir Ezzor. He said that Russia and the United States bear full responsibility as they support groups that does not care about the fate of civilians.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Okab Yahya said that the meeting aims to bring active civic groups in Deir Ezzor together and organize their ranks so that they contribute to the efforts aimed at relieving the people of the province. He stressed that the people of Deir Ezzor must be allowed to administer their towns and villages, adding that their work must serve the interests of civilians rather than political goals and foreign agendas.
Yahya reiterated that SIG is the legitimate representative of the Syrian opposition, calling on the international community to hand over the administration of the liberated areas to SIG staff. He emphasized that armed groups and militias must be prevented from assuming these tasks, calling for not granting them legitimacy to assume such tasks as this amounts to covering up the crimes these groups are committing against the civilian population.
Director of the Coalition’s Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) Mohammed Hassanu said that ACU cannot reach the internally displaced people in Deir Ezzor or civilians in the ISIS-held areas. He pointed out that the Unit is seeking to provide aid to all Syrian provinces without exception to connect the north to the south and thwart any attempts to divide the country. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s political committee marked the launch of the Syrian Day of Rage campaign by organizing several meetings, sit-ins and events inside Syria today.
Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Rahman Mustafa said that the propagation of the Syrian Day of Rage represents a revival of the spirit of the revolution, its principles and demands, most importantly bringing Assad and his clique to account.
The Syrian Day of Rage media campaign comes to protest and condemn the continued bloodshed in Syria by the Russian occupiers, forces of the international anti-ISIS coalition, the Iranian militias, and the Assad regime forces.
"Today, on our soil and among our people, we raise our voices high to reaffirm commitment to principles of the revolution, first and foremost to remove Assad and his regime, put an end to the tragedy unfolding in Syria, bring criminals to justice, and establish a democratic, pluralistic state that guarantees freedom, dignity, and justice for all citizens without discrimination,” Mustafa said.
Mustafa went on: "Today we call on brothers and friends in the international community to focus on the root cause and origin of corruption and destruction in Syria and the region, namely the Assad regime. The Assad regime practiced all acts of terrorism against the Syrian people and brought terrorist groups and sectarian militias to Syria as well as paved the way for the Russian and Iranian occupation forces to invade the homeland and killed hundreds of thousands and the displaced millions more.”
Nasr al-Harbi, head of the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) delegation to Geneva talks, said that "there will be no stability in Syria and the region as long as Bashar al-Assad clings to power.” He stressed that “defeating terrorism depends on defeating its sponsors and its manufacturers, chiefly among them is the Iranian regime and ousting them and their militias from all Syrian territory.”
“After 50 years of tyranny and corruption, during which the Assad family thought that they succeeded in subjugating the Syrian people, the Syrian people rose up and rocked the ground under the feet of the Assad regime,” Hariri added.
Syrian activists on Saturday launched a major campaign on various social media sites with the aim of mobilizing all Syrian rebels and revolutionaries against the Assad regime, calling on "advocates of humanity" to stand by the Syrian people in their struggle for freedom and dignity.
Organizers of the Syrian Day of Rage campaign set Saturday as the date for the start of the campaign which aims to "reaffirm commitment to the principles and values of the revolution until the overthrow of the Assad regime."
Organizers pointed out that they seek to mobilize millions in one day and send a message to all the free people around the world that Bashar Al-Assad is the source of terrorism in Syria. They stressed that “the Syrian Day of Rage is the day when all the revolutionaries in the world stand united against the Assad regime."
Organizers of the campaign called on the United Nations and the international community to hold Bashar Al-Assad accountable and condemn the crimes being committed by the Iranian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Afghan and the rest of foreign militias which were brought by the Assad regime and its allies to Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Members of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee met with officials of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) and the newly formed FSA General Staff in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on Friday.
The meeting, which was chaired by the Coalition president Riad Seif and SIG’s Head Jawad Abu Hatab, discussed the projects being implemented and developed by SIG in the liberated areas.
Seif reaffirmed the Coalition’s support for SIG’s work as the legitimate administration in the liberated areas as he rejected alternative formations aimed at "undermining the national unity.”
Seif pointed out that SIG’s presence in the four areas covered by the “de-escalation zones agreement” would help preserve the unity of Syria and thwart attempts to divide the country. By setting up administration in the liberated areas, SIG will be able to unify the law courts, education curricula and achieve sectoral unity, Seif added.
The Coalition has already held several meetings in Gaziantep with the staff of SIG and the Coalition’s Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) to reach a unified vision and unify efforts in all areas, Seif said. He stressed that civilians in the liberated areas who are being subjected to systematic bombing “do not need those who awaken them but need their will to be unified and to be well catered for.”
With regards to the situation in Idlib, Seif noted that the Coalition is closely watching the situation in the province. "Our priority has always been to protect civilians from the crimes of the Assad regime," he stressed.
Seif stressed that the Coalition is a key partner in the efforts aimed at bringing Idlib back to the “revolution’s social base” through assigning SIG the task of administering the province in cooperation with the Free Syrian Army.
Seif hailed the support being provided by Turkey, expressing “confidence that Ankara's efforts in all areas are aimed at protecting Idlib from any possible aggression and protect the lives of its people."
For his part, Abu Hatab said that they had come a long way on the road to build a national army and stamp out factionalism, adding that this step will support SIG’s position and contribute to the protection of the liberated areas from any possible aggression.
Abu Hatab also said that SIG works tirelessly to improve the reality of services being offered to the civilian population and to provide better living conditions for those who were displaced from their homes by the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)