The Kurdish National Council (KNC) condemned the attack by the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) on the headquarters of the Council and its repeated use of violence to crack down on the activities of the Council in the predominantly Kurdish areas which the PYD militia control by force of arms.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Council stressed that the PYD militia’s repressive practices, including most notably arbitrary arrests, harassment, and the closure of offices would not discourage the Council from carrying out its role in defending and promoting freedom and democracy.
The Council called upon all democratic forces, human rights organizations, Kurdish forces and parties and countries concerned with the Syrian issue to ratchet up pressure the PYD militia to stop these practices.
Member of the KNC’s General Secretariat Abdul Samad Barro warned that "the PYD is seeking to undermine the Kurdish national project that the Council adopts." He pointed out that the Council would determine at a later meeting the date of the Council’s general conference.
The Council was scheduled to hold its fourth conference in the Syrian city of Qamishli on Tuesday. However, the PYD militia and the PYD security apparatus, known as the Asayish forces, raided the office of the Council and prevented it from holding its conference by force of arms.
The PYD militants had previously raided the offices of the Council and the offices of its affiliated parties and set them on fire. They also arrested dozens of activists and politicians who are affiliated with the Council, including most notably Nashaat Zaza. PYD militants also kidnapped Abdulrahman Qassem, member of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Syria on Tuesday morning and took him to an unknown location. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition condemned the crimes and violations that the Houthi militias continue to commit against civilians in Yemen and the attacks they launch against Saudi Arabia, especially the crime of firing a ballistic missile on the capital Riyadh.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Coalition said that the Iranian regime is chiefly responsible for supporting terrorist groups and spreading extremist ideology, igniting more wars and crises, and supporting tyranny and oppression. The Iranian regime has always stood against the aspirations of the peoples and their rights to freedom and justice, the Coalition added.
The Syrian Coalition expressed its full solidarity with the people and leadership of Saudi Arabia against attempts by Iran and its terrorist arms in the region, especially the Houthi and Hezbollah militias to further destabilize the region. The Coalition praised the steadfastness shown by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the face of Iran's aggressive policies and its outright hostility to the peoples and countries of the region. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A delegation from the Syrian Coalition, including President Riad Seif and a number of members of the political committee toured northern rural Aleppo and the areas that were liberated as part of Shields of the Euphrates Operation. The delegation met with local councils, FSA leaders, and service institutions in the area.
The delegation met with members of the local council in the town of Raie and leadership of the FSA’s Second Corps. They also visited the main relief aid center in the area to ascertain the distribution of relief aid and listen to the needs of the people. Around 225 tons of flour and food are distributed in the Shields of the Euphrates daily. They also visited the site of a modern hospital that is under construction. The project is supported by the government Turkish and will contain 300 beds.
The Coalition delegation also visited the institutions that provide services to the local population and work on restoring the infrastructure, especially after the area is now fully liberated from the Assad regime and the ISIS extremist group.
The Coalition delegation checked out on the efforts being exerted by the civilian population and institutions to restore life in the area to normalcy. These efforts will encourage Syrians abroad, especially the qualified ones, to return to the liberated areas to contribute to the provision of services and the operation of factories in the Shields of the Euphrates area. These efforts will also encourage investment especially in light of the peace and security prevailing in the area. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Riad Seif, head of the Syrian Coalition said that if the Americans are convinced of a political solution in Syria, convincing the Russians is possible. He noted that a political solution in Syria cannot be reached without a US-Russian agreement.
In an interview with the US newspaper Al-Monitor, Seif urged US administration to consider the Coalition as a partner whom they can trust as the Coalition is the only opposition body that has international recognition. “We need political, military and economic support from the United States,” he added.
Seif stressed the need to reactivate the Geneva track because the political solution is the only solution in Syria that ensures the preservation of the integrity of Syrian territory. He warned that the “four de-escalation zones are developing in a very dangerous way.”
Seif said the Coalition wants to work with the Trump administration on two common goals: fighting terrorism and “countering the Iranian influence in Syria and in the region while keeping the Russians from exerting more force and control in the region.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The opposition’s High Negotiations Committee announced that it was boycotting all conferences and meetings if they are held outside the UN umbrella, accusing Moscow of seeking to "rehabilitate" the regime of Bashar Assad. The HNC called for the United Nations to regain command of the peace process in Syria.
"Russia is undermining the United Nations as it is imposing its own rules on Syria," said the HNC a statement on Thursday. Around half a million people were killed in Syria in the seven-years-old war being launched by the Assad regime against the Syrian people.
The conference Moscow intends to organize on May 18 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi represents “departure from the United Nations-sponsored mediation efforts," the statement added.
The HNC renewed its rejection of discussing the future of Syria outside the legal international framework, reaffirming its commitment to a political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and international resolutions.
The Committee pointed out that the Sochi conference is part of Russia's efforts to monopolize efforts to political solution, adding that the Russian move risks undermining efforts of the international community to reach a political solution that guarantees the Syrian people’s rights to freedom and dignity.
The HNC and many opposition forces demanded that any conference remain within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 which called for local political transition in Syria. It stressed that the tragedy of the Syrian people cannot be solved by forming an expanded government under the authority of the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition and the Free Syrian Army’s General Staff said that Russia’s announcement that it was convening a conference in the city of Sochi represents a departure from the UN-sponsored Geneva negotiations and international resolutions on political transition in Syria.
In a press release issued on Friday, the Syrian Coalition stressed that calling this conference represents an attempt to depart from all relevant UN Security Council resolutions and violates the text spirit of the Geneva Communiqué of 2012.
The Coalition underscored that all relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 clearly stated that a political solution should serve as the cornerstone of the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) with full executive powers and whose primary task is to create an appropriate and neutral environment for the success of the transitional phase. It added that TGB’s tasks also include convening a national dialogue conference, the holding of a referendum on the drafting of a constitution, and the holding of free and fair elections.
The Syrian Coalition and the FSA’s General Staff confirmed they would not participate in the Sochi Conference as they reiterated their support for the political transition process in Geneva aimed at achieving the aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom, dignity, and justice. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s political committee met with officials of the Syrian Interim government and the General staff of the Ministry of Defense in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on Thursday. Talks were focused on following up on the steps agreed upon with the Turkish government and the understandings reached with regards to the takeover of the administration of the border crossings.
The meeting also discussed ways to complete the procedures for the unification of the opposition armed forces and the structure of a national army incorporating all mainstream armed opposition groups under the management of SIG’s Ministry of Defense.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Abdul Ahad Steifo stressed the positive steps produced by the participatory and collaborative work by each side according to its powers and areas of work, whether it was the SIG, FSA groups, or the Coalition.
Steifo described working from inside Syria as encouraging, adding that the Coalition, SIG, and the FSA General Staff push towards achiving the national project; start the reconstruction process; and push towards a political solution in the country according to international resolutions and not under any other umbrella. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Coalition’s political committee held a videoconference with civil leaders in the besieged eastern Ghouta to follow up on the situation in the area and the brutal campaign being launched by the Assad regime and the sectarian militias on civilians trapped inside.
The Coalition briefed the civil leaders in eastern Ghouta on the efforts it is making to ensure that the siege on the area is lifted, humanitarian crossings are opened, and sufficient aid is delivered to the besieged civilians.
Vice-presidents of the Coalition Abdul Rahman Mustafa, Abdul Basset Hamo, and Salwa Aksoi participated in the conference, while on the other end of the videolink there were Akram Tomah, Deputy head of the Syrian Interim Government and leaders in the areas of relief and medical work as well as members of Damascus Provincial Council.
Medical officials in eastern Ghouta warned of the deteriorating health and medical conditions in the rebel-held area as there are around 200 patients who need urgent medical evacuation for treatment in specialized hospitals. There are around 450 cancer patients in eastern Ghouta who are in dire need for treatment and medicine.
Both sides discussed the situation on the ground in eastern Ghouta and attempts by the Assad regime forces and the sectarian militias to advance on the fronts of Jobar and Ayn Tarma. They also discussed the daily shelling by regime forces as well as the massacres committed by the Assad regime forces on Tuesday and which coincided with a new round of talks in Astana and talk about the “de-escalation zones” agreement. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)