The delegation of the Syrian armed opposition on Thursday held a meeting with a UN technical team at the opening of the eighth round of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana. The delegation discussed the issue of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime with the UN team.
In a statement, the delegation said that the aim of their participation in the current round of talks in Astana is to ensure the release of detainees, the consolidation of ceasefire, especially in the ‘de-escalation zones,’ the lifting of all sieges imposed on the liberated areas, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.
The delegation emphasized that it gave priority to the issue of detainees, noting that discussion with the Russian side will focus primarily on this issue.
The Assad regime’s refusal of to release detainees violates UN Security Council resolutions, most notably the humanitarian provisions contained in resolution 2254, the delegation said. It called on Russia to assume its role as a responsible guarantor of the Assad regime.
The statement stressed that regime forces and the Iranian-backed foreign militias did not abide by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement, adding that crimes continue to be committed against civilians in besieged eastern Gouta and in Idlib province.
The behavior of the Assad regime’s delegation during the latest round of talks in Geneva clearly showed that it did not have the slightest intention to abide by international resolutions, the statement went on. It stressed that the Russian side is required more than ever to exert pressure the Assad regime to force it to agree to a political solution. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition condemned the massacre that was committed by the Russian occupiers in the town of Maar Shoureen in rural Idlib claiming the lives of dozens of civilians including women and children.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the Coalition called for international action to stop the crimes being committed by Russia and the Assad regime. It stressed that statements made by the representatives of the active players have so far failed to put pressure on the Assad regime and Russian occupiers. These statements cannot absolve the international community of its legal and humanitarian responsibilities to protect civilians and maintain peace and security in Syria.
Local activists said that four Russian jets raided residential areas and civilian homes in the center of the town on Tuesday night, killing 17 people and injuring 35 others. They pointed out that high-explosive missiles were used in the airstrikes which caused widespread destruction to residential buildings and surrounding facilities.
According to the civil defense center in rural Idlib, the victims included 13 people from one family, including four children and two women. It added that rescue workers rushed to the site of the attack and rescued around 30 civilians from under the rubble.
The Coalition warned that negotiations and political solution are in great danger. “It is urgent that the international community and UN Security Council provide sufficient support to salvage the negotiating process and reactivate it in a serious, effective way. There is also an urgent need to enforce international resolutions on the ongoing violations of UN resolutions, especially UN Security Council 2268 and 2254 to ensure that perpetrators are held to account.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee on Wednesday convened in the Saudi capital of Riyadh to discuss the latest round of talks in Geneva and the establishment of an administrative and executive structures for the Committee.
Khalid Al-Mahamid, Deputy Head of the Committee, said: "The aim of the meetings is to discuss all the issues related to negotiations that were put forward during the latest round of talks.” He added that the Committee will work on the establishment of a cohesive structure and the distribution of tasks by establishing an administrative structure that will serve the Committee’s negotiation strategy.
Mahamid pointed out that the latest round of talks would have produced positive results had it not been for the refusal of the other party to enter into direct negotiations and to engage seriously to reach a political solution that is needed to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.
Mahamid stressed that the implementation of international resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolutions 2118 and 2254 to bring about full and radical political transition is the most feasible way to restore stability and security to Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)