Member of the Syrian Coalition Hisham Marwa said the Assad regime is seeking to circumvent the issue of political transition after it grudgingly agreed to discuss it in the latest round of negotiations in Geneva.
The Assad regime has not yet proved it is willing to engage seriously in the political process as it is seeking to evade obligations set out in the international resolutions, particularly UN Security Council resolutions 2118 and 2254, Marwa added.
Marwa cited remarks by the Assad regime’s chief negotiator Bashar Jaafari that there will be no point in discussing political transition unless “serious action is taken to combat terrorism.”
The military escalation by the Assad regime and the Iranian-backed militias against civilians reflects the regime’s true intentions, Marwa said. He pointed out that the Assad regime’s continues with is policies aimed at forcing civilians out of their homes to change the demographic landscape in key areas across Syria.
In a press statement released earlier on Saturday, the UN Security Council strongly backed UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura's efforts to facilitate a settlement of the six-year war based on the 2012 Geneva Communiqué by key nations that laid out a roadmap to peace starting with a political transition.
The Council urged parties to the conflict to resume negotiations as soon as possible and without preconditions.
De Mistura on Wednesday announced the fifth round of talks in Geneva will start on March 23.
Marwa has ruled out that the next round will lead to positive results due to the lack of international pressure on the Assad regime and a clear American position or role in the whole process of negotiations.
Marwa expressed hope that the Trump administration will announce a plan outlining the US’s position on a solution to the conflict including decisive action to reach a settlement. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
At least 55 civilians were killed and hundreds more injured in aerial and artillery bombardment by regime forces on rebel-held areas across Syria on Friday, activists said. The victims included 9 children and 5 women. According to the Syrian Coalition’s media office, regime forces and their allies violated the truce in over 30 areas across Syria on Friday.
Rebel-held areas in the provinces of Aleppo and Rural Damascus were the target of the most violent bombardment with massive damage to residential areas.
Meanwhile in eastern Syria, the Russian air force committed a massacre claiming the lives of at least 30 civilians, including entire families in the town of Mayadin in rural Deir Ezzor on Thursday. Russia jets hit two schools sheltering dozens of displaced people in the ISIS-held town south of Deir Ezzor city.
The Syrian Coalition condemned this “heinous crime,” stressing that attacks on civilians constitute a war crime and violate international law.
“Such attacks cannot be justified under any pretext, nor can the presence of ISIS in the town justify this awful crime or exempt the perpetrators from political and legal responsibility,” the Coalition said. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)