The Syrian Coalition called for an emergency UN Security Council session to discuss the serious findings of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria.
A report by the Commission concluded that the Assad regime forces were responsible for the bombing of Ayn Alfija water facility in the Wadi Barada valley in late 2016.
The report, which was released on Monday, stressed that airstrikes on the facility amounted to the war crime of attacking objects indispensable for the survival of the civilian population as 5.5 million people in Damascus and its suburbs were left without regular access to water.
The report indicated that either the Assad regime or Russian forces were responsible for the bombing of the permanent headquarters of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in the city of Idlib in February. It also concluded that the Assad regime used chlorine gas in multiple attacks on the Damascus suburbs and rural Idlib as well as bombed UN aid convoys near Aleppo in September 2016.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Coalition called on the UN Security Council to put pressure on Russia to shoulder its responsibilities as a permanent member of the Council and as an alleged sponsor of the negotiations and a supporter of the Assad regime.
In addition to carrying out the heinous crime of intentionally targeting the water facility, the Assad regime used it as a pretext to force residents of the Wadi Barada valley from their homes with the backing of its allied Iranian militias, the Coalition added.
The Assad regime took advantage of political and military cover from Russia which continues to fail to assume its responsibilities as a guarantor of the ceasefire agreement signed in the Turkish capital Ankara on December 29.
The Coalition went on: “Russia continues to encourage the Assad regime to carry on with its massacres and mass forced displacement, which makes Russia a partner in these crimes and violations of international law and the ceasefire agreement.”
“By failing to shoulder its responsibility as a guarantor of the cease-fire agreement, Russia has so far undermined all chances of reaching a political solution.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition condemned ongoing operations by the Assad regime to force residents of the district of Alwaer in Homs out of their homes.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Coalition stressed that “the mass forced displacement operation being carried out against residents of the besieged district Alwaer in Homs as we speak constitutes a blatant violation of the ceasefire agreement signed in Ankara on December 29, 2016.”
According to the ceasefire agreement, the parties are to maintain the areas under their control. The agreement also called for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged areas and a halt to all hostilities.
“However, regime forces, backed by Russia and Iranian militias, continue to violate all terms of the agreement. Regime forces continue to rain barrel bombs and artillery shells on the besieged district. They have attacked UN aid convoys and seized their load. Today, Assad’s forces and Iranian militias began forcing the indigenous population of Alwaer out of their homes right under the nose of the international community,” the Coalition added.
The Coalition called upon the United Nations and the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to shoulder their responsibilities towards putting an immediate end to the crime of mass forced displacement of the indigenous population of Alwaer. It called for urgent action to ensure that the residents can remain in their homes. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)