Within the framework of the reform program proposed by the new leadership of the Syrian Coalition, the Coalition’s political committee has set up a special committee to consult with the FSA groups with regards to political representation in the Coalition.
The committee has selected 12 FSA groups in accordance with criteria agreed upon and approved by the Coalition’s political committee and called on them to name representatives to be incorporated in the Coalition’s ranks.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition said that most of the selected FSA groups have already agreed to name representatives in the Coalition. The political committee is now waiting for the rest to agree.
The special committee also decided to set up a working group to supervise coordination of efforts between the Coalition and military forces of the revolution.
“This important step brought together the political and military wings of the revolution and is expected to ensure strong representation of the FSA groups in the Coalition,” the Coalition said.
Based on recommendations by the special committee and the legal committee, the Coalition’s political committee has taken a unanimous decision to end the membership of the FSA General Staff which had represented the now dissolved FSA’s Supreme Military Council.
The Coalition’s political committee thanked members of the Coalition who represented the military movement over the last period for their efforts. It stressed that those members will still be welcome to name representatives within the framework of the 12 FSA groups chosen to be represented in the Coalition.
The reform program put forward by the President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif and approved by the political committee includes a series of steps designed to reform the Coalition’s bylaws and ensure strong representation of civil society and political forces in the Coalition.
The program also includes the establishment of joint working groups with local councils, political parties and bodies, the youth, the revolutionary forces, intellectual figures, and the business community.
The program is also aimed at ensuring wider participation in the decision-making process, promoting transparency and accountability and acquaint the Syrian public opinion with the course of the political action and the challenges facing it so that the Coalition regains the confidence of the Syrian people in their revolution and political national bodies. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A delegation of the Syrian opposition headed by General Coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Riad Hijab met French President Emmanuel Macron in the Elysee Palace and with the French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Odrian at the French Foreign Ministry on Tuesday morning.
In the meetings, Hijab reiterated the opposition's commitment to the political process and any agreement contributing to the implementation of UN resolutions and improving the humanitarian situation for the Syrian people.
In a press statement following the meetings, the HNC said that Hijab expressed his gratitude for France's support for the Syrian revolution and the rights of the Syrian people, adding that Hijab discussed the Assad regime’s “preparations for an escalatory military campaign.”
The HNC leader warned that “the Assad regime and its allies are preparing for military escalation in different parts of Syria, especially near the Syrian-Iraqi borders, in the southern region, and in the countryside of Aleppo and Hama as well as seeking to undermine international agreements to end the fighting.”
Hijab also called for an active European role in the political process aimed at resolving the conflict in Syria.
The meeting with the French president and the French FM also discussed cooperation in the fight against terrorism and ways to fight extremist groups that are threatening global security.
Hijab also expressed the need to lay out “a new strategy for the negotiating process, one which gives the Syrian people a glimmer of hope and alleviates their daily suffering,” said the HNC statement.
Macron’s office stated support for the UN-mediated Geneva peace talks to end the conflicts in Syria.
"The President of the Republic recalled his personal commitment to the Syrian situation and his support for the Syrian opposition for a political transition in Syria," read an Elysee Palace statement. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif is set to meet the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in the Belgian capital Brussels on Friday.
Seif will be accompanied by head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Jawad Abu Hatab and members of the Coalition’s political committee.
The meeting with the EU foreign policy chief will discuss the latest political and field developments in Syria and the outcome of the latest round of talks in Geneva aimed at reaching a political transition in line with the Geneva 2012 Communique and the UN Security Council resolutions.
The meeting will also discuss the strategy outlined by the European Union to support the opposition and SIG. The strategy focuses on achieving real political transition and addressing the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable Syrians. It also promotes democracy, human rights, freedom of expression, accountability for war crimes, national reconciliation, and transitional justice. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif met with Netherlands Special Envoy for Syria Gerard Steeghs and political advisor Renko Verheij to discuss the latest political and field developments in Syria in Istanbul on Monday.
Seif said that despite the scarcity of resources, the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) succeeded to achieve several successes with regards to the provision of essential service to the population in the liberated areas. He called upon the Netherlands to support SIG projects in view of the systematic destruction of vital civilian infrastructure by the Assad regime.
"We look forward to the support of the Dutch government for projects in the liberated areas aimed at alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people,” Seif told his guests.
With regards to the Astana meetings, Seif stressed the Coalition's rejection of giving Iran any role in the agreements reached during the meetings in the Kazakh capital. He emphasized that the Astana track cannot replace the Geneva process.
"We are concerned that the latest agreement in Astana is designed to establish separated cantons paving the way for the division of Syria," Seif said.
The meeting was attended by members of the Coalition’s political committee Ahmed Sayed Yusuf and Yasser Farhan. The meeting focused on the need to step up services to the population in the liberated areas as participants stressed the need to preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and restore security and stability. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition condemned the terrorist attack which targeted civilians in the Minya governorate in Egypt as it stressed it stands in full solidarity with the families of the victims.
In a press release issued on Friday, the Syrian Coalition condemned the “cowardly terrorist attack” which targeted a convoy carrying Egyptian civilians on their way to a monastery in the city of Minya in Upper Egypt on Friday morning.
“On behalf of the Syrian people, the Coalition extends sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, stressing it stands in full solidarity with our brothers in Egypt.”
“The Coalition condemns the targeting of innocent civilians everywhere and all attempts to spread instability and chaos in the sisterly Egypt.”
Twenty-eight people, including children, were killed and around 25 wounded in the gun attack. Egypt’s interior ministry said the attackers, travelling in four-wheel-drives, “fired indiscriminately” at a car, bus and a truck in the al-Idwah district outside Minya, about 135 miles south of Cairo. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif sent a letter to 30 countries friendly and sisterly countries as well as international organizations, particularly the United Nations, explaining the disastrous consequences of Iranian interference in Syria.
Seif emphasized that “no political solution in Syria can be reached as long as the Iranian intervention continues.” He stressed that “Syria and the region will see no peace or stability so long as the Iranian militias are operating in Syria unchecked.”
“It is no longer a secret the extent of Iran’s intervention in Syria and its disruption of all efforts to stop the bloodshed, meet the aspirations of the Syrian people; and ensure their legitimate rights.”
Seif went on: “It is indisputable that Iran’s intervention in Syria is illegitimate particularly that it is aimed at propping up a murderous regime that is responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and that continues to target them with all means at its disposal, including chemical weapons.”
“Iran's military intervention in Syria is the direct result of a strategic political decision by Iran and is being funded by the Iranian government and supervised by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Basij forces, and the Iranian army,” Seif said.
“The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has formed several militias comprising militiamen from Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and other countries.” These militias, Seif said, now form the bulk of pro-regime forces and are deployed in many key areas across Syria.
“These militias are seeking to implement the Iranian regime’s plans to impose an extremist ideological project in Syria. To this end, these militias are pursuing policies involving ethnic and sectarian cleansing.”
Seif also said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and its affiliated groups have pursued policies of ethnic and sectarian cleansing in Syria. These militias fighting alongside regime forces were involved in at least 10 horrible massacres, including the massacre of Deir Baalba in Homs and several other massacres in the villages of Aleppo countryside.
“All efforts to combat terrorism will amount to little as long as Iran is in Syria and continues to pursue its provocative ideological discourse accompanied by the promotion of a culture of incitement of violence and hatred,” Seif stressed.
“The Syrian Coalition reiterates that the international community, especially the permanent members of the UN Security Council and the presidency of the Council, have a responsibility to address this issue immediately,” Seif added.
Seif called for the designation by the UN, the US and the EU of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Iranian army, the Hezbollah militias (in Lebanon and Iraq) and all other Iranian-backed sectarian militias as terrorist organizations.
He also called for the adoption of a resolution condemning the Iranian intervention in Syria and ensuring the withdrawal of all personnel affiliated with the Iranian regime and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and all other Iranian-backed sectarian and terrorist militias from Syria.
Seif concluded the letter by calling for the referral of the issue of human rights violations and crimes against humanity in Syria to the International Criminal Court. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Fighters of the Free Syrian Army on Wednesday liberated new parts of the Manshiya district in Dara’a city after fierce clashes with regime forces and their allied Iranian militias. The Syrian Coalition said that the ousting of these militias from all Syrian territory should be a "priority for all forces of the revolution."
Activists in Dara’a said that the FSA groups advanced on areas from which regime forces launched rocket and artillery shells on the liberated parts of the divided city on a daily basis. They said that the regime’s shelling left dozens of civilian casualties, including women and children.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Yasser Farhan said that the ousting of foreign militias from Syria is an immediate priority for the FSA and mainstream rebel groups. He called on the international community to support the Syrian people in their struggle against terrorism and dictatorship.
"We will fight until the last inch of our homeland is liberated from the Assad regime as well as the Iranian and Russian occupation," Farhan said in a statement on Thursday.
Activists pointed out that the blocks of buildings captured by the FSA groups on Wednesday were used as fortified command and control centers by the Iranian-backed militias. They added that these militias are being supervised by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Assad regime’s air force responded by launching around 21 air raids and 12 barrel bomb attacks targeting the districts of Dara’a Albalad. The bombing left dozens of civilian casualties and caused widespread material damage.
The FSA and rebel groups in Syria have been fighting terrorist militias across Syria. The Assad regime forces, the Iranian-backed sectarian militias, the Russian air force, and the militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. The international community, meanwhile, has so far failed to push towards finding a political solution to end the suffering of the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU), of the Syrian Coalition, held a workshop on the relationship between institutions of the Coalition to discuss ways to boost coordination. The workshop took place in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on Wednesday.
The workshop was attended by head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Jawad Abu Hatab and senior members of SIG, the Coalition, ACU, and the local councils.
The workshop focused on finding ways to improve public services provided to the civilian population in the liberated areas in view of the systematic destruction of vital civilian facilities, most notably health facilities by the Assad regime and its allies.
Efficient administration of the liberated areas and the provision of essential services are high on the Coalition’s list of priorities, members of the Coalition stressed. They added that the Coalition strives to effectively carry out its duties towards the Syrian people.
During a meeting with the Norwegian Special Envoy for Syria, Knut Lein, on Tuesday, President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif said that SIG is developing projects to administer the liberated areas and provide services to the civilian population.
Seif stressed the importance of the support offered by friends of the Syrian people for these projects, which are aimed at alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people and improving living conditions in the liberated areas. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition renewed calls on the parties supporting the militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) to reconsider their positions and pressure these militias to stop their criminal practices.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition said that the PYD have been involved in violence and terrorism, especially against the Kurdish National Council and its components.
The Coalition condemned the PYD repressive practices and violations as it reiterated perpetrators must be held to account. PYD practices run against the aspirations of the Syrian people and are detrimental to their interests, the Coalition stressed.
PYD elements last week kidnapped two members of the political bureau of the Kurdistan Democratic Party - Syria in the city of Hasaka. The incident came three days after PYD militias kidnapped three members of the Kurdish National Council (KNC), a key components of the Syrian Coalition, as well as journalists and correspondents. The fate of those abducted is still unknown. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif said that the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) is developing projects to administer the liberated areas and provide services to the civilian population. He stressed the importance of the support offered by friendly and sisterly countries for these projects aimed at alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people and improving living conditions in the liberated areas.
During a meeting with the Norwegian Special Envoy for Syria, Knut Lein, on Tuesday, Seif said that the Coalition strives to carry out the duties assigned to it the day it was established, most importantly to administer the liberated areas and provide services to the population.
Seif presented an overview of the Coalition’s plans of action, pointing to the SIG’s important role in these plans. The SIG’s immediate priority is to support education and health sectors and to restore state institutions considering the systematic destruction of vital civilian facilities and infrastructure by the Assad regime, he added.
“We count on your support for the political process needed to put an end to Russia and Iran’s stalling of the political solution and their insistence on pursuing a military solution to the conflict,” Seif told his guest.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Hadi Bahra said that the Assad regime has yet to prove itself a real partner in the Geneva talks and instead is insisting on pursuing a military solution in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)