Representatives of Syrian civil society organizations attended the second day of the 33rd meeting of the Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly to have a close look at the progress of meetings and discussions on the status of the Syrian revolution and the political process.
The participation of civil society organizations came at the invitation of the Syrian Coalition with the aim of promoting greater transparency, cooperation, and partnership with other Syrian institutions and forces.
In the first day of the meeting, which began on Friday, participants discussed reports by the Coalition’s presidential body, the General Assembly, and the political committee whose tenure ended on Friday.
The meeting also discussed a report by the Syrian interim government on the results of its work, especially after the European Union has announced its strategy to support the interim government’s projects aimed at providing services to the population in the liberated areas.
The meeting also discussed a number of important issues, particularly the latest field and political developments, including the outcome of the latest Astana meeting, the results of the latest round of Geneva negotiations, and preparations for the next round of negotiations in Geneva.
The General Assembly will elect a new presidential body, comprised of a president, vice-presidents, a secretary-general, and a 19-member political committee. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The 33rd meeting of the Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly began in the headquarters of the Coalition in Istanbul on Friday.
The meeting will discuss a number of important issues, particularly the latest field and political developments, including the outcome of the latest Astana meeting, the results of the latest round of Geneva negotiations, and preparations for the next round of negotiations in Geneva.
Tabled for discussions are the April 4 chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, the regime’s military escalation against the districts of Barzah, Qaboun and eastern Ghouta and the rebel infighting in eastern Ghouta.
The meeting will also discuss the final reports by the Coalition’s presidential body, the General Assembly, and the political committee whose tenure ends on Friday. The meeting will also discuss a report by the Syrian interim government on the results of its work, especially after the European Union has announced its strategy to support the interim government’s projects aimed at providing services to the population in the liberated areas.
The General Assembly will also elect a new presidential body, comprised of a president, vice-presidents, and the secretary-general and a new 19-member political committee. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)
The Syrian Coalition expressed support for popular demands calling for an end to rebel infighting in eastern Ghouta and resolving all disputes among rebel and FSA groups. The Coalition warned that continued rebel infighting would have a disastrous impact on all the Syrian people.
At a meeting with a committee tasked with mediating to resolve the rebel infighting in eastern Ghouta, the Coalition expressed full support for the arbitration and decisions taken by the committee. It stressed that it will exert pressure on the conflicting parties to end the infighting.
The Coalition denounced attempts by some parties to interfere with the work of the committee and to further fuel the rebel infighting, calling for directing arms towards the Assad regime instead of depleting revolutionary resources in the infighting.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people took to the streets of the town of Killi in rural Idlib on Wednesday denouncing the rebel infighting in eastern Ghouta. Demonstrators held banners and chanted slogans demanding an immediate end to the infighting and to dedicate all efforts to fight the Assad regime and its allies. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition condemned the bombing that targeted the headquarters of the Syrian interim government in the town of Azaz in northern Aleppo province. At least five civilians were killed and many more wounded in the attack.
“This terrorist attack is clearly aimed at hindering efforts by the Syrian people to rebuild their country,” said the Coalition in a press release published on Wednesday. The bombing came ahead of preparations by the Syrian interim government to hold meetings with foreign personalities in the building which was targeted by a car bomb.
“The bombing serves the goal the regime and terrorist groups share which is to undermine efforts to set up an administration at all levels and to restore infrastructure and public institutions,” the Coalition added.
The Syrian Coalition held the Assad regime responsible for exposing Syria to various kinds of hegemony, foreign occupation, terrorism, and destruction. It also renewed its calls to build an international coalition to confront the murderous Assad regime and its supporter and work to end it, but also to help reach a political solution and continue the fight against terrorism in all its forms, including those represented by the Assad regime and its allied foreign militias. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Abdah and members of the Coalition’s political committee met with representatives of a number of friendly and sisterly countries in the Coalition’s headquarters in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Abdul Hamid Yousef, a survivor of the sarin attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, attended the meeting and gave an eyewitness account of the horrible massacre.
Abdah said that the April 4 chemical attack on Khan Sheikoun has been the biggest of its kind since the August 2013 sarin attack on eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus. He attributed the regime’s continued massacres to the failure of the international community to deter the regime and compel it to comply with international resolutions.
Yousef gave a harrowing account of the horrible attack that claimed the lives of 25 members of his family, including his wife and twin babies. He confirmed that the attack was carried out by warplanes that hit civilian homes inside the town with chemical weapons.
The town did not have any rebel military positions before or during the attack, contrary to claims by the Assad regime and Russia, Yousef added. He also said that the bombing directly targeted residential areas.
Yousef also gave an account of the dire living conditions in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in light of the continued bombing by the regime and its allies. He called on the representatives of the friendly and sisterly countries to adopt a tougher position of the crimes of the Assad regime and to work seriously to put end an end to such crimes.
For their part, representatives of friends of Syria reiterated condemnation of the egregious massacre, stressing the need to hold the perpetrators to account in international courts. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Abdah called upon permanent members of the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the dire humanitarian situation in Damascus and its countryside which continues to deteriorate due to the ongoing brutal campaign by the Assad regime and its allied foreign militias.
Abdah’s calls were made in a letter addressed to permanent members of the UN Security Council, Turkey, the Friends of Syria group, the European Union, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Tuesday.
Abdah highlighted the military campaign the Assad regime has launched against the eastern suburbs of Damascus, especially Qaboun, Barzah, and eastern Ghouta.
Abdah called on Turkey to exert pressure on the Assad regime's allies to force it to stop its crimes against the Syrian people in view of its positive role in the preparations for the Astana meeting due to be held on 3-4 May.
Abdah stressed the need to hold the Assad regime accountable for the crimes it is committing in Damascus and its countryside and the other heinous crimes against the Syrian people.
“We believe that the regime has been emboldened by the continued failure by the international community to compel the regime to comply with articles 12, 13, 14 of UNSCR 2254 (2015). No credible political process has any chance to bring the conflict in Syria to an end if the regime is allowed to continue unchecked,” Abdah said.
In addition to the suffocating siege imposed on eastern Damascus and eastern Ghouta, regime forces are relentlessly and indiscriminately bombing the area. The shelling and airstrikes are targeting mainly residential areas and medical facilities. Furthermore, regime forces have targeted a livestock breeding project in the area in a clear deliberate attempt to starve the population, Abdah added.
The Assad regime’s practices violate all international resolutions and the ceasefire agreement and represent a total disregard to ongoing efforts to revive the political process and reinforce the ceasefire, Abdah stressed. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)