President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif on Wednesday met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The meeting came during Seif’s participation in Turkey’s official celebrations to mark Victory Day in the capital Ankara at the official invitation of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey.
Seif congratulated President Erdogan and the Turkish people on the occasion of Victory Day. He commended the strong relationship between the Syrian and Turkish peoples as he praised Turkey’s generous hosting of about 3 million refugees who were forced to leave Syria because of the terrorist practices of the Assad regime.
Seif said that Turkey is one of the most important supporters of the Syrian people and the most prominent supporter of the Syrian revolution for freedom, dignity, and removal of the dictatorship of the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) reiterated it would not accept giving any role for Bashar Assad to play during the transitional period.
“HNC cannot accept any presence for Bashar al-Assad in the transitional period, HNC spokesman Salem Meslet said, adding that the HNC “will not act as eyewitnesses of the crime nor will it seek to bless the survival of the criminal.”
“The Syrian people will keep resisting and fighting. The Syrian revolution will continue until the Syrian people regain freedom and dignity away from Assad,” Meslet added.
“To be politically realistic requires the elimination of the root cause of the rise of terrorist organizations, not accepting the one who has absolute control on these groups.”
Meslet stressed that the vision that the HNC has develop for solution in Syria is “sufficiently realistic.” He pointed out that the "the failure of the international community to implement international resolutions on Syria will not affect the HNC’s vision for solution.”
As this failure and inaction continue, the United Nations bears full responsibility for the war crimes and crimes against humanity that are taking place in Syria, Meslet said. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Baladi News)
The Syrian Coalition strongly condemned the negotiations that were conducted between the Hezbollah militia and the Assad regime on one side and the ISIS extremist group on the other. The Coalition expressed surprise at the silence of the international community over these negotiations as it fully rejected their outcome.
Over 300 ISIS militants on Monday left the western Qalamoun area in Rural Damascus to Deir Ezzor province under regime forces escort after ISIS and the Hezbollah Militia concluded a deal to transfer ISIS militants from the border areas between Syria and Lebanon.
In a press release issued on Monday, the Syrian Coalition said that the negotiations have exposed the close links between ISIS, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and the Assad regime.
The Coalition said that these three sides are complicit in the spread of terrorism in Syria and Lebanon. It stressed that the deals resulting from these negotiations fall within the framework of supporting terrorism and violate the resolution of the UN Council Security and the General Assembly which prohibited the establishment of contacts or cooperation with terrorist organizations.
The Coalition emphasized it totally rejects the deal reached by the three sides and the provision of safe passage for ISIS militants to move from the area bordering Lebanon deeper inside Syria. It called on the Lebanese government to prevent the transfer of terrorist elements from Lebanon to the liberated areas in Syria.
“Condemnation of this deal should not be limited to the parties involved, but extends to the Lebanese security agencies that played a role in reaching and sponsoring the agreement as well as to international organizations that have remained silent about the deal,” the Coalition added.
The Coalition reiterated calls on the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities towards this serious violation and all violations and crimes being committed by the Assad regime and its allies targeting the sovereignty of Syria and the rights of the Syrian people to live in security and stability. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A leading figure in the Syrian Coalition said that the crimes of the Assad regime against the Syrian people "cannot be forgotten," stressing that these crimes “will continue to bring shame on the entire international community which is yet to assume its responsibilities to stop such crimes and hold those responsible to account.”
In a statement to mark the fifth anniversary of the Daryya Massacre, member of the Coalition’s political committee Badr Jamous said that "the emergence of cross-border terrorism was the result of the international community's failure to hold the terrorist Assad regime accountable for the thousands of crimes it had committed against the Syrian people before the ISIS extremist group emerged in 2013.
Jamous added that the international community’s continued ignoring of the real causes behind the spread of terrorism in Syria undermines efforts to reach real political transition in line with international resolutions. “The implementation of these resolutions is "a moral and legal obligation towards the Syrian people," he added.
Between 23-26 August 2012, mercenaries of Bashar al-Assad’s Republican Guard, the Fourth Division, led by Maher al-Assad, the Air Force Intelligence, and the Hezbollah militia committed a series of savage crimes claiming the lives of hundreds of civilians in the town of Daryya southwest of Damascus.
In a press release issued on Monday, the Coalition said that Daryya has “become the icon of the revolution whose young men and women set a shining example of an orderly, peaceful, civil movement.”
“Daryya massacre is a stark example of the criminality of the Assad gang and its willingness to commit the most heinous violations and crimes to crush the revolution,” the Coalition added.
“The memory of this massacre and all other massacres against the Syrian people will continue to bring shame on the entire international community which is yet to assume its responsibilities to stop such crimes and hold those responsible to account.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition Nazir Hakim said that the Coalition’s current strategy is aimed at enabling the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) to implement the services projects and public policies that were developed in preparation for the transitional phase that will follow the political solution without Bashar al-Assad.
In a meeting with Australis’s Ambassador to Turkey, Marc Innes-Brown, Hakim called on all friends of the Syrian people, including Australia, to support the Geneva negotiations to reach a political solution in which Bashar al-Assad and his clique do not have any role to play. Hakim stressed that the Coalition is keen to provide full support for the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) as well as its delegation and logistics team in Geneva to help them succeed in their tasks and unify the Syrian opposition groups into one negotiating delegation.
For his part, the Australian ambassador stressed his country's support for the rights of the Syrian people and the efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution through the Geneva negotiations. Innes-Brown stressed that the Assad regime has committed crimes against its people, especially with the use of chemical weapons. All international investigations proved the regime’s responsibility for the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.
Hakim called for providing support through SIG and the legitimate local councils to ensure that support ends up in the liberated areas, not in the areas under the control of the Assad regime or terrorist groups.
SIG’s development of many services projects would build up confidence among the Syrians in the ability of SIG’s staff to provide services to the civilian population, Hakim added. He stressed that this will restrict the ability of terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, to influence civilians through the reduction of the need for the services being provided by these groups. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)
The Syrian Coalition’s political committee on Friday met with representatives of friends of the Syrian people to discuss the latest field and political developments in Syria.
The two sides discussed the plight of civilians in Raqqa in the presence of head of the local council in Raqqa, Saad Shawish, and a number of activists from the province.
The political committee called for the opening of humanitarian corridors for civilians trapped in the city to escape and for the delivery of humanitarian and medical aid to civilians fleeing the ravaged city. Hundreds of civilians, including children and women, have been killed as a result of the fierce fighting between the ISIS extremist group and the militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which are supported by the United States.
Participants in the meeting discussed the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) prevention of civilians fleeing the fighting in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa from seeking refuge in the areas under the control of the PYD militias in northeastern Syria. The PYD militias are forcing those civilians to live in camps set up out in the open, which activists call "camps of death."
The two sides discussed the recent meetings held in the Saudi capital Riyadh between representatives of the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and the Cairo and Moscow platforms.
Members of the political committee called on countries supporting the Syrian revolution to continue its political support to the HNC’s delegation to Geneva talks. They stressed that "standing on our side to meet the current challenges will help bring about a real political transition in Syria."
A genuine political transition cannot be achieved with Bashar al-Assad holding to power, members of the political committee stressed. They added that Assad’s survival will bring tyranny and corruption back to Syria and will lead to more violence, which in turn risks spawning new forms of terrorism threatening international peace and security. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Officials of the Syrian Coalition held a teleconference with representatives of the local councils of the towns of Jeroud, Ruhaiba, and Dumeir in Rural Damascus to discuss the latest political and field developments in Syria.
Vice-president of the Coalition Abdul Basset Hamo said that a political solution that does not guarantee the removal of Bashar Assad and his clique would be doomed to failure, stressing at the need to hold everyone whose hands are stained with the blood of the Syrian people to account.
Secretary-General of the Coalition Nazir Hakim said that the Coalition and the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) are working to meet the needs of Syrians in the liberated areas through the provision of services to the population using the resources in hand. He pointed to constant communications with local and international organizations as well as with the United Nations to provide them with periodic reports on the situation in the liberated areas, especially the besieged and hard-to-reach areas.
Secretary of the political committee Muhammad Yahya Maktabi said that the fact that Russia has the upper hand in Syria indicate attempts to rehabilitate the Assad regime. He stressed that Assad’s survival in power at any stage will render the political transition meaningless and empty it of substance.
For his part, head of the local council in Jeroud Ali Jamous said that the Assad regime has put increasing pressure on civilians in the town sine ISIS fighters withdrew from the town. He added that the Assad regime has committed many crimes against residents of the town with the aim of putting pressure on forces of the revolution to surrender the town.
Head of the local council in the town of Dumeir Firas Laham said that the Assad regime imposes siege on the town to starve the civilian population who include many people who were displaced from other areas. He pointed out that the town is now home to over 100,000 people, adding that medical centers suffer severe shortage of medical supplies, especially anesthetic drugs.
Head of the local council in the town of Ruhaiba said that the influx of Syrian refugees from the Lebanese town of Arsal to the town has increased the suffering of civilians who already suffer severe shortages of food and medical supplies. He called on international organizations to urgently intervene to meet the needs the local population. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s political committee met with representatives of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups in the presence of President Riad Seif at the Coalition headquarters in Istanbul on Wednesday.
The two sides discussed the latest field and political developments in Syria, most notably the Assad regime and its allies' repeated violations of the ceasefire agreements as well as the role of the guarantors of these agreements in ensuring complete compliance. They also discussed the issues that need to be dealt with urgently, including the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.
The meeting also discussed the stalled Geneva process which has not yet seen serious negotiations and ways to push the process forward.
Moreover, the meeting touched on the outcome of the talks which brought together the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) as well as the Cairo and Moscow platforms in the Saudi capital Riyadh earlier this week.
President Seif briefed the FSA representatives about the outcome of the visit by a delegation of the Coalition to Saudi Arabia as well as its meeting with officials in the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Istanbul.
Both sides stressed the importance of coordination with friendly and sisterly countries.
With regards to the upcoming Riyadh 2 opposition conference, President Seif pointed out that the Coalition will focus on the importance of continued coordination between the opposition bodies and all spectra of the Syrian society and civil society organizations. Such coordination is of vital importance to give a boost to the institutions of the Syrian revolution, represented by the Coalition, the FSA, and the HNC to help them meet the challenges during the next phase.
For their part, the FSA representatives stressed they are keen to continue to coordinate with the Coalition and the Syrian Interim Government (SIG). (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition held the international anti-ISIS coalition responsible for the rising civilian casualties in Raqqa, warning of dire consequences of the continued support for the militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Bombardment by the international coalition forces and the SDF militias have killed more than 160 civilians in Raqqa over the past three days, local activists said. The victims included three entire families comprising 50 people and including women and children who were killed in airstrikes on a building inside an amusement park in Raqqa on Tuesday. The airstrikes were followed by heavy artillery shelling by the SDF militia targeting the site of the airstrikes.
Activists said that warplanes of the international coalition launched about 110 airstrikes on Raqqa on Sunday and Monday, killing more than 100 civilians and wounding dozens more as well as causing massive destruction to residential buildings and shops.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Syrian Coalition said that these crimes are added to the litany of war crimes against civilians in violation of international law.
The Syrian Coalition stressed that the fight against terrorism cannot be achieved by targeting civilians or by supporting other forms of terrorism. A political solution cannot be reached unless the international community shows a firms stance towards the source of terrorism, namely the Assad regime which bears the primary responsibility for the spread of terrorism in Syria, the region and beyond.
For more than 72 days, Raqqa has been the battleground for fierce battles between the ISIS extremist group and the SDF militias which are fighting under aerial over from the international coalition forces to drive ISIS out of its stronghold in Syria which it captured in late 2013. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A total of 10,000 intending Syrian pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia coming from Syria and neighboring countries to perform the 2017 Hajj season.
The Supreme Hajj Committee said that the last batch of intending Syrian pilgrims, comprising 5,000 pilgrims, would arrive in Saudi Arabia after six days, which will bring the total number of Syrians who will perform hajj to 15,000.
The Committee said that the first flight of intending Syrian pilgrims coming from Lebanon and Jordan arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday after several flights had arrived in the Kingdom coming from Gaziantep and Istanbul, Turkey.
Abdul Rahman Nahlawi, the committee’s communications officer, said that the staff of the committee is receiving the intending Syrian pilgrims and facilitating their movement in the airports until they reach their places of stay. He added that the Committee’s medical, religious and administrative offices are taking care of the Syrian pilgrims during their stay in the Kingdom.
The Committee has been overseeing the affairs of the Syrian pilgrims for the fifth consecutive year, providing them with services and facilitations from the moment they obtain visas until they finish the hajj rites and came back home. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)