Coalition News
17 August 2017 In Coalition News

As part of the efforts to reach out to and maintain close consultations with the revolution’s forces inside Syria, the Syrian Coalition held a teleconference with leaders of civic bodies in eastern Ghouta which has been subjected to intensifying bombing campaign by the Assad regime despite the signing off on a “de-escalation” agreement in the Damascus suburb in recent weeks.

The teleconference was attended by the Coalition’s Secretary-General Nazir Hakim as well as members of the Coalition’s political committee Okab Yahya, Haytham Rahma, and Safwan Jandali. On the other side of the line were Deputy Head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Akram Tomah, Alaa Ahmad, and Hani Hafez.

Hakim said that the relentless shelling on eastern Ghouta and the blocking of the entry of humanitarian aid by the Assad regime are aimed at increasing the pressure on the FSA and rebel fighters in the area to agree to truces that are favorable to the Assad regime.

Violations being committed by the Assad regime constitute "war crimes" under international law and the international humanitarian law, Hakim said. He stressed that “eastern Ghouta, having been a firm bulwark against the Assad regime, keeps alive the hope of victory over the Assad regime.”

Hakim pointed out that all revolutionary forces must be involved in the shaping of any political solution in Syria.

For his part, member of the political committee Okab Yahya stressed the importance of maintaining close communication and consultations about the latest political developments in Syria. He said that the Syrian revolution is facing challenges that require mobilizing all efforts and maintaining extensive, close consultation among the revolution’s forces.

SIG’s Deputy Head Akram Tomah, who is based in eastern Ghouta, said that the area is still being violently bombed by the Assad regime. “I am back from a tour to Zamalka…The district is under intense rocket shelling.”

Tomah pointed out that the electricity and fuel have been cut off to eastern Ghouta for five years, adding that “most of the civilians now live below the poverty line."

"Medicines have become too expensive,” Tomah said, warning that medical supplies are running very low in the besieged area. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

17 August 2017 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition mourned the death of Syrian actress Fadwa Suleiman who passed away today (Thursday, August 17) after a struggle with disease.

Fadwa became known for her outspoken support for the Syrian revolution against the Assad regime since day one. She also led protests and sit-ins demanding the downfall of the Assad regime and chanting for freedom and dignity.

After she was forced to leave Syria, Fadwa co-organized and participated in many events around the world to publicize the Syrian revolution and its goals against dictatorship and tyranny.

The Coalition extended its heartfelt condolences to the family of Fadwa, her friends, and the youth of the Syrian revolution and its activists “who lost one of the symbols of the Syrian revolution.”

“In addition to becoming one of the most recognized faces of the revolution, Fadwa provided an excellent model of national unity and for the free actress,” said the Coalition in a press release issued on Thursday.

Born in 1970, Fadwa pursued an acting career after she graduated from the Higher Institute of Theatrical Arts in Damascus. She performed in numerous plays, TV dramas, films, radio programs, and dubbing roles prior to the start of the Syrian revolution. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

15 August 2017 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition has denied it was closing down the office of its foreign mission in Paris, stressing that the office maintains constant contact with the French Foreign Ministry and the French Presidency.

In response to reports circulated by the Russian news agency Sputnik on Monday, August 14 about the French government's requesting that the Syrian Coalition close down the office of its foreign mission in Paris, the Coalition stressed that these “allegations are unfounded as the foreign mission is still carrying out its routine duties. The office maintains constant contact with the French Foreign Ministry and the French Presidency.”

Sputnik reported that France, at the request of the administration of French President Emmanuel Macaron, intends to close the office of the Coalition’s foreign mission in the French capital Paris. The Russian agency also said that Macaron intends to re-open the French embassy in Syria shortly.

The Russian news agency is known to have circulated many fake news reports about the Syrian Coalition, all of which turned out to be unfounded rumors, especially during every round of talks in Geneva.

The Coalition urged all media outlets to verify the accuracy of news related to the Syrian Coalition and the opposition as well as not to fall to the rumors being circulated on social media sites. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

14 August 2017 In Coalition News

A total of 1,200 intending Syrian pilgrims arrived in Saudi Arabia coming from Gaziantep airport to perform hajj.

Abdulrahman Nahlawi, media officer of the Syrian Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee said that two groups of intending Syrian pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia coming from the cities of Gaziantep and Reyhanli in Turkey. He added that the third group, numbering 694 intending pilgrims, would arrive in the Kingdom on Monday.

Nahlawi pointed out that staff of the Committee in Saudi Arabia are receiving the intending Syrian pilgrims and working to facilitate their movement in the airports until they reach their places of residence. While in their residence, the pilgrims are being looked after by the Committee’s medical, religious and administrative offices.

The Committee announced that a total of 15,000 Syrians will perform hajj for this year coming from Syria, the neighboring countries as well as Qatar, Egypt, UAE and Kuwait.

The Committee has been supervising the affairs of the Syrian intending pilgrims over the past five years and has been providing them with services and all forms of facilitation, starting from obtaining visas until they reach the holy sites. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

12 August 2017 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition condemned “the heinous crime” against members of the civil defense in the town of Sarmin east of Idlib, describing the act as setting a “dangerous precedent." The crime claimed the lives of seven civil defense workers.

The civil defense corps in Idlib province said that unknown gunmen stormed the center in Sarmin at dawn on Saturday and shot dead seven rescue workers who were on their night shift.

“The Syrian Coalition strongly condemns this heinous crime as it is directly following up on the situation. The Coalition will do everything possible to reveal details of the crime and expose the perpetrators,” the Coalition said in a press release issued on Saturday.

The Coalition stressed that “the perpetrators will eventually face justice and receive the punishment they deserve along with everyone whose hands are stained with the blood of innocent civilians.”

Members of the civil defense work in the liberated areas to help victims of the bombardment by the Assad regime and its allies. The corps was established to help civilians regardless of ethnicity, religion, sect, or political views.

Rescue workers have been a constant target for the Assad regime which accuses them of being "terrorists," especially after their work was widely acclaimed by international and human rights organizations. The Syrian civil defense also won international awards and was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

12 August 2017 In Coalition News

The first batch of intending Syrian pilgrims flew to Saudi Arabia from Gaziantep, Turkey on Saturday. The hajj journey is being supervised by the Syrian Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee which has assumed this task over the past five years.

A total of 180 intending Syrian pilgrims flew off to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. The second batch, numbering 180 persons, is scheduled to depart Turkey on Sunday.

Earlier this week, the Committee said that a total of 15,000 Syrian nationals will arrive in Saudi Arabia to perform hajj coming mainly from Syria and neighboring countries as well as Qatar, Egypt, the UAE, and Kuwait.

Rights group estimate that over 14 million Syrians have been displaced inside and outside the country as a result of the Assad regime’s military campaigns on the liberated areas.

All visas for hajj were exclusively obtained through the offices of the Committee in coordination with the Saudi embassies and consulates in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey under an agreement concluded with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj.

The Committee has opened several offices in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and northern Syria as well as branch offices in the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait. The offices provide services to Syrian pilgrims and manage their affairs while performing hajj. Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

12 August 2017 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition’s political committee on Friday held a teleconference with Quneitra provincial council to discuss the latest field and political developments.

The Coalition’s Secretary-General Nazir Hakim stressed that Quneitra has always been “a firm bulwark against the Assad regime and the occupation entity." He reasserted the council members that that the Coalition "will not leave you at any moment alone in the battle."

"We salute the steadfastness being shown by our people in Quneitra," Hakim said, adding that the rebel groups in the province “have made significant gains against the Assad regime forces.”

“We will work with our brothers in Dara’a province to ensure that you close ranks and work hand in hand. We will also communicate with all active players to stand by our brothers in Quneitra," Hakim added.

For their part, representatives of the provincial council indicated that they supported the ceasefire agreement reached recently in southern Syria provided that it covers all Syrian territory. They stressed that they are committed to the integrity of the Syrian territory as they warned of attempts by the Assad regime to exploit the de-escalation agreements to redeploy its forces to other rebel-held areas.

The representatives reiterated calls for the release of detainees and for sticking to the guiding principles of the Syrian revolution, including most importantly the overthrow of the Assad regime.

Quneitra province suffers severe shortages of food and medical supplies as no relief aid arrives in the province, the representatives said. They pointed out that “the Zionist entity contributes to siege the Assad regime imposes on large areas in the province.”

Representatives of the council called for the urgent introduction of relief aid to the province, noting that “not single food basket has been delivered to the province over the past four years.” The infrastructure in the region "is in a very poor condition,” they added.

Members of the provincial council confirmed they are ready to work with all FSA and rebel groups in the south to "achieve victory over the Assad regime.” They emphasized that they are “an integral part of Syria as we seek to build a civil state based on justice and equal citizenship.” They stressed they see in the Syrian Coalition a political umbrella for the council. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

11 August 2017 In Coalition News

Protestors in the liberated areas renewed their demands for the departure of the Assad regime along with all its symbols and pillars as well as for the withdrawal of Qaeda from Syria.

Syrian civilians renewed their demands in demonstrations that swept across the liberated areas on Friday.

Demonstrators in the town of Sarqeb in rural Idlib held placards reading "revolution until victory" and “we will bring Assad down no matter how long it takes.”

The town of Maarat al-Nu'man in rural Idlib witnessed the biggest demonstrations against the Assad regime and Al-Nusra Front, the Qaeda franchise in Syria. Demonstrators raised placards denouncing Bashar al-Assad and Al-Nusra Front.

In rural Aleppo, civilians took to the streets of the towns of Al-Bab and Biza’a, renewing calls for the toppling of the Assad regime. Protestors also condemned the practices of Haiyat Tahrir Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) in the liberated areas, including the detention and mistreatment of civilians and activists as well as the targeting of the Free Syrian Army groups.

Demonstrators in the town of Biza’a called on the Free Syrian Army groups to unify and oust the terrorist militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from northern rural Aleppo.

More demonstrations also were recorded in Dara’a province and eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus. Protestors called for the immediate release of the detainees and the disclosing the fate of the forcibly disappeared under the Assad regime. They also reaffirmed their rights to freedom and dignity by overthrowing the Assad regime and its symbols.

The implementation of international resolutions calling for bringing about a political transition in Syria is only achievable through the departure of Bashar Assad and the pillars of his regime, said Nasr al-Hariri, head of the delegation of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) to Geneva talks.

In an interview with the New Arab newspaper on Thursday, Hariri said that a political transition "cannot take place with the presence of a criminal like Bashar al-Assad.” He stressed that “to say that we entered the stage of political transition, the head of the regime and its symbols must step aside in the beginning of the transitional period." (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media + Agencies)

11 August 2017 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition on Friday concluded the participatory policy-making program it developed for the areas of education, health and the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

The Coalition representatives in the Turkish city of Gaziantep participated in the final session of the workshop, which included a series of sub-workshops aimed at examining these three areas and coming up with practical suggestions to improve the conditions of work in these areas.

The final session of the workshop saw the participation of representatives of friendly countries, the United Nations, and international donors. The Coalition’s Secretary-General Nazir Hakim, ministers of health and education in the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), Director of International Cooperation, and Director of the Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) also participated in the final sub-workshop.

The meeting reviewed the policy papers which were laid out to address the three areas. The papers were the outcome of a series of workshops that were held over a span of several months with the participation of SIG, civil society organizations as well as local and foreign experts and researchers.

Participants discussed the implementation of these policies in order of priority as well as produced many policy documents that were presented and promoted during the final workshop.

Participants expressed their determination to effectively implement these participatory policies and implement the outputs of these workshops with the aim of serving all citizens across Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

10 August 2017 In Coalition News

The implementation of international resolutions calling for bringing about a political transition in Syria is only achievable through the departure of Bashar Assad and the pillars of his regime, said Nasr al-Hariri, head of the delegation of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) to Geneva talks.

In an interview with the New Arab newspaper, Hariri said that a political transition "cannot take place with the presence of a criminal like Bashar al-Assad.” He stressed that “to say that we entered the stage of political transition, the head of the regime and its symbols must step aside in the beginning of the transitional period."

The Syrian people did not consult with anybody when they rose up against the Assad regime, nor did they wait for instructions when the revolution broke out, Hariri added. "The Syrian people, having made enormous sacrifices, will not accept the survival of Bashar al-Assad. This position must not be understood as political posturing as the Syrian people have a lot of reasons to insist on Assad’s departure,” Hariri added.

Hariri went on to say that it is impossible to establish a new social contract in Syria in the presence of a criminal who is responsible for the death of at least half a million people. He stressed that Assad’s survival will complicate efforts to rebuild state institutions, including the army, security agencies, and services institutions.

In addition to Assad’s departure, there are a set other fundamental principles such as “the restructuring of the armed forces and security apparatuses, the withdrawal of foreign militias, the imposition of arms control and making all weapons in the hand of the state, and the establishment of a democratic civil state based on the rule of law.”

Hariri said that these are the guiding principles of the Syrian opposition and the basis of any possible dialogue with the Cairo and Moscow platforms. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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