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)
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)
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)