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)