The Syrian Coalition warned that the indiscriminate bombardment on Syrian cities and towns would undermine the political process, stressing that Russia bears full responsibility for its continued support and complicity with the Assad regime's forces in the crimes being committed in Syria.
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Salwa Aksoi wared of the consequences of turning a blind eye to the crimes and killings Russia is committing in Syria. She noted that the indiscriminate bombardment "mainly targets civilians and forces of the revolution with the aim of eliminating them."
Aksoi stressed that Moscow will be fully responsible should the political process stalls or completely collapses.
The local council in the town of Jisr al-Shughour declared the town a disaster area as a result of the intense aerial bombardment by the Assad regime Russian air forces.
"We declare the town of Jisr al-Shughour a disaster area as a result of the relentless bombardment on residential areas and civilian facilities. The bombings forced all residents of the town to flee to neighboring villages,” the council said in statement.
The statement called on humanitarian and medical organizations to address the dire conditions in the town resulting from the intense bombardment. It also stressed the need for urgent action to help the IDPs and those still trapped in the town.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Education in Aleppo announced it was suspending schools in the towns and villages of western and southern rural Aleppo for dear of the indiscriminate aerial bombardment by the Assad regime and Russian air forces. It described the targeting of schools as "cowardly aggression" and called for holding perpetrators to account.
The Directorate of Education of the Syrian Interim Government called for stopping the Russian air strikes targeting schools in the province, indicating that the bombings destroyed two schools frequented by hundreds of students.
The Directorate pointed out that Russia's continued breaches of the “de-escalations zones” agreement and its targeting of schools deprived more than 150,000 schoolchildren of education after the Directorate suspended schools for fear of bombardment.
Russian air force on Friday carried out over 65 airstrikes on Idlib province, targeting 31 towns and villages across the province. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Assad regime and Russian air forces continue to bomb towns and villages in the liberated areas, deliberately targeting residential areas, health facilities and services centers. The Syrian Coalition described these attacks as "war crimes" that the United Nations must act urgently to stop.
Local activists said that Russian jets bombed several towns and villages in rural Idlib in the early morning hours of Thursday, killing and injuring over 20 civilians, many of them women and children. The victims included seven civilians who were killed in an airstrikes on the village of Alhamo in the Rouj plain in rural Idlib.
The Russian and Assad regime air forces conducted over 15 airstrikes on several towns and villages in the Rouj plain and near the town of Jisr al-Shughour as well as on the tows of Khan al-Sibil, Maerdabsa and the outskirts of Tal Mardikh in rural Idlib.
Activists on Thursday published photos and videos showing massive destruction caused by the ongoing Assad regime and Russian aerial campaign on many areas across Syria. They also published images showing children and women who were killed and injured in the aerial campaign which has been ongoing for nine days.
Activists in rural Hama also published photos and videos showing Russian jets and Assad regime helicopters targeting several towns and villages in the area. The bombings left several civilians killed and wounded and caused massive destruction in residential areas.
The Syrian Coalition stressed that “these terrorist attacks fit an all-too-familiar pattern in which the deliberate targeting, killing and displacement of civilians and the destruction of vital facilities and hospitals is the preferred option for the Assad regime and its backers.”
The Coalition called on the United Nations to assume its responsibility to protect Syrian civilians and work on putting an end to the deliberate targeting of civilians, vital civilian facilities, and health centers. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Assad regime and Russian forces continued the intensified aerial attacks on most towns and villages in the liberated areas, targeting mainly residential areas, medical and services centers. The Syrian Coalition stressed that this serious escalation serve only the terrorist organizations.
According to figures compiled by the Coalition’s Media Department, the Assad regime and Russian air forces raided over 47 towns and villages across Syria. At least 500 airstrikes hit the liberated areas in the period between 20-26 September, killing more than 280 civilians, including women and children.
The Coalition’s Media Department indicated that the Russian jets bombed nine hospitals and medical centers, leaving them either completely destroyed or damaged. Russian jets also targeted three centers of civil defense and 10 vital civilian centers in various areas across Syria.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Yasser Farhan stressed that Russia bears full responsibility for the crimes being committed against the Syrian people. He said that Russia’s actions serve "the Iranian expansionist sectarian project and encourage the growth and spread of terrorism in the region." Farhan called for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence and escalation against civilians, slamming the Assad regime and Russia’s insistence on committing more systematic, genocidal war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Farhan accused Moscow of working with the Assad regime to thwart any political solution in Syria and of preventing the implementation of any agreement that would stop the targeting civilians and put an end to the bloodbath in Syria. He called on the international community to assume its responsibilities and take urgent action to save the Syrian people. Farhan warned of total collapse of the values of international justice and human values as they are being violated by Russia and the Assad regime on a daily basis in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition discussed the latest political and field developments in Syria with the Syrian political forces and movements to coordinate the making of positions and decisions regarding the Syrian revolution.
The discussions took place during several meetings held by the Political Parties and Blocs Committee, which was established by the Syrian Coalition by a decision of the General Assembly in the Turkish cities of Gaziantep and Şanliurfa in the past two days.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Okab Yahya briefed representatives of the political parties and blocs about the latest developments of the political process. He also gave an overview of the reform process being carried out by the Coalition to ensure greater representation of all components, parties and blocs within the Coalition.
Yahya blamed the intransigence of the Assad regime and its continued crimes against the Syrian people on the Russian unswerving support for Assad, adding that these crimes have so far been met with a UN failure to force Assad to abide by international resolutions.
Member of the political committee and the opposition High Negotiations Committee’s (HNC) delegation to Geneva Fuad Aliko gave an overview of the negotiations process in Geneva. He also talked about the biggest obstacles facing the political process, especially the refusal of the Assad regime to engage seriously in negotiations and its refusal to implement the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Member of the political committee Ahmed Sayed Yusuf called upon all blocs and parties to take part in the making of decisions and positions concerning the Syrian revolution. He stressed the need to collectively discuss the issues relating to the revolution to make solid positions of the challenges and dangers facing the Syrian revolution. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition accused the Assad regime and Russia of committing war crimes in rural Idlib as hundreds of civilians and FSA fighters have been killed and wounded in the airstrikes that have been ongoing for the past week.
In a press release issued on Monday, the Coalition called on the international community to put an immediate end to “the ongoing criminal air raids” being carried out by the Russian invaders and Assad regime warplanes on civilian areas, hospitals, relief groups and the civil defense centers in Idlib and the surrounding and towns and villages. The Coalition stressed the need to hold those responsible for these crimes to account.
Activists said that 45 civilians were killed and dozens more wounded in over 90 airstrikes by the Russian warplanes and helicopters of the Assad regime targeting 17 towns and villages in rural Idlib. The victims included 27 civilians who were killed in the town of Jisr al-Shughour which was hit by over 28 Russian airstrikes and six barrel bombs attacks by helicopters of the Assad regime.
The most violent airstrikes directly targeted civilian homes and vital civilian centers, activists said. They added that Russian jets hit Shaam Hospital near the town of Kafranbel with several bunker-buster bombs which completely destroyed the facility and put it out of service.
“These terrorist attacks fit an all-too-familiar pattern in which the deliberate targeting, killing and displacement of civilians and the destruction of vital facilities and hospitals is the preferred option for the Assad regime and its backers,” the Coalition said.
“The airstrikes targeting the Free Syrian Army groups are a clear attempt by Russia and the Assad regime to support the forces of terrorism and extremism.”
A FSA source on Monday said that Russian jets hit headquarters of the Free Syrian Army in the town of Tal Mardikh in rural Idlib with over 11 airstrikes, killing 44 fighters from Faliaq Alsham FSA group. The airstrikes also injured five civil defense workers and many civilians while they were trying to recover the bodies from the rubble.
The Russian and Assad regime air force have dramatically stepped up attacks on rural Idlib over the past week, hitting mainly hospitals, medical centers, and civil defense centers. At least eight hospitals were put out of service and damaged as a result of the airstrikes. Violent airstrikes also hit a civil defense center in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, a power station in the town of Kafrien, a civil defense center in the town of Kafranbel, and a school housing displaced people in the town of Habeet. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Air forces of the Assad regime and the Russian invaders have further intensified airstrikes on the towns and villages of rural Idlib, hitting mainly residential areas, vital civilian facilities and positions of the Free Syrian Army groups. The intense airstrikes killed dozens of civilians and FSA fighters.
Activists said that more than 50 civilians were killed and wounded in Russian and Assad regime airstrikes on rural Idlib on Sunday. At least 80 Russian airstrikes targeting the cities of Saraqeb, Khan Sheikoun, Jisr al-Shughour, Tamana’a, Tal Maraq, Terai, Hamdaniya, Ishtabraq, Alteeh, Keek, Sarjah, and the rebel-held Abu Duhour airbase. The most violent airstrikes hit the civilian homes and vital civilian centers.
A FSA source said that Russian jets hit headquarters of the Free Syrian Army in the town of Tal Mardikh in rural Idlib with over 11 airstrikes, killing 44 fighters from Faliaq Alsham FSA group. The airstrikes also injured five civil defense workers and many civilians while they were trying to recover the bodies from the rubble.
Local activists added that Russian airstrikes targeted internally displaced people camps in rural Idlib, pointing out that the Russian jets hit the Nour IDPs camp near the town of Jarjanaz. The bombing left 13 civilians injured, including three who are in critical condition. The bombing also destroyed 20 tents. The camp is home to about 700 families who were displaced from rural Hama. Russian warplanes also targeted the outskirts of the town of Khan Sheikoun, causing several injuries among women and children.
Russian air force has dramatically stepped up attacks on rural Idlib over the past week, hitting mainly hospitals, medical centers, and civil defense centers. At least seven hospitals were put out of service and damaged as a result of the airstrikes. Violent airstrikes also hit a civil defense center in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, a power station in the town of Kafrien, a civil defense center in the town of Kafranbel, and a school housing displaced people in the town of Habeet. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian opposition delegation to New York, which comprises members of the Syrian Coalition and the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Friday evening.
The two sides discussed the latest political and field developments in Syria as well as the steps that need to be taken to put in place a political transition in line with UN resolutions.
The HNC delegation arrived in New York on Sunday to meet with heads of states and foreign ministers and convey the demands and message of the Syrian people as well as highlight their ongoing suffering in the biggest international forum on human rights. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition mourned the death of veteran Syrian dissident and activist Orouba Barakat and her daughter, journalist Hala Barakat who were found murdered in their house in Istanbul on Thursday.
News about the death of Orouba and her daughter Hala was reported on Thursday after Turkish police found them murdered in their house in Kadıköy neighborhood in Istanbul.
In a Facebook post, Orouba Barakat’s sister Shaza said they had been “assassinated” by the “hand of injustice and tyranny” -- a reference to Bashar al-Assad’s regime. She said that Orouba wrote articles that appeared in the front page of newspapers for nearly 40 years. Orouba wrote to chase and expose criminals. Today her name and the name of her daughter Hala are in the front pages of newspapers.
The Syrian Coalition said that “the hand of terrorism and tyranny is the prime suspect in this heinous crime. The Coalition is absolutely confident that investigations being conducted by the Turkish authorities will reveal the details of the crime.”
In a press release issued on Friday, the Coalition praised Barakat’s contribution to the Syrian revolution.
“Orouba Barakat was known for her principled positions and active participation in the Syrian revolution and her firm support and commitment to its principles and aspirations. Barakat’s contributions will have a lasting impact long after her departure. Her daughter Hala played an important role in supporting the revolution and exposing the crimes of the Assad regime through her work as a journalist.”
The Coalition extended its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Barakt as it stressed that the Syrian people will remain forever true to the messages left by our fallen heroes and that the revolution will emerge victorious no matter what the odds. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Former Secretary General of the Syrian Coalition, Abdul Ilah Fahad, called for bringing Bashar al-Assad and all those involved in the use of chemical weapons in Syria to account, the incidents of which all have been confirmed by UN investiogators.
Fahad was speaking during a conference on chemical weapons and mines in the US capital Washington in the period between 19-21 September.
Fahd gave a detailed overview of the number of victims of chemical attacks. He pointed out that the failure to hold Assad accountable for these crimes gave him the green light to launch more attacks against the Syrian people.
Fahd urged the international community to provide urgent assistance to the Syrian people and support their demands for freedom and dignity. He emphasized that this can only be achieved through the achievement of transitional justice after war criminals have been held to account.
UN investigators in early September announced they had evidence of the responsibility of the Assad regime for at least 27 out of 33 chemical attacks that took place in Syria following the issuance of UN Security Council resolution 2118 in 2012. The attacks included the April 4 sarin attack on the town of Khan Sheikoun claiming the lives of around 100 civilians, many of them women and children.
The Coalition called for the activation of Article 21 of UNSC resolution 2118 which threatened measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in case chemical weapons were used. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The delegation of the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) which is visiting the United States stressed the need to resume the Geneva negotiations and overcome the obstacles being put by the Assad regime in the way of political process.
The delegation on Thursday met with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Oman’s Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi, Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, and the UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura.
During his meeting with De Mistura, Hijab stressed the need for the UN mediator to adopt new approaches to overcome the main obstacles to the political process. He said that chief among these obstacles are the intransigence of the Assad regime, its refusal to cooperate with the UN efforts, its persistence in committing crimes against the Syrian people, and its insistence on resolving the conflict through mass forced displacement and the fueling of sectarian tensions.
Hijab warned of attempts by some forces with expansionist ambitions to discredit the HNC and use the political process as a means to help Bashar Al-Assad restore the legitimacy he lost due to his use of chemical weapons and other internationally prohibited weapons against Syria’s civilians.
Hijab also warned of the dangers of bowing to the pressure being exerted by Bashar al-Assad's allies who are seeking to influence the UN mediation efforts and pushing for ignoring the key issues relating to the political process, most importantly the issues of detainees, transitional justice, and accountability for crimes against the Syrian people.
The HNC delegation is accompanied by members of the Coalition’s political committee in Badr Jamous, member of the Coalition’s General Assembly Abdul Hakim Bashar, and head of the Coalition’s foreign mission in Washington Najib Ghadbian. The delegation’s visit came on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)