The Syrian Coalition condemned the bombing of civilians in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa by the Russian air force, the international coalition forces, and the militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.
In a press release issued on Monday, the Coalition said that these crimes are added to “an endless litany of war crimes by the Russian invaders against the Syrian people amid complete international silence.”
Dozens of civilians were killed and wounded in airstrikes by the Russian occupation forces on Sunday on eastern rural Deir Ezzor. The airstrikes targeted civilians while they were crossing the Euphrates River to escape the intense bombardment.
At least 15 people were reportedly killed in airstrikes by the international anti-ISIS coalition on an ISIS-run prison near the town of Albu Kamal in rural Deir Ezzor.
Moreover, at least 17 civilians were killed in artillery shelling by militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are backed by the US-led international coalition forces, on the neighborhoods of Raqqa where ISIS fighters are holed up on Sunday.
The Coalition reiterated its condemnation of the relentless shelling on Raqqa by the SDF militias. It is imperative that the international community shoulder its responsibilities to stop the ongoing crimes and massacres against civilians trapped in the city. The international anti-ISIS coalition bears responsibility for the support it provides to the SDF militias.
The Coalition also reaffirmed condemnation of the death of civilians by the international coalition forces as it calls for an end to these attacks and the opening of a transparent investigation into these attacks. Measures also need to be taken to ensure accountability for these attacks and more needs to be done than making of bald statements while waiting for time to pass by.
Moreover, the Coalition stressed that “the fight against ISIS cannot be done by killing civilians nor by supporting the Assad regime or other terrorist militias. Terrorism and extremism cannot be defeated once and for all unless the international community takes a firm position towards the source of terrorism, namely the Assad regime which bears the primary responsibility for the spread of terrorism in Syria and the region.”
The Coalition reaffirmed its clear position of the fight terrorism and the importance of liberating Raqqa and all Syria from the ISIS extremist group through supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and showing full commitment to the protection and safety of civilians. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition said that civilians in the Syrian Desert, who live in dire conditions in camps as well as fighters of the Free Syrian Army have been receiving constant threats that they will be bombed by the Russian and Assad regime’s air forces. They have been also subjected to continuing attacks by the terrorist Iranian militias.
In a press release issued on Sunday, the Coalition said that “civilians and the FSA fighters are also being subjected to increasing pressure to leave the area.”
“However, fighters of Usoud Alsharqiya and Ahmed Alabdo FSA groups insist they would continue to confront the mercenaries of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and ISIS as well as to protect civilians in the area, who were mostly displaced as a result of Assad's crimes,” the Coalition added.
The Coalition called on the international anti-ISIS coalition to provide the necessary protection for civilians and the FSA groups operating in the Syrian Desert. The Coalition stressed “the need for the ceasefire to cover all the area and for stopping the threats being made by the Russian forces.” The Coalition also called “for enabling the FSA fighters to confront all terrorist militias in the area.”
The Coalition commended “efforts being made by the brothers in Jordan to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians in the Syrian Desert and to provide them with the necessities of a decent life.”
The Coalition reasserted “the strong ties between the Syrian and Jordanian peoples and its keenness to strengthen these ties.” It commended Jordan’s “constructive efforts to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom, dignity, and justice.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The 33rd meeting of the Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly began in the headquarters of the Coalition in Istanbul on Saturday which will include a discussion of the latest political and field developments in Syria.
Tabled for discussion are the findings of a report released on Wednesday by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria which confirmed that the Assad regime was responsible for 27 chemical attacks against civilians.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Oqab Yahya described the findings as "an important step on the road to achieve justice and bring to account Bashar al-Assad and his clique whose hands are stained with the blood of the Syrian people."
Yahya called upon the UN Security Council to activate Article 21 of Resolution 2118, which threatened measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in case chemical weapons were used in Syria.
Member of the Coalition’s General Assembly Mohammed Dughaim expressed surprise at the insistence of the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura on making remarks that were out of touch with reality and that represented insult to the victims of the tyrannical Assad regime. He said that the UN envoy continues to pursue a policy that does not differentiate between the murderer and the victim.
"No one can evade the implementation of international resolutions that called for a complete political transition in Syria without Bashar al-Assad and his clique," Dughaim added. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition announced it fully rejects the withdrawal of Free Syrian Army groups from the Syrian Desert as it condemned all deals being reached at the expense of the struggle of the Syrian people and their legitimate aspirations.
In a press release issued on Friday, the Coalition said that it “fully rejects the withdrawal of forces known for their bravery to outside the Syrian territory at a time when ISIS militants are moving freely in different directions on the Syrian territory right under the nose of the world and the watchful satellites of major countries.”
The Coalition condemned “all deals being reached at the expense of the struggle of the Syrian people and their legitimate aspirations for freedom and their right to fight the murderous Assad regime and the ISIS terrorist group.”
The Coalition pointed out that it had recently met with representatives of the two Coalition-affiliated groups and consulted with them on the steps to be taken to stop these measures. It also said it had contacted officials of the US administration in charge of the Syrian file as well as with many friendly parties and FSA groups. The Coalition noted that it continued its consultations with the brothers in Jordan and the supporting parties on behalf of the two FSA groups to warn of the consequences and implications of this move.
“The history of Ahmad Al-Abdu and Ussoud Al-Sharqiya Free Syrian Army groups testifies to their distinguished performance in confronting the terrorist Assad regime and ISIS. The two groups lost many fighters in battles across Syria,” the Coalition stressed.
“In addition to being inconceivable, it is feared that the move is part of an arrangement or deal with Russia and the murderous regime with regards to the Syrian Desert to end the presence of the Free Syrian Army in the area.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Nasr al-Hariri, head of the opposition High Negotiations Committee’s (HNC) delegation described the remarks of the UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, as “shocking and disappointing”, stressing that de Mistura’s speech was in line with the Russian agenda.
At a press conference in Istanbul on Thursday, Hariri said De Mistura was well aware "which party has cooperated positively to advance the political process and which is the obstacle," in reference to the Assad regime.
"Every time we expected de Mistura to present a realistic report to the United Nations on the regime’s hindering of the Geneva process, the UN envoy remained silent," Hariri said. “That gave the Assad regime the green light to continue to commit crimes,” he added.
"The UN Envoy has no right to give up international resolutions on Syria. When he talks about constitutional reform and some form of power-sharing, he is completely departing from the substance of these resolutions and these principles as well as contravening the spirit of the Geneva Communique of 2012 which called for bringing about a political transition through the formation of a transitional governing body.”
Hariri stressed that “any international deal for a solution will not succeed unless the demands of the Syrian people for a political transition away from Assad are implemented.”
The UN investigators’ latest report has confirmed that "we have not only one war criminal, but war criminals led by Bashar al-Assad," stressing the need for the United Nations to act with the utmost firmness towards these crimes.
Moreover, Hariri called for the implementation of the recommendations set forth by the UN Commission of Inquiry and to be adopted by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. He also called for the activation of the principle of international justice and bringing all perpetrators of war crimes, chiefly among them is Bashar al-Assad, to the International Criminal Court.
Furthermore, Hariri emphasized the need for Russia to stop aiding and abetting the regime’s crimes and, adding that Russia is helping Assad evade justice for his crimes.
Hariri concluded his remarks by calling for "an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the finding of the Commission’s reports and the activation of Article 21 of UN Security Council resolution 2118, which threatened measures under UN Chapter VII in the case of non-compliance.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A delegation from the Syrian Coalition will fly to the Qatari capital Doha on Thursday to meet with Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani.
The delegation is headed by President of the Coalition, Riad Seif and includes head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Jawad Abu Hatab, head of the opposition High Negotiations Committee’s (HNC) delegation to Geneva talks Nasr Hariri, and members of the Coalition’s political committee. The delegation will discuss the latest developments in Syria and efforts to restart the UN-sponsored negotiations in Geneva.
Nizar Hiraki, the Coalition’s Ambassador to Qatar, said that the visit is part of a series of visits and consultations between the Coalition and friendly and sisterly countries ahead of the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting in New York this month. It is expected that the situation in Syria will be high on the agenda of the meeting in which a senior Coalition delegation will participate.
Hiraki stressed that the Coalition is keen to communicate with Arab brothers to coordinate efforts ahead of the next round of Geneva negotiations. He pointed out that the visit will also discuss support for SIG and its work inside Syria as well as the Coalition’s efforts to aid Syrian refugees.
Qatar supports dozens of important aid projects in Syria in cooperation with United Nations as part of a humanitarian response to the difficult conditions the Syrian people are going through. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition renewed calls on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to put an end to the ongoing crimes and massacres being perpetrated by the Assad regime and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition condemned the heinous crime which sectarian pro-regime militias committed in the town of Maaraf in western rural Hamaa on Tuesday. The militias raided a farmland near the town and executed 18 civilians who were working there. The Coalition stressed that all those who planned and executed the crime must be brought to justice.
“This crime represents a blatant example of Assad’s reign of terror, killing, repression and bullets as well as shows the Assad regime’s total disregard for the right to life. It is such a reign that the Iranian and Russian occupiers seek to keep. As the Syrian people rose up to salvage and liberate their country, they will continue with the revolution until all its goals are achieved,” the Coalition said.
The Coalition underscored that the international community is obliged more than ever to enforce UN Security Council resolutions, most importantly UNSC resolution 2254 to ensure the implementation of Articles 12 and 13 and lay the groundwork for a political transition in line with the Geneva Communique of 2012.
“Such action is need to pave the way for the rebuilding of Syria and achieving a transition to a democratic, civilian state that meets the aspirations of all its citizens for freedom, dignity, and equality.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee thanked the Turkish government for the facilitations it provided to the Committee and the transportation of Syrian pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform hajj.
The Committee’s remarks were made in a speech by Director of the Committee Samer Berkdar during the reception of an official delegation from the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs, headed by Akram Kalash, at the residence of the Committee in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The meeting was attended by Head of the Committee’s Religious Mission Sheikh Mutai Al-Butein, members of the Syrian Islamic Council, headed by Dr. Muhammad Abu Al-Khair Shukri, trustees of the pilgrims’ groups, members of the Committee’s administrative, religious and health mission, and Syrian pilgrims.
Berkdar said that the Turkish government has been providing facilitations for the work of the Committee since it was established in 2013. He pointed out that the Turkish government allowed the transit of 3,000 intending Syrian pilgrims from northern Syrian to Saudi Arabia as well as allowed 4,000 others to leave for Saudi Arabia and return without the need to obtain visas.
The Committee has overseen the hajj journeys by Syrian pilgrims for the fifth consecutive year. A total of 15,000 Syrians performed hajj for this year.
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)
Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition, Nazir Hakim, urged the Syrian pilgrims to pray for Syria and its people as well as the fallen heroes, the detainees, and the people in the besieged areas.
Hakim, who was checking on the situation of Syrian pilgrims preparing to perform Hajj, stressed that the Coalition will not waive the rights of Syrian people or the demands of the Syrian revolution for freedom and dignity.
The last batch of intending Syrian pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. The Supreme Hajj Committee, which organizes pilgrimage for intending Syrian pilgrims for the fifth consecutive year, said that a total of 15,000 Syrians are performing hajj this season.
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.
The Committee also oversees the reception of intending Syrian pilgrims and facilitates their movement in the airports until they reach their places of stay. The Committee set up a medical, religious and administrative office to take care of the Syrian pilgrims during their stay in the Kingdom. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)