Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee, Okab Yahya, said that the Assad regime continues to refuse to engage seriously in the political process. The regime also continues to commit crimes as it continues with the violent shelling of the liberated areas as well as the arrest of civilians and torturing them to death.
In a live broadcast on the Syrian Coalition’s page on Facebook on Tuesday, Yahya said that international community’s lukewarm response to the Assad regime’s crimes is mainly to blame for the regime’s insistence on pursuing a bloody military solution. He maintained that the implementation of international resolutions, most notably UN Security Council resolution 2254, is the only way out of the conflict.
"The Assad regime has not accepted any political solution and refuses to meet the demands of the Syrian people which were at their minimum in the early days of the revolution," Yahya said. He blamed the Assad regime for all the devastation, suffering, and the ongoing carnage in Syria, noting that Assad sees in any concessions the beginning of the end of his rule.
Yahya strongly condemned the repeated violations of the Idlib agreement by the Assad regime forces and the Iranian terrorist militias. He pointed out that the Coalition keeps constant contact with the Turkish guarantor to protect the Idlib agreement, adding that Ankara insists on the protection of civilians in northern Syria.
Moreover, Yahya said that military escalation is one of the tools used by the Assad regime to cause chaos and dodge its political obligations, as is evidenced now in its attempts to disrupt the process of the launch of the constitutional committee.
Reports by rights groups point to daily arrests of civilians by the Assad regime, Yaha said. He pointed out that "the arrests, torture and murder of detainees are some of the tools being used by the regime to crush the revolution and deny the Syrian people their dignity.”
Yaha explained that the Assad regime refuses to discuss the issue of detainees, stressing the need for international human rights organizations and the United Nations to ratchet up pressure on the regime to force it to immediately release all detainees in its prisons. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, met with the Finish, Danish and Norwegian as well as German envoys to Syria and discussed with them the latest field and political developments in Syria.
Mustafa, who was accompanied by Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Abdel-Ahad Steifo, stressed the need to start the work of the constitutional committee under the umbrella of the United Nations in parallel with the other baskets included in the Geneva talks. He pointed out that the international community has a responsibility to prevent the Assad regime and its allies from disrupting the political process and taking it to a standstill.
Mustafa expressed the hope that there would be increased international momentum towards Syria in order to pave the way for an inclusive political process and the implementation of international resolutions. He called on the Western envoys to ratchet up pressure on the Assad regime to force it to meet its obligations in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
Moreover, Mustafa pointed to the Assad regime's daily violations of the Idlib agreement with the support of its allies. He warned that these violations risked causing a major humanitarian disaster resulting in a new wave of refugees towards Turkey and other countries.
Mustafa reaffirmed the Coalition’s commitment to consolidate the Idlib agreement, calling on the international community to contribute to the development of the agreement and support the Turkish efforts to reach a nationwide ceasefire.
He also called for stepping up support for the Syrian Interim Government and its institutions to enable it to restore stability in the liberated areas and meet the needs of the displaced people. Mustafa also touched on the situation in the town of Manbij as he expressed that the US-Turkish roadmap for the town will cover all the areas east of the Euphrates River.
Furthermore, Mustafa talked about the immense suffering the issue of detainees and forcibly disappeared persons is causing to Syrian civilians. He underscored that the issue of detainees must not be used as a bargaining chip, stressing that this humanitarian issue must not be subject to negotiation. He also said that no one should keep silent about the Assad regime’s crimes against detainees, including torture to death.
Mustafa highlighted the situation of Syrian refugees, stressing that the fundamental solution to the problem lay in the ability of the international community to create the appropriate conditions for their return through providing them with legal guarantees and ensuring the participation of the United Nations and relevant organizations in the process. He also stressed that the return of refugees must be voluntary and in a safe environment.
With regards to appointment of Geir Pedersen as the new UN envoy to Syria, Mustafa expressed the hope that there will be a real political process leading to an end to the suffering of the Syrian people and meeting their aspirations for freedom and dignity. He said that the Western governments should stop watching the Assad regime’s crimes, calling for supporting accountability for war crimes, including the use of chemical weapons and the mass forced displacement. He said that it is the responsibility of everyone to bring these ongoing violations to an end. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Minister of Health in the Syrian Interim Government, Mohammad Firas Al-Jundi, said that they give special importance to improve the quality of health care being provided to civilians in the liberated areas through the holding of scientific conferences and symposiums. He stressed that this will reflect positively on the medical sector.
Al-Jundi made his remarks during a conference that the Association of Neurosurgery held at the central hospital in the town of Ma'aret al-Nu'man in rural Idlib on Thursday. The conference, the first of its kind, was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and the Assistance Coordination Unit.
Participants in the conference toured the hospital and examined some of the most complex and rare cases. Al-Jundi noted that the aim of the conference is to keep abreast of the most important developments in the area of neurosurgery.
Al-Jundi pointed out that there are many sensitive, complex cases in the liberated areas as a result of the airstrikes carried out by the Assad regime and Russian aircraft on the residential areas and vital civilian centers. He added that the doctors participating in the conference tried to exchange experiences and expertise to reach better results for the multiple combat situations.
The conference came as part of the Ministry’s efforts to revitalize and develop the health sector in the liberated areas which are still coming under sporadic bombardments and repeated violations by the Assad regime of the Idlib agreement, Al-Jundi added.
The liberated areas suffer severe shortages of medical services as a result of the Assad regime and its allies’ systematic targeting of medical centers and hospitals. The attacks led to the suspension of the work of hundreds of these centers as well as killed and injured many of the medical staff working in them. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s Committee on Law 10 and the Real Estate Legislations held a workshop to discuss the various decrees that the Assad regime issued with the aim of expropriation of civilians’ property. These decrees came as part of the regime’s plans to consolidate the demographic change it is seeking to bring about in the country.
The workshop, which was held in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, was held under the title "Latest Developments in Real Estate Legislation and Protection of Property Rights" and lasted for two days. It brought together members of the Committee as well as Syrian and foreign legal and real estate experts.
The participants discussed the real estate property in international law, the international conventions, and a number of peace treaties that ensured protection for property rights.
The workshop also discussed mechanisms for proving ownership of property in accordance with the zoning plans that were in place prior to 2011. The participants also reviewed the Assad regime’s breaches of these plans.
The participants pointed out that the amendments that the Assad regime has recently introduced to Law 10 failed to ensure protection for the property rights of Syrian civilians nor did they dispel Syrians’ fear of their property being expropriated.
They underscored that the absence of a safe environment and an independent judiciary in the country is discouraging property owners from laying claim to their rights or giving a warrant of attorney to their relatives to do so on their behalf, which makes the latest amendments worthless.
The participants set forth a set of recommendations to ensure protection of property rights and prevent the Assad regime from going ahead with its plans. They also stressed the need to carry on with the strategy being adopted to confront the Assad regime’s policies aimed at bringing about demographic change and the expropriation of Syrian civilians. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Nasser Al-Hariri, head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, called on countries comprising the Small Group on Syria to exert real pressure on the Assad regime and its allies to force them to implement the international resolutions calling for bringing about a comprehensive political transition in Syria. He stressed the need to put an end to the Assad regime’s vengeful, repressive practices against civilians, especially its repeated violations of the Idlib Agreement.
Hariri made these remarks during a meeting of the Small Group in Washington. The Groups is composed of the United States, Greta Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.
Hariri reiterated the Commission’s commitment to a political solution in Syria through the implementation of the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254 in the UN-facilitated process. He pointed out that pursuing a military solution by any party would only exacerbate the bloodshed and destroy the future of the Syrian people.
Hariri noted that the issue of detainees is the most important and most sensitive for Syrians, stressing that it should not be subject to negotiations.
"If we want to give credibility to any international efforts, this issue must be given special attention and be addressed under the auspices of the United Nations in accordance with the rules of international law so as to ensure that perpetrators of violations are held accountable.”
Hariri warned of Iran’s growing threat in Syria, stressing that Tehran is pursuing policies aimed at the smooth, persistent infiltration of all state institutions and segments of the Syrian society. He noted that Iran is now intervening in political, military, security, economic, social and cultural life in Syria, especially in southern Syrian and southern Damascus to accomplish its dream of establishing a land route linking Tehran with southern Lebanon.
Iran has recently established more than 52 military bases in southern Syria and founded security cells, eight religious centers and five universities, Hariri said. He added that Iran is avidly seeking to change the beliefs of the local population and their religion through various methods, including through encouragement and intimidation.
With regards to the Assad regime’s increasing violations of the Idlib agreement, Hariri said that the agreement is still holding. He noted that the Free Syrian Army continues, through continued coordination with the Turkish authorities which has been playing a major role in preserving the ‘de-escalation zone’ agreement in this region, is committed to the agreement. The Assad regime and terrorist organizations, meanwhile, have committed countless violations of the agreement at the instigation of Iran which is seeking to find pretexts for a military campaign in the region."
Hariri pointed out that the Turkish efforts with regards to the ‘de-escalations zones’ agreement in northern Syria and the international efforts in the Small Group have sent a clear message to the Assad regime and its allies. “They sent a message that pursuing a military solution is no longer tenable and that the launch of a political process to save Syria and its people, independence, unity and sovereignty is inevitable.”
The Assad regime continues to commit violations in all the areas under its control, Hariri said, adding that the regime is taking revenge against the population. He stressed that without a peaceful, safe and neutral environment provided by a transitional government, there will be no chance for any constitution to see the light, nor will fair elections take place.”
He said attempts at normalization of relations with the regime by some parties and states "are in fact a normalization with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Hezbollah Militia, and a mafia clan that is involved in crimes and terrorism in Syria. He warned that such attempts will distance the regime from a political solution by reinforcing its sense of achieving victory."
Hariri concluded his remarks by saying that international and international efforts are continuing to overcome the obstacles that the regime and its allies are putting in the way of forming the constitutional committee under the auspices of the UN. He pointed out if these efforts succeed, this may be the beginning of a political process leading to a sustainable political solution that brings security, stability and peace to Syria, the region and beyond. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition, Badr Jamous, said that the Assad regime’s rounding up of military-aged men to take them into forced military service has exposed its true intentions and its insistence on pursuing a bloody military solution.
Jamous added that the Assad regime has been using Syrian young men as a cannon fodder in its war against the Syrian people since 2011. He pointed out that to cling to power; Assad has turned Syria into a hotbed for the Iranian terrorist militias, the Hezbollah militia, the PYD militia, and other terrorist organizations.
Photos have recently made the rounds on social media of Assad regime forces rounding up dozens of young men to take them into forced military service.
Activists pointed out that the Assad regime forces launched a large-scale arrest campaign in the province of Dara’a over the past 48 hours and detained at least 70 people to take them into forced military service.
The arbitrary arrests took place in Dara’a city as well as the towns of Al-Yadoudeh, Al-Mozayrib, Tal Shihab, Tseil, Sahm al-Golan, and Sheikh Saad.
The Martyrs Documentation Office in Dara’a indicated that the arrests targeted former rebel fighters who agreed to the Assad regime’s forced reconciliations as well as civilians who are wanted for the compulsory and reserve military service.
The last month saw a significant increase in arbitrary arrests and kidnappings in the province of Dara’a compared to previous months. The Assad regime’s security apparatuses are carrying out arrests on an almost daily basis in most areas of the province. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition condemned valuations and crimes that the Assad regime and Iranian terrorist militias are committing across northern Syrian.
The Assad regime forces earlier today pounded the towns of Jarjanaz and al-Tih with heavy artillery and rockets, causing massive destruction to civilian homes and property. The shelling has already forced thousands of people to flee to makeshift camps in the farmlands surrounding these towns.
In a press release issued on Monday, stressed that all members of the international community have a responsibility to enforce the Idlib agreement and push the political process forward.
“They must realize that attempts to undermine the Idlib Agreement is tantamount to playing with fire and that the Free Syrian Army groups were found to defend civilians and are in constant combat readiness to do so,” the Coalition said.
The Coalition reaffirmed that the implementation of the Idlib agreement is the duty of all parties concerned if a humanitarian catastrophe in the region is to be averted.
“This requires serious action by the international community to ratchet up pressure on the Assad regime and its allies as key to advancing the political process and reviving the UN-led Geneva process in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.”
Attacks by the Assad regime and its allies Iranian militias across rural Idlib and other areas covered by the cease-fire agreement are taking place on a daily basis. These areas are coming under intensifying aerial bombardment as well as shelling with heavy artillery and machine guns, which is causing rising civilian casualties. Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa said that the United Nations has a responsibility to put an end to the Assad regime’s crimes against detainees in its prisons as he urged action to save the lives of thousands of detainees on Assad’s death rows.
President Mustafa cited an earlier Amnesty International’s report estimating that up to 13,000 detainees were executed in the notorious Sednaya Prison in the period between 2011 and 2015. He stressed that more detainees are being transferred to Sednaya Prison and being referred to the Military Field Court. The United Nations and all States have a responsibility to put an end to these crimes and save the lives of thousands of detainees on Assad’s death rows, he added.
"The world is seemingly still unaware of or insists on ignoring the living hell in the prisons of the Assad regime, especially in Sednaya prison," President Mustafa said. "Pressure must be exerted on the Assad regime to bring an immediate end to torture, executions, and starvation of detainees."
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria earlier called on the Assad regime to give explanations for the causes of the death of thousands of detainees in its prisons. It urged the regime to acknowledge the truth about how victims perished, reveal the whereabouts of their remains, and promptly, thoroughly, transparently, and independently investigating all custodial deaths.
“Most custodial deaths are thought to have occurred in places of detention run by Syrian intelligence or military agencies. The Commission has not documented any instance, however, where bodies or personal belongings of the deceased were returned,” the Commission said earlier this week.
In a report issued in 2016, the Commission concluded that the scale of custodial deaths indicated that the Assad regime was responsible for genocide constituting a crime against humanity.
Human Rights Watch earlier questioned the Assad regime's claims that the victims had died of a "heart attack" as it called on the Assad regime to answer the many questions as to how detainees died in its prisons.
Moreover, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime continued to detain civilians with its latest report indicating that Assad’s security forces detained 306 people in October. The Network pointed out that the Assad regime has pursued policies of repression and enforced disappearance since March 2011, which constitutes war crimes under international law. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)