The Syrian Coalition, in cooperation with the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), the Free Aleppo Governorate Council, and Afrin’s Local Council, held a workshop with the aim of assessing the needs of the civilian population of Afrin. The workshop also discussed ways to provide support and meet the basic needs of civilians as well as to rehabilitate service institutions in the region.
Participants in the workshop, which was held at SIG headquarters in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, included President of the Syrian Coalition Abdulrahman Mustafa and SIG’s Head Jawad Abu Hatab as well as representatives of friendly countries. The agenda of the workshop included a detailed explanation of the situation in Afrin by the Re-stabilization Committee and an overview of SIG’ efforts to restore services institutions to the region. Participants also discussed the role of donor countries in the next phase.
President Mustafa said that everyone has a responsibility to eliminate any threat posed by Bashar al-Assad as he called for a tougher international position against the Assad regime. He stressed that the international community must stop watching idly by as the Assad regime is committing the most heinous crimes against the Syrian people and repeatedly using chemical weapons and other internationally banned weapons.
President Mustafa urged all friendly countries to urgently help meet the basic needs of the residents of Afrin in coordination with SIG institutions and restore hope for a better future in the Afrin region.
The local council in Afrin is giving priority to the return of the displaced persons to their towns and villages, Mustafa said. He added that the council is working to restore stability to the region and restore infrastructure.
President Mustafa thanked representatives of the friendly countries for their efforts and continued support for the aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity. He also commended the role being played by the Turkish forces and the Syrian National Army in the preservation of the territorial integrity of Syria and freeing Afrin from the terrorist PYD militias.
Moreover, President Mustafa commended SIG’s efforts to provide services to the local population. He said that SIG’s teams have experience in local administration, the development of projects, and the provision of essential services to the population in addition to the rehabilitation and maintenance of infrastructure.
President Mustafa expressed hope for increased cooperation with friendly countries to provide SIG with sufficient support to implement projects aimed at easing the suffering of the civilian population. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)
President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa welcomed the outcome of the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council and the recently issued statement by the G7 group. He stressed the need to relaunch the political process and reach a political solution in order to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.
Mustafa also stressed the need for the international community to maintain the momentum against the crimes of the Assad regime, Russia and Iran in Syria. This momentum should be exploited to launch a real political process leading to a political solution through the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) without Bashar al-Assad and all war criminals.
Real political transition in Syria will ensure the withdrawal of the Iranian militias, restore stability to the region, and enable refugees to return to their homes, Mustafa added.
Mustafa underscored that the crimes of the Assad regime and Russia against Syrian civilians, including the repeated use of chemical weapons, require a strong response from the international community to put an end to these crimes and establish a ceasefire as well as ensure the lifting the sieges and the release of detainees.
"We are in dire need to relaunch a political process and resume negotiations in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254," Mustafa said. He stressed that Russia must stop supporting the Assad regime and the disabling of the UN Security Council, adding that Moscow risks jeopardizing its interests by continuing to pursue its current policies.
EU foreign ministers and leaders of the G7 group stressed the need to relaunch a political solution to the conflict in the framework of the UN-led Geneva process and UN Security Council resolutions 2254. They also strongly condemned the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons as a blatant violation of international law and human dignity. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition and ‘Next Day’ organization held a workshop on Law No. 10 and its consequences on the Syrian people. Judges, lawyers, administration officials, constitutional experts as well as technical experts from the association of engineers and technical departments in municipalities, state property and real estate register participated in the workshop.
Participants said that the Law No. 10 is an attempt to legitimize the crime of mass forced displacement as it is aimed at paving the way for confiscating the Syrians’ property and granting it to Assad regime loyalists. They warned that this newly introduced legalization is designed to serve the large-scale demographic change operations taking place in Syria.
Participants stressed that the move is aimed at consolidating the Iranian influence through non-military means by allowing Iranian companies to seize strategic and vital areas in Damascus and its suburbs, Aleppo, Homs, and Deir Ezzor under the pretext of reorganizing the destroyed areas.
Participants put forward a set of recommendations that included the establishment of an executive body to follow up on the developments with regard to the new law and to challenge the Assad regime’s legitimacy to introduce new legalizations. They expressed outright rejection of the new legalization as an attempt by the Iranian and Assad regimes to confiscate the property of the displaced persons and refugees.
Moreover, participants warned that the new law would allow rebuilding contracts to go to the new owners, which serves the Assad regime plans to change the demographic landscape in Syria. The new legalization also prevents the return of refugees to their homes in the future. Participants called on the international community to preserve the rights of Syrians and their property and prevent Iran from implementing its sectarian project in the region.
Participants gave an overview of the historical context of the real estate laws and the urban planning regulations currently in force. They examined Law No. 10 and all similar laws, such as Decree No. 66 and the ‘absentee funds management law’ as well as discussed their possible consequences. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa said that the Assad regime’s blocking of the entry of a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the town of Douma is further proof its responsibility for the latest chemical attack against innocent civilians.
"The Assad regime has committed the crime of using chemical weapons dozens of times since the start of the revolution. These attacks no longer need to be proved,” Mustafa said in comments he posted on Twitter on Wednesday. “Russia and the Assad regime’s prevention of OPCW experts from entering Douma was further proof of Assad’s responsibility for the crime.”
Mustafa also said that Russia is shielding the Assad regime and Iranian militias against punishment for their crimes. "Russia has chosen to support the Assad regime and the Iranian militias, thus causing more killings of civilians and various war crimes. Russia also shielded Assad against the consequences of the repeated use of chemical weapons.”
Mustafa urged the United States, Great Britain, and France to punish the Assad regime for all the crimes he is committing, including the use of conventional weapons. He stressed that such measures would force the Assad regime to engage in the political process and to abide by international resolutions. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition, Nazir al-Hakim, stressed that the military strikes against the Assad regime should be aimed at the activation of the mechanism for the prosecution of war criminals and violators of international resolutions, chiefly among them is Bashar al-Assad.
Hakim pointed out that Russia’s continued disabling of the UN Security Council and the failure to implement international resolutions demanding a cease-fire, the lifting the sieges, the delivery of humanitarian aid, and the release of detainees must stop. He stressed that Moscow must end its support for the murderous Assad regime.
Hakim pointed to the need to revitalize the political process aimed at reaching a political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254 to form a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) with full executive powers.
The military strikes against the Assad regime came to deter the murderer who has been killing the Syrian people for the past seven years and not to destroy the country, Hakim added. In addition to chemical weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, the strikes must target all military positions that the Assad regime is using to launch attacks against civilians.
Hakim noted that the Assad regime killed hundreds of thousands of civilians using conventional weapons, while chemical weapons killed only a few thousand civilians. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Nasr al-Hariri, head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, called for stopping all attacks by the Assad regime and its allies against Syrian civilians, whether they were being launched with the use of chemical or conventional weapons.
"All attacks against Syrian civilians by the Assad regime and its allies must be stopped, whether these are launched with the use of chemical or conventional weapons," Hariri said in comments on a Twitter on Saturday. "The number of Syrian civilians who were killed by barrel bombs, cluster munitions, rockets and other weapons is many times the number of those who were killed in chemical weapons attacks.
"The Assad regime may not use sarin again, but it will not hesitate to use the weapons that the international community has allowed it to use, such as barrel bombs, cluster munitions, rockets, and toxic chlorine in small quantities," Hariri said.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) earlier said that the Assad regime used chemical weapons 189 times after the issuance of UN Security resolution 2118 which was adopted following the sarin attack on the eastern Ghouta in 2013.
The Network stressed that the Assad regime did not comply with international resolutions and targeted medical facilities, public markets, residential areas and civil defense centers, killing tens of thousands of civilians.
US President Donald Trump on Saturday said that “Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path, or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace” in reference to Russia’s continued support for the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa called on Russia to press Bashar al-Assad to step down to allow the initiation of a genuine political process leading to full political transition in line with the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
"We have always called on Moscow to be a neutral party and help ease the violence and transition the country to safety by seriously engaging in the political process aimed at the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) with full executive powers as was stipulated in international resolutions," Mustafa said on Saturday.
"Russia has chosen to side with the Assad regime and encouraged him to kill more Syrians and commit various war crimes as well as shielded it against the consequences of the repeated use of chemical weapons," Mustafa said. He stressed that “Moscow must change course and cooperate with members of the UN Security Council to put an end to the tragedy unfolding in Syria by forcing Assad to step aside and in engage in the political process."
Regarding the missile strikes that targeted the Assad regime’s military positions at dawn on Saturday, Mustafa underscored that the Assad regime is not killing Syrian civilians with chemical weapons only, but also with conventional weapons. He noted that attacks with conventional weapons have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.
Mustafa urged the United States, Great Britain and France to expand the military operation to include all the military positions of the Assad regime which have been used to bomb the Syrian civilians and kill their children and women over the past seven years.
The expansion of the missile strikes will force the Assad regime to seriously engage in the political process and to comply with the international resolutions forming the basis of political solution, Mustafa said. He also stressed the importance of holding Assad accountable for war crimes against civilians, especially after his involvement in the use of chemical weapons was confirmed. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition has paid tribute for Syrian women in recognition for their important role and the enormous sacrifices they have made since the start of the Syrian revolution.
At an honoring ceremony the Coalition opened in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday, 12 Syrian women were honored for the outstanding contributions they have made to the revolution over the past seven years.
Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition Salwa Aksoy delivered the opening speech in which she said that the Syrian women have provided the finest examples for resilience against the autocratic regime and have shown unshakable determination to reclaim their civil and basic human rights.
“The immense sacrifices Syrian women are making and the tremendous courage they are showing deserve to go down in history as an example of giving and self-sacrifice,” Aksoy said. “Syrian women deserve to have a special day, in which they remind themselves, their families, the society and the world of the reasons for their participation in the peaceful demonstrations and the hardships they have gone through.”
Aksoy stressed that the Syrian revolution will not stop until the demands of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity as well as the overthrow of the Assad regime are fulfilled. "The Syrian women were present side by side with Syrian men in the demands for their basic rights and dignity as well as for liberating Syria from the tyrannical terrorist regime." (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Salwa Aksoi said that any possible military action against the Assad regime should target Assad and all associated war criminals as well as the Iranian terrorist militias.
Aksoi stressed that any solution must begin with the removal of Assad to pave the way for the start of the process of political transition in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254. She noted that this action should not affect the Syrian people as she stressed that the anticipated strikes must not turn to another occupation of Syria.
Aksoi also underscored the need to begin the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) with full executive powers leading the country during the transitional period. Bashar al-Assad is the one who is blocking solution in Syria, which risks dividing the country and the continued suffering of civilians, she added.
Furthermore, Aksoi stressed the need to hold all war criminals in Syria accountable, primarily those responsible for the use of chemical weapons claiming the lives of thousands of civilians.
Aksoi called on all allies and friends to spare the Syrian people further bloodshed and violence, stressing that this can only be feasible through the direct targeting of Assad and excluding him from the political scene. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Members of the local council in the town of Afrin in rural Aleppo on Thursday elected Zuhair Haidar head of the council and Abdo Nabhan as his deputy in addition to a six-member executive council.
The election of the local council in Afrin is a first step towards the election of local councils in all sub-district in Afrin region. The councils will be part of the Free Aleppo Provincial Council. The move is aimed at restoring stability and ensuring the return of displaced persons to their homes and lands.
President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa said that all local councils in the region would be formed through inclusive local elections as he stressed the need to repair infrastructure and provide services to the civilian population with the participation of all the directorates of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG).
Mustafa pointed out that the people of Afrin are the ones who are administering their region to ensure the return of all displaced people to their homes and their participation in the upcoming local elections.
For his part, SIG’s Head Jawad Abu Hatab said that the current council would administer the region for an interim period of up to six months, noting that a new council would be elected afterwards with the participation of all the people of the region.
Abu Hatab pointed out that the 20-member local council in Afrin represents all the residents of the region, expressing the hope that the council will achieve its goals for the next stage, namely the restoration of hope for a better future now that the PYD militias have been ousted from the region. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)