The Syrian Coalition’s Department of Foreign Affairs met with officials of the German and French foreign ministries to discuss European and American preparations to respond to the Assad regime's Saturday chemical attack on the town of Douma.
Member of the Department Anas Abda stressed the need to hold those responsible for the use of chemical weapons and perpetrators of war crimes in Syria accountable. He said that international resolutions, especially Article 21 of UN Security Council resolution 2118 called for the use of force against perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks.
Abda, who is also member of the Coalition’s political committee, said that punishing the perpetrators of war crimes would send a strong message to the Assad regime and its backers and bring the longstanding international inaction to an end. Punishment for these crimes will also reassert the need for serious engagement in the political process to achieve a political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UNSC Resolution 2254.
"We still count on our allies to save the lives of Syrian civilians from the brutal attacks being carried out by the Assad regime," Abda said. He reaffirmed the Coalition’s commitment to a political solution as he emphasized the need for the international community to shoulder its role and force the Assad regime to stop its military campaigns and sit at the negotiating table.
The two sides also discussed the tour recently made by members of the political committee to the camps housing the people who were displaced from eastern Ghouta and other parts of the liberated areas.
Member of the political committee Hadi Al-Bahra warned of the consequences of the continuation of the series of mass forced displacement and demographic change operations in Syria. He pointed out that the people who were displaced from eastern Ghouta do not receive the sufficient support and need an emergency program to meet relief and emergency needs.
Bahra noted that the displaced are very keen on helping their children carry on with the reception of education. "During our meeting with the households who arrived recently from eastern Ghouta, we noticed they were keen on enabling their children to return to school after a long interruption.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The last few days have seen a resurgence of the ISIS extremist group in central Syria as the Assad regime is being faced with growing threats of retaliation by the international community to the war crimes it is committing in Syria, the latest of which is the use of chemical weapons in the town of Douma.
The Syrian Coalition said that the Assad regime has allowed ISIS to bounce back in an attempt to cover up its crimes and draw attention away from them.
The extremist group has been once again active in various parts of Syria over the past two days. Activists in rural Homs said that ISIS militants advanced towards the Tadmur-Deir Ezzor road near the town of Sukhna after they captured several regime positions, including in Al-Saba Biyar and the Zaza checkpoint located on the Damascus-Baghdad highway near Alsin airbase.
Activists said that ISIS militants did not have a presence in the area in the past few months, adding that they made these advances after a surprise attack on Assad regime positions. The latest ISIS activity was coincided with intense aerial activity by the Assad regime and Russia air forces over the region without targeting ISIS militants or attempting to stop their advance.
The Syrian Coalition stressed that "there is a generic relationship between the Assad regime and ISIS,” adding that the Assad regime considerably contributed to the emergence of the extremist group.
Many investigations have previously revealed collusion between officials of the Assad regime and ISIS, including most notably deals for the purchase of oil and grain from the extremist group.
The Assad regime’s chemical attack on Douma on Saturday, in which nearly 100 civilians were killed, drew widespread condemnation, with US Defense Secretary James Matisse not ruing out the possibility of military action against the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)