Coalition News
18 January 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Interim Government (SIG) held a meeting to support the displaced people living in camps in northern Syria who are suffering dire humanitarian conditions in the wake of the storms and flash flooding that have hit the area recently.

The meeting, which was held at SIG headquarters in the town of Azaz in northern rural Aleppo, brought together SIG’s Head Jawad Abu Hatab and representatives of local councils, civil groups, humanitarian organizations, and the Syrian Islamic Council.

Abu Hatab said that the meeting was aimed at putting a team together whose task will be to coordinate the provision of aid to the internally displaced persons living in camps in northern Syria as part of the “solidarity campaign with our people in the IDP camps.”

Abu Hatab pointed out that “the disaster in the IDP camps in the north is dreadful, which requires cooperation among all sides to address the situation and provide urgent assistance to the IDPs, especially in these harsh winter conditions.”

IDP camps in northern Syria are home to more than 120,000 households, Abu Hatab said, calling on the United Nations and international organizations to provide urgent assistance and help the IDPs repair their tents and shelters which were destroyed in the storms. He stressed the need to develop a comprehensive plan to find a sustainable solution through the building of houses ensuring a decent life for the displaced people. He noted that the IDPs’ needs are beyond the ability of SIG and local councils.

IDP camps inside Syria and refugee camps in Lebanon were badly affected by the snowstorms and torrential rain that have swept the region recently.

More than 17 IDP camps in the Idlib and Aleppo provinces have been affected by torrential rain and flash flooding, according to the Emergency Response Coordinators in Northern Syria.

Many tents were flooded, while the torrential rain caused mudslides inside some of these camps, forcing thousands of households to leave their tents and live in less affected areas. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

17 January 2019 In Coalition News

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa, condemned the “terrorist bombing” which rocked the town of Manbij on Wednesday. He stressed the need to maintain security in the region by the Free Syrian Army and the Turkish army by filling the vacuum which will be caused by the withdrawal of US forces.

According to Reuters, four US soldiers were killed in the blast while three others were injured. Spokesperson for the international anti-ISIS coalition said that they began to investigate and gather information about the bombing.

A blast rocked the perimeter of Qasr al-Umaraa’ restaurant in central Manbij when a US patrol and elements of the international coalition forces were there, killing and wounding dozens of civilians and military servicemen.

“The terrorist bombing in the town of Manbij is a reprehensible act,” President Mustafa said in comments on Twitter. He underscored the need to coordinate with Turkey and the Free Syrian Army in the fight against terrorism.

President Mustafa pointed to the importance of following up on all that relates to “the plans or arrangements to preserve the security in the region and ensure that the vacuum is filled appropriately during and after the withdrawal of US forces from the region.”

Local media outlets said that the international coalition forces and PYD militia had imposed a security cordon around the site of the blast. US helicopters landed at the Manbij stadium to evacuate the dead and the injured.

With regards to the impact of the incident on the planned withdrawal of US forces, Vice President of the United States Mike Pence said that the US planned withdrawal from Syria will not be affected by the Wednesday bombing. During a speech at the meeting of heads of the US foreign diplomatic missions on Wednesday, Pence said that he and President Donald Trump are confirming that Washington will go forward with the plan to withdraw its troops from Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

15 January 2019 In Coalition News

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Morocco and all the Arab countries that refused the normalization of ties with the Assad regime and reaffirmed their support for the Syrian people who have been subjected to genocide by the Assad regime over the past eight years.

President Mustafa said that these stances are consistent with the considerable support being provided by those countries to the Syrian people in their struggle to regain freedom and dignity and to confront the Iranian terrorist militias.

President Mustafa underscored that the Riyadh, Doha and Rabat’s refusal of the return of the Assad regime to the Arab League is congruent with efforts to find a lasting political solution in Syria as was laid out in international resolutions, most importantly UN Security Council resolution 2254.

“These honorable positions give us strength and prompt us to work more with all the forces of the revolution and the opposition to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people,” President Mustafa said. He continued: “These stances will tighten the noose on the Assad regime and its backers and will send a strong message that there is no military solution in Syria and that a solution can only be reached through the implementation of international resolutions.”

President Mustafa pointed out that the Assad regime is an extension of the Iranian project in the region, adding that confronting the regime means standing up to Tehran and stopping its incursions into Arab societies. He went on to say that the Iranian militias will suffer bitter defeats at the hands of the Syrian people and will eventually be forced out of the country. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

 

14 January 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly on Saturday concluded its 43rd session. The Assembly discussed the situation in the refugees and IDP camps and the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in this harsh winter. It also discussed the moves and contacts made by the political committee with the concerned agencies to urge assistance to the affected refugees and alleviate their suffering. Topics of discussions also included the issue of detainees and the work of the National Commission on Detainees and Missing Persons in this regard.

The Assembly discussed the latest developments in Idlib and the possible repercussions of the ongoing attempts by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militant group to take control of the liberated areas in their entirety as well as the rebel infighting and its possible repercussions.

The Coalition reasserted its position that Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham is a terrorist group that needs to be entirely eliminated from Idlib and in any other region in accordance with the popular will expressing its outright rejection of this group and its actions.

The Assembly stressed the need to find a radical solution for this problem through agreement and cooperation with Turkish friends to protect the civilians and prevent the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies from unleashing a major offensive under the pretext of fighting terrorism in the region.

The Assembly reaffirmed the Coalition’s commitment to Syria's geographic and political unity, eliminate the terrorist organizations, to emphasize effective partnership with all forces on the ground, and strengthen relations with Turkish friends in this vital region.

Moreover, the General Assembly expressed its outright rejection of decision by some countries to restore ties with the Assad regime under pretexts that are not compatible with the political solution. The Assembly warned that such moves would have negative repercussions.

The Coalition reaffirmed a political transition as the basis for a political solution. It welcomed the latest remarks by the UN Secretary General and the new UN envoy to Syria reiterating commitment to a political solution and to achieve real breakthroughs in the political process in issues other than the constitution and elections. It said that the political process must address the issues that are the core of the political transition and its requirements.

The Coalition reiterated insistence on the Geneva process as the only track for political solution in Syria through a genuine political transition in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

12 January 2019 In Coalition News

President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, met with Joel Rayburn, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria in the U.S. State Department and discussed with him the latest political and field developments in Syria.

President Mustafa warned that the Assad regime, its allies and terrorist groups would seek to fill the vacuum that would result from the US withdrawal from Syria as he said this withdrawal needs to be carried out in full coordination with Turkey.

President Mustafa underscored that the terrorist groups in Syria emerged through direct support from the Assad and Iranian regimes. The elimination of these groups requires forcing Iran out of Syria and the implementation of UN resolutions calling for a political solution that must achieve the minimum degree of justice for the Syrian people who have suffered the most heinous crimes over the past seven years.

“As long as the Assad regime is there, we will not be able to fight terrorism or force the Iranian forces out. Achieving these goals requires reaching a political solution, the initiation of an inclusive political process, and the implementation of the relevant international resolutions.”

Furthermore, President Mustafa expressed concern that it would be difficult to get rid of the effects of the Iranian regime which began to infiltrate the social fabric in some areas across Syria. He said that the Iranian regime began to consolidate its influence in Syria through the laws and decrees that the Assad regime has already introduced, such as the new property laws and law No. 10 as well as through the forced displacement and demographic change.

For his part, Rayburn reaffirmed the US administration’s continued support for the Syrian people to help them regain freedom, pointing to continued coordination between the US State Department and the Syrian Coalition and its institutions.

The US diplomat reasserted security along the Syrian-Turkish border and the common interests of the Syrian and Turkish peoples. He also said that there are no changes in the US primary goals in Syria, which include most importantly the defeat of ISIS, curtailing Iran’s role in the region, and advancing the political solution in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2254, especially with the start of the mission of the new UN envoy to Syria.

With regard to some countries’ restoration of ties with the Assad regime, Rayburn said that such steps could have negative repercussions. He pointed out that the United States has been consulting with the European Union and the Arab League in this regard.

President Mustafa reaffirmed the need to reinvigorate the political process and push it forward in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. He thanked Mr. Rayburn for inviting the Syrian Coalition’s leadership to visit the United States. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

11 January 2019 In Coalition News

Head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of Foreign Relations Abdul Ahad Steifo welcomed remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his speech at the American University in Cairo on Thursday about the need to confront the agenda of the Iranian regime and its deadly ambitions in the Middle East in general and Syria in particular by seeking to force out the Iranian militias that aided the Assad regime in the killing of Syrian civilians.

Steifo raised questions about the means, mechanisms and practical steps that the US will use to implement its policy along with international partners to ensure the withdrawal of Iran and its proxy forces from Syria. He said that all the forces and capabilities that were owned by the Syrian revolution to oust and reduce the Iranian presence have been marginalized and besieged while support for them was reduced.

Forcing the Iranian militias out of Syria is an important step to remove the major actors who aided and abetted the Assad regime in the shedding of the blood of the Syrian people, Steifo said. He stressed that this goal can only be achieved when the US-led coalition assume its role in the fight against terrorism in all its forms, supports the local forces of the revolution battling the Iranian expansion, maintains the international pressure on Iran, supports anti-regime peaceful protests in Iran through the tightening of sanctions and political isolation on the mullahs' regime.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that his country will continue to work with its partners to oust its last Iranian soldier from Syria as he reaffirmed his government will work through the UN-led political track. He stressed that there will be no US assistance for the reconstruction of Assad-held areas until Iran and its proxies withdraw and until the international community sees irreversible progress towards a political solution.

Pompeo added that the US reached a common understanding with its allies on the need to stand up to the Iranian influence and confront its malignant actions in the Middle East and across the world. He warned that the countries of the Middle East would not see security or economic stability or achieve the dreams of their people if the Iranian regime continues with its current policies.

The Iranian resistance earlier published an extensive report on the most prominent leaders of the Iranian militias that have been involved in the fighting alongside the Assad regime. It said that these militias were involved in the bloodshed in Syria and among the most prominent actors in the fight against the Syrian revolution.

Steifo said that after forcing the Iranian militias out of Syria, the US needs to step up its diplomatic efforts and move towards a political solution “in accordance with the international resolutions on Syria, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

11 January 2019 In Coalition News

Head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of Foreign Relations Abdul Ahad Steifo welcomed remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his speech at the American University in Cairo on Thursday about the need to confront the agenda of the Iranian regime and its deadly ambitions in the Middle East in general and Syria in particular by seeking to force out the Iranian militias that aided the Assad regime in the killing of Syrian civilians.

Steifo raised questions about the means, mechanisms and practical steps that the US will use to implement its policy along with international partners to ensure the withdrawal of Iran and its proxy forces from Syria. He said that all the forces and capabilities that were owned by the Syrian revolution to oust and reduce the Iranian presence have been marginalized and besieged while support for them was reduced.

Forcing the Iranian militias out of Syria is an important step to remove the major actors who aided and abetted the Assad regime in the shedding of the blood of the Syrian people, Steifo said. He stressed that this goal can only be achieved when the US-led coalition assume its role in the fight against terrorism in all its forms, supports the local forces of the revolution battling the Iranian expansion, maintains the international pressure on Iran, supports anti-regime peaceful protests in Iran through the tightening of sanctions and political isolation on the mullahs' regime.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that his country will continue to work with its partners to oust its last Iranian soldier from Syria as he reaffirmed his government will work through the UN-led political track. He stressed that there will be no US assistance for the reconstruction of Assad-held areas until Iran and its proxies withdraw and until the international community sees irreversible progress towards a political solution.

Pompeo added that the US reached a common understanding with its allies on the need to stand up to the Iranian influence and confront its malignant actions in the Middle East and across the world. He warned that the countries of the Middle East would not see security or economic stability or achieve the dreams of their people if the Iranian regime continues with its current policies.

The Iranian resistance earlier published an extensive report on the most prominent leaders of the Iranian militias that have been involved in the fighting alongside the Assad regime. It said that these militias were involved in the bloodshed in Syria and among the most prominent actors in the fight against the Syrian revolution.

Steifo said that after forcing the Iranian militias out of Syria, the US needs to step up its diplomatic efforts and move towards a political solution “in accordance with the international resolutions on Syria, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

10 January 2019 In Coalition News

The head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of Refugee Affairs, Amal Sheikho, called on the United Nations and international relief organizations to declare a state of emergency in response to the snowstorm that has wrecked the Syrian refugee camps. She said that millions of refugees, especially women and children, are in urgent need for help before it is too late.

In special remarks on Thursday, Sheikho said that a rapid response by the United Nations and its agencies “will reduce damage and prevent further casualties.” She pointed out that the complicated political scene should not be an obstacle to the provision of humanitarian assistance to those affected by the snowstorm.”

Sheikho expressed regret for the miserable situation of Syrian refugees in camps in Lebanon, adding: “For the eighth year in a row, refugee camps have been affected by harsh weather conditions both in winter and summer amid lack of an effective solution.” She stressed that “the United Nations has a moral responsibility to spare no effort to prevent further casualties.”

“This ongoing tragedy must come to an end, Sheikho said, stressing that this can only be done by addressing the reasons that forced the Syrian people to live in tents and through the implementation of the UN resolutions on Syria, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon on Wednesday published appalling figures revealing the extent of damage caused by the snowstorm that has wrecked the Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon over the past few days.

The UNHCR warned that camps sheltering tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are at high risk of flooding, adding that dozens of unofficial settlements of Syrian refugees were completely flooded and collapsed.

Meanwhile, activists said that a three-year-old girl died in al-Rukban IDP camp in southern Syria due to the extreme cold and lack of heating and medical care.

The displaced people and those who were forcibly displaced by the Assad regime forces to IDP camps in northern Syria live in tragic conditions as a result of the harsh weather conditions hitting the region. Activists said that the flash flooding in Atmah area led to the collapse of the main bridge connecting the Afrin area in northern rural Aleppo with the town of Atmah in northern rural Idlib. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

09 January 2019 In Coalition News

President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, called for the urgent provision of relief aid to the Syrian refugees living in camps in and around the town of Arsal in Lebanon. He said that the refugees are suffering dire humanitarian conditions because of the snowstorm that is battering the region.

On Sunday, a snowstorm hit Lebanon and the eastern Mediterranean, cutting off roads and land transportation in many areas across Lebanon. The storm has further exacerbated the plight of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees living in makeshift shelters and camps in eastern Lebanon.

Lebanon is home to more than one million Syrian refugees, half of whom live in camps or abandoned buildings in dire conditions amid lack of humanitarian assistance.

President Mustafa said that “living conditions in the refugee camps in and around Arsal are extremely dire. Tents are shrouded in snow, heating fuel is scarce, and the roads are cut off.”

President Mustafa stressed the need to open the roads leading to the refugee camps to deliver urgent relief aid and provide medical care to those in need. He called on the United Nations agencies to relieve Syrian refugees; meet their needs; and alleviate their suffering.

Activists published a video showing a man trembling from the cold in his tent, urging the authorities to provide them with heating fuel.

Activists pointed out that the shacks and tents were severely damaged as a result of the accumulating snow, warning that the tents will not hold if the snowstorm continues any longer. They urged relief and aid groups to provide support for those who are affected by the snowstorm. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

08 January 2019 In Coalition News

The Assad regime’s air force dropped no fewer than 3,601 barrel bombs on the opposition-held areas in 2018, the majority of which hit eastern Ghouta in rural Damascus in February. The Syrian Coalition said that these figures once again demonstrated the massive scale of the horrible crimes being committed by the Assad regime during its military campaigns against rebel-held areas.

In its new annual report issued on Monday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime’s air force has dropped well over 70,000 barrel bombs on residential areas since the start of the revolution. It noted that the first time the Assad regime deployed this weapon was in July 18, 2012 in the town of Dael in northern rural Dara’a. The attack killed five civilians and injured eight others.

The monitoring group pointed out that the Assad regime has dropped at least 2,577 barrel bombs on the opposition-held areas since the start of the Russian military intervention on September 30, 2015 at a rate of 23 barrel bombs per day over the past three years.

Barrel bombs are internationally prohibited weapons. The Network said the use of this indiscriminate weapon violated UN Security Council Resolution 2139 issued on February 22, 2014 condemning the Assad regime’s extensive use of barrel bombs.

The Syrian Coalition said that these figures make it imperative that the international community shoulder its responsibilities to hold the Assad regime accountable for the widespread crimes it is committing against civilians in the opposition-held areas.

The Coalition pointed out that the indiscriminate bombardment is added to the Assad regime’s endless litany of crimes against the Syrian people, such as starvation, besiegement, and mass forced displacement aimed at bringing about demographic change in Syria, especially in Damascus, Homs, and Dara’a provinces. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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