Vice-president of the Syrian National Coalition, Oqab Yahya, stressed that no party can impose its vision for a political solution in Syria, stressing that the solution can only be reached through the implementation of international resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254.
Yahya was speaking at a workshop that was held under the title “scenarios of the development of the situation in Syria” at the invitation of the Harmoon Center for Contemporary Studies. The participants included researchers and politicians.
The discussions focused on the course of the Syrian revolution, the drivers for external interventions, the reality of the revolution's institutions, and the possible scenarios.
The studies department at the Harmnon Center presented a comprehensive paper for discussion and development so as the Center adopts and issue after taking into account the observations, opinions and suggestions by the participants.
Yahya said that reaching a political solution requires the approval of representatives of the Syrian people, reaffirming the Coalition’s commitment to the principles and goals of the Syrian revolution as well as the rights of the Syrian people to regain freedom, dignity, and salvation from the authoritarian regime.
Yahya pointed out that drafting a new constitution for the country is a an important, fundamental step, but will not be feasible without the creation of a safe, neutral environment. He also stressed that this also requires the implementation of genuine political transition, which is the essence of the political process. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Network for Human Rights confirmed that the Assad regime was behind the attack on Qah IDP camp in northern rural Idlib. The finding was made in a report that relied on eyewitness accounts and examination of online photos and videos of the aftermath of the attack.
In a report issued on Friday, the monitoring group said that on the evening of Wednesday, November 20, a rocket launcher belonging to the Assad regime forces and Iranian militias that was stationed in the Azzan Mountain area south of Aleppo launched a rocket loaded with cluster munitions on northern rural Idlib, directly hitting the camp. The attack killed 16 civilians, including 11 children and three women, and wounded at least 50 others.
The Network pointed out that the Assad regime and its backers are responsible for at least 79 attacks on IDP camps in the past eight years.
Member of the Syrian National Coalition’s political committee, Abdel Majeed Barakat, said that the Assad regime and its backers pose a permanent threat to civilians in the liberated areas. He said that these systematic attacks are aimed at destabilizing the liberated areas, which forces consistent outflow of refugees to neighboring countries.
Barakat blamed the lukewarm response of the international community for the regime and its backers’ continued crimes against civilians. He stressed that these crimes must not go unpunished, especially as they are mainly targeting civilian areas that are void of any military positions.
Barakat called on the United Nations and international organizations to add these reports to the hundreds of thousands of documents that expose the Assad regime and confirm its responsibility for war crimes against civilians in various regions across Syria. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s political committee on Thursday held its regular meeting to discuss the latest on the ground and political developments in Syria. Coalition President, Anas al-Abda, took part in the meeting.
Members of the committee discussed the on the ground and military reports as well as the massacres taking place against civilians in Idlib province as a result of continued bombardment and shelling by the Assad regime and its backers.
They stressed that these crimes are part of a relentless campaign to exterminate and displace civilians and destroy their towns and villages. They said that the international community has an obligation to put an end to these massacres; protect civilians; and enforce international resolutions on Syria, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254.
Coordinators of the Coalition’s departments gave an overview of the results of their recent visits to the United States and the European Union.
They also discussed the results of the latest Astana meeting as they underscored the need to establish a ceasefire, ensure protection for civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law, ensure the release of detainees, ensure increased humanitarian assistance, and ensure the creation of a safe, neutral environment to allow the safe, voluntary return of refugees and the IDPs to their places of origin. They also reiterated that there is no military solution in Syria as they stressed the need to push the UN-led political process forward.
Members of the committee also discussed the latest developments in the Caesar Act which is expected to be ratified by Washington in the coming period, stressing the importance of such laws to hold perpetrators of war crimes in Syria to account and to prevent impunity. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Secretary-General of the Syrian National Coalition, Abdelbaset Abdullatif, and members of the Coalition’s presidential body and political committee met Deputy Chair of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Hatay province, Mr. Necdet Berk, and discussed with him the affairs of the Syrian community in the cities of Hatay and Reyhanli and ways to improve their living conditions.
Abdullatif praised the warm welcome given to the Syrian refugees in Turkey, stressing that both the Turkish government and people have stood with the Syrian people through thick and thin out of deep sense of their humanitarian duty towards their Syrian brethren.
Member of the political committee, Ahmed Ramadan, stressed the importance of the efforts being made by the Turkish authorities in the province to organize the work of the Syrian community. He also stressed the need for constant communication with the Turkish authorities as he praised the efforts to organize training and rehabilitation programs for Syrian refugees.
Member of the political committee, Abdul Majeed Barakat, pointed to the importance of educating the Syrian community on the Turkish laws as essential to sparing them many of the problems facing them in Turkey. He called for cooperation with the official Turkish institutions in this regard.
For his part, Berk welcomed the suggestions put forward by the Coalition members, stressing the importance of the issues that were raised during the meeting and the ideas presented to follow up on the affairs of the Syrian nationals in Turkey.
The two sides stressed the bonds of friendship and historical relationship between the Syrian and Turkish peoples and the importance of strengthening the bonds of fraternity and cooperativeness. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Oqab Yahya, Vice-president of the Syrian National Coalition, stressed that the Assad regime's continued war crimes in Idlib province indicated its insistence on carrying on with the violence it is using to disrupt the political process that is needed tp put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.
Yahya said that the Assad regime insists on pursuing its bloody policies not only on the ground, but also in international forums where its delegations insists on the same discourse and accusing those who went out for freedom and dignity of being terrorists.
Reports by dozens of international institutes and think tanks are completely convinced that the survival of Bashar Al-Assad in power in Syria means the continuation of the cycle of killing and destruction. He pointed out that Bashar Al-Assad is the biggest obstacle in the way of any real political solution in Syria.
Yahya went on to say that “Assad will not voluntarily leave power just like any other dictator in the world, but may step aside only when he effectively loses his security and military powers as well as financial privileges. The major actors, therefore, have no option but to reduce Assad’s influence and deprive him of these privileges until he is forced to step aside.”
Yahya was commenting on a report recently issued by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) which stressed that the survival of Bashar al-Assad is a serious obstacle to achieving peace in Syria and that there is no option but to remove him from power.
The ISW, whose members include retired senior US generals and is considered closely linked to the Pentagon, noted that Assad and his inner circle are seeking to disrupt all international effort to resolve the Syrian crisis through diplomatic means.
The report recommended that the United States expand its role and work to revitalize a new diplomatic process in parallel with economic pressure and restricting Bashar al-Assad's access to funds and prevent him from misappropriating humanitarian aid. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Member of the Syrian National Coalition’s political committee, Yasser Al-Farhan, said that the French judiciary’s ordering of trial of Rifaat al-Assad is a step in the right direction to restore the Syrian people’s assets which have been stolen for decades by the Assad family.
Rifaat Al-Assad will stand trial in France for acquiring millions of euros worth of French property assets using funds diverted from the Syrian state and other charges, including organized money laundering, aggravated tax fraud and misappropriation of Syrian state funds.
Al-Farhan said that this step will have a positive impact on investigating other corruption charges against the Assad family, which will pave the way for similar trials for the senior regime figures who are accused of looting money from the Syrian people.
“Bringing Rifaat al-Assad to trial would rejoice the hearts of tens of thousands of people in the Syrian city of Hama where the Defense Companies forces, which were commanded by Rifaat al-Assad, committed terrible massacres in 1982 claiming the lives of tens of thousands of civilians.”
Al-Farhan called for restoring the stolen money and handing it over to the Syrian people represented by the Syrian National Coalition and its Syrian Interim Government in order to spend it on the displaced people in the camps and to meet their humanitarian needs.
French investigating magistrate ordered he stand trial on charges of organized money laundering related to his 90 million euro property portfolio in France. The trial is scheduled to last until December 18. It concerns crimes allegedly committed between 1984 and 2016, including aggravated tax fraud and misappropriation of Syrian funds.
Last November, the Supreme Court of Spain recommended that Rifaat Al-Assad and 13 others be put on trial on charges of criminal organization and money laundering. Judge José de la Mata alleges that Rifaat Al-Assad and the others, including eight sons, have laundered money taken out of Syria in several European countries since the 1980s. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition condemned the horrific massacres being committed by the criminal regime and its Russian backer amid dubious international silence. It held the international community directly responsible for all these massacres as it acts as a partner in everything that is taking place in Syria.
In a press release issued on Sunday, the Coalition stressed that these atrocities are “a direct result of the absence of any serious position on the part of the international community which continues to stand idly by thus allowing further deterioration of the situation.”
“In the past few hours alone, more than 23 towns and villages in Idlib were directly targeted by more than 30 airstrikes and barrel bomb attacks as well as heavy artillery shelling. The attacks are part of a long, systematic campaign aimed at exterminating and displacing civilians and destroying their villages and towns.”
The Coalition added: “No sane person can wait for criminals to stop their crime on their own. Criminals such as those belonging to Nazism, Fascism, and Asadism do not stop committing crimes voluntarily. The Syrian National Coalition holds the international community direct responsibility for all the massacres being committed by the regime and its sponsors as it acts as a silent partner in everything that is taking place in Syria.”
Three deadly attacks claimed the lives of at least 21 civilians, mostly women and children, and left around fifty others wounded. The attacks also caused widespread damage to infrastructure. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s main office in northern Aleppo province on Monday met with sports officials to discuss the sports issues and preparations for the holding of various sports activities in the liberated areas.
The meeting brought together Coordinator of the Coalition Office in rural Aleppo, Ahmed Al-Shehadi, member of the Coalition and President of the Syrian Turkoman Council, Muhammad Jumaa, and President of the Syrian Olympic Committee, Ahmed Jamil Al-Ali.
Al-Ali talked about the mechanism of the Olympic Committee and the role of the Coalition in assisting Syrian athletes in the liberated areas and host countries. He stressed the importance of the activities carried out by the free Syrian athletes representing Syria and the revolution in Arab and international forums.
The officials listened to the opinions of the athletes and their needs as well as the difficulties facing the development or of their work, especially the rehabilitation of training facilities and playgrounds. They discussed the importance of organizing development and training courses for coaches and referees.
Participants in the meeting discussed organizing sports activities in the liberated areas and the holding of regular and periodic sports activities and events. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Vice-President of the Syrian National Coalition, Dima Moussa, participated yesterday in a panel discussion titled “Syria: Finding the Way Out” during the MED 2019 Conference in Rome, Italy. The panel discussion, which featured UN Envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen as a keynote speaker, considered four main questions that looked at the notion of the Syrian crisis approaching an end; the feasibility of the political solution, considering recent escalation; Russia’s role; and the impact of the latest developments on the Syrian population and the reconstruction process.
In her intervention, Moussa focused on where the political process is currently, particularly the constitutional committee, for which the second round ended in Geneva on Friday, 29 November without any meetings taking place due to persistence of the Syrian regime delegation to discuss issues not falling within the mandate of the Constitutional Committee. Moussa also talked during the panel discussion about the important of a comprehensive political solution, which requires full implementation of UNSC Res 2254. She added that none of the results of any part of the political process will have a meaning unless they are implementable in Syria, which will require working on other tracks within the political process to lay the foundation for an environment in which that is possible.
Moussa also emphasized the importance of a political solution that for Syrians and by Syrians to achieve the desired outcome of sustainable peace that will not only have the envisioned impact inside Syria, but also regionally and internationally. She noted that all of this needs to happen as soon as possible, as delays translate to more suffering of the Syrian people, which we all need to take seriously and do all that is possible to end.
Moussa additionally touched upon the role of the international community, and the need for all sides to collaborate to find common ground, which would enhance the chances for the political process to proceed more smoothly. She stressed the need for steps that will put the political process on the right path, including cessation of all military operations and targeting of civilians, and pushing for confidence building measures, especially those relating to the detainees and missing persons, and the victims of displacement.
Moussa finished by reminding the large audience of diplomats from around the world, media persons, academics, researchers, and others, that when it comes to Syria, addressing only the symptoms is not enough, and what is really needed is a solution that addresses the root causes of the problem, and unless and until that happens, there would be no real end to the Syrian crisis. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, called on the international community to put an end to the Assad regime's disruption of the work of the Constitutional Committee, warning that this disruption risks sabotaging the political process altogether.
In an interview with the Anadolu Agency, Hariri considered that the regime's position was not surprising. “We have a bitter memory of the Geneva talks and their previous rounds,” he said, stressing that the Assad regime “is unwilling to reach a political solution."
Hariri pointed out that the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission put forward five proposals for the agenda in the latest session of the work of the Constitutional Committee. The Assad regime's delegation, meanwhile, insisted on discussing the so-called national principles with the aim of blocking progress in the work of the Constitutional Committee.
“If this insistence continues, it will impede reaching the desired political solution for all Syrians.”
He stressed that the Syrian Negotiations Commission is very serious about the success of the constitutional process, pointing out that it will continue to make all efforts to overcome the obstacles and difficulties that the regime places in front of the Constitutional Committee.
Moreover, Hariri pointed out that the task of drawing up an agenda lies with the United Nations and the international community, expressing his support for the position of the United Nations not to hold any new session until after agreeing on the agenda. “The absence of a political process is better than having a sham process.”
He stressed that there will be no new round of talks on the constitution without an agenda that is consistent with the rules of procedure which have already been agreed upon by the Assad regime and the Commission. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)