The Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition, Nazir al-Hakim, stressed the need for the United Nations to safeguard civilians’ property rights in Syria. He said that Assad regime’s infringement on civilians’ property constitutes blatant violation of one of the basic civilian rights and does not serve the political process based on international resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Al-Hakim made these remarks following a meeting held at the headquarters of the Syrian Coalition on Thursday. The meeting brought together the Secretary-General, the Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs Abdul Ahad Steifo, the head of the National Commission on the Detainees and Missing Persons Yaser Al-Farhan, the head of the Department of Organizations Abdel-Majid Barakat, and the Director of the Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) Mohammed Hassanu.
The meeting highlighted the importance of launching a national project that contributes to the safeguarding of the civilians’ property rights in light of the extensive destruction caused by the Assad regime’s bombing of the centers of cities and residential areas as well as its issuance of laws and decrees that violate property rights, including Law 10.
Al-Hakim said that such project would contribute to preventing the Assad regime from consolidating the demographic change it is seeking to achieve in Syria through the manipulation of real estate documents. He cited the Assad regime’s manipulation of civil registry records with the aim of concealing the war crimes it is committing against Syrian civilians.
Moreover, Al-Hakim pointed out that the Assad regime cannot conceal its strategy aimed at expropriating refugees and the forcibly displaced persons and grant their property to loyalists. He also cited the reports about the illegal transfer of property in the regime-held areas.
Al-Hakim added that such move would discourage the rightful property owners from returning to their areas of origin, stressing that this constitutes war crimes under international law. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The head of the Syrian National Commission for Detainees and Missing Persons, Yasser Al-Farhan, stressed the importance of documentation and discussions taking place at the UN Human Rights Council in the Swiss city of Geneva as an important step to reveal the facts and expose “the horrible war crimes against civilians.”
Al-Farhan also stressed the importance of preventing the Assad regime and its allies from committing more war crimes against civilians in Syria. He also emphasized accountability as key to reaching a political solution in Syria. He called for the referral of the documents and discussions currently taking place within the UN Human Rights Council on war crimes and crimes against humanity taking place in Syria and other countries to international courts.
The Assad regime’s continued slaughter of civilians by bombing residential areas, torture in prisons, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances have clearly shown that the cessation of these crimes requires firm international action.
The UN Human Rights Council on Monday began its 40th session as participants discussed the situation of human rights in Syria and in 30 other countries around the world.
The Euro-Syrian Democratic Forum and the No Peace Without Justice rights group held a side event during the session under the title “Death Notifications and Negation of Justice in Syria bringing together senior officials and human rights experts.
The panelists stressed that the enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and torture are among the more widespread and systematic human rights violations in Syria. They also noted that the Assad regime’s confirmation of the deaths of detainees without offering details about the reasons and the circumstances of the death is not enough for Syrian to have their rights heard in justice.
Moreover, the panelists stressed that the “enforced disappearances, torture and indiscriminate arrests remain an inherent part of the Syrian armed forces and pro-Assad militias’ strategies.” They added: “The regime’s tactic serves to punish large parts of the Syrian population. It also fosters fear amongst families, relatives and whole communities.” They said that the international community has a duty to ensure justice and accountability. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
An official of the Syrian Coalition welcomed Great Britain’s decision to classify the Hezbollah militias with all its political and military wings as terrorist organizations. The militia has been involved in terrorist practices in the region, especially in war crimes against civilians in Syria.
Secretary of the Coalition’s political committee Riad al-Hassan said that the British government's announcement with regards to the Hezbollah militias was “an important step.” He called on the European Union to "follow suit” as the intervention of the Hezbollah militia in Syria has further destabilized the region and caused huge waves of refugees.
The Hezbollah militia has had a prominent role in propping up the Assad regime and supporting its elements in the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the displacement of people from their cities and villages since the start of their intervention in the town of Qusayr in rural Homs in 2013. He pointed out that the intervention was ordered by Hezbollah’s political wing which holds seats in the Lebanese government and the Lebanese parliament. He said that Hezbollah practices terrorism through these government institutions.
Moreover, Hassan stressed the importance of taking more serious steps against these Iranian-backed militias. He pointed out that this will benefit the whole region as well as the UN-led political process in accordance with international resolutions, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
Hassan also said that Hezbollah militias have sought to block any agreement to consolidate the cease-fire over the past several years, noting that the Iranian-backed militias continue to commit crimes in all Syrian provinces and carry out terrorist actions against the civilian population. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, said that the Assad regime is avidly seeking to undermine all chances of reaching a political solution as regime forces continue to violate the Idlib agreement.
Ten civilians were killed and others were injured in rocket and artillery shelling by the Assad regime and its Russian ally on several areas in northern rural Hama and southern rural Idlib on Monday.
In an interview with SY24, President Mustafa said that “our efforts are currently focused on turning the agreement into an opportunity to push the political process towards a comprehensive political solution. The Assad regime and its backers, meanwhile, are trying to hinder the solution.”
President Mustafa added that the Assad forces are trying to keep the situation "volatile, chaotic and unstable” as he stressed that these violations are aimed at keeping tensions high.
The Assad regime and its backers insist on pursuing a bloody military solution and rejects the existence of any semblance of civilian life as such tactics provide it with the means of survival, President Mustafa added.
President Mustafa warned of further civilian casualties if the Idlib agreement collapses. “We are interested in preserving the Idlib agreement and ensuring it does not collapse as we prioritize the safety of civilians. Although the violations continue, the collapse of the agreement will mean a heavy loss of life.”
Local activists said that the Assad regime shelling targeted 36 towns and villages in the provinces of Idlib and Hama on Monday.
The Assad regime continues to violate the Idlib agreement by repeatedly targeting large parts of rural Hama and rural Idlib with rocket and artillery shells in clear violation of the Idlib agreement to which commitment was renewed in the latest meeting in Sochi. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, said that Russia and the Assad regime have further tightened the blockade on al-Rukban IDPs camp near the Jordanian border as they continue to block the delivery of humanitarian aid with the aim of “breaking the will of those trapped inside; displace them once again; and make them face an unknown fate.”
President Mustafa said that 50,000 civilians are currently trapped “in the desert camp and suffering extremely terrible conditions,” stressing that the blockade paves the way for “a genocide in front of the eyes of the world which remains silent.”
The civilian administration in al-Rukban IDP camp near the Syrian-Jordanian border appealed to the UN Security Council and the General Assembly for providing people staying in the desert camp with international protection.
In a statement published on social media on Sunday, the administration called on the UN Security Council and the General Assembly to exert pressure the Assad regime, Russia and their allied militias to lift the blockade they impose on the camp. The statement called on the international anti-ISIS coalition to establish humanitarian corridors to the camp.
The administration accused the international community of “complicity” with the Assad regime, adding that it is a disgrace to humanity how children, women and the elderly are left to die amidst deafening international silence.
The goal of the humanitarian corridors should be to relieve the people trapped in the camp and provide them with basic needs as wells to ease the pressure that Assad regime and its Russian ally are putting on them, the statement added.
The Assad regime has tightened the blockade on the camp since early October, preventing the delivery of food and medical supplies despite repeated appeals for the delivery of aid to more than 50,000 people trapped inside. The extremely dire humanitarian conditions and lack of medical care inside have already led to the death of many children.
The Syrian Coalition earlier called upon the United Nations to take action to relieve the IDPs inside the camp, warning that the Assad regime is seeking to starve those people to submission. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Five children and a woman were killed and many others were wounded in relentless rocket and artillery shelling by the Assad regime forces on rural Idlib on Friday. The Syrian Coalition said that these violations are part of the endless litany of the Assad regime’s war crimes against Syrian civilians.
Local news outlets said that the Assad regime's forces used high-explosive rockets in the shelling of the town of Ma'aret al-Nu'man in southern rural Idlib.
The Syrian Civil Defense pointed out that at least 20 artillery shells targeted civilian homes in the town of Khan Sheikoun on Friday. It also said that seven artillery shells hit the eastern parties of the town of Sarmin and eight more pounded the northern parts of the town of Saraqeb. The shelling caused material damage, the rescue group said.
Moreover, the Assad regime forces fired no fewer than 12 rockets on the town of Pdama, wounding a civilian and causing damage to civilian property, according to the Syrian civil defense teams.
The Syrian Coalition condemned these deadly attacks, which it described as "hideous and egregious." It called on the international community to take urgent action to prevent further attacks on civilians and to realize the dangers of the Assad regime’s escalation in the region.
The Coalition stressed that the ongoing shelling is part of an escalating campaign by the Assad regime and the Iranian terrorist groups, adding that these operations are aimed at killing civilians; spreading terror; and creating chaos in the region. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, attended the special meeting of the Supreme Council of Syrian Tribes which was held in the town of Sajou near the town of Azaz in northern rural Aleppo on Thursday to form a presidential body.
The meeting brought together tribal leaders and dignitaries as well as representatives of all Syrian tribes. The Council said that participants formed a presidential body, a council of dignitaries, and offices to carry out various tasks “with the aim of serving the Council’s political and social vision.”
The presidential body consists of President of the Council and three deputies, in addition to head of the council of dignitaries and 35 members representing all Syrian tribes.
Rami al-Dush was appointed as president of the Council, while Mamdouh al-Fadous, Amer al-Bashir, and Nawaf al-Farhan were selected as vice-presidents. Mohammed Amin al-Assani was selected as head of the council of dignitaries.
President Mustafa stressed the important role of the Syrian tribes “in preserving the social fabric and safeguarding the unity of the Syrian people and the integrity of Syrian territory.
President Mustafa pointed out that enhancing the role of Syrian tribes "is in the interest of the Syrian revolution and the Syrian people’s demands of regaining freedom and dignity and building a new free, democratic system of rule that respects human rights and dignity.”
“We want to draw attention to something very important," President Mustafa said. “Without the Syrian tribes it would not have been possible to defeat the ISIS extremist group.”
The participants reiterated their commitment to the principles of the Syrian revolution for freedom and dignity and to ensure that the Syrian revolution achieves its goals of establishing a democratic, civil state that respects all its citizens and ensures they live in dignity.”
They also stressed their commitment to bringing down the “murderous regime” with all its symbols and pillars as they insisted on the withdrawal of all terrorist forces, sectarian militias, and foreign forces hostile to the Syrian people from Syria. They also expressed their categorical rejection of all attempts to change the demographic landscape in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Dozens of local and international organizations called for the immediate release of women and children in the prisons of the Assad regime, stressing the importance of holding those involved in war crimes in Syria accountable as a prerequisite for transitional justice.
The calls were made at an international conference that was organized as part of "Conscience Movement" advocacy campaign in Istanbul on Wednesday. Dozens of international organizations, rights activists, MPs, and artists participated in the conference which was held under the title "The release of the last woman and child detained in Syria.”
The conference was attended by representatives from 55 countries, including most notably Baroness Paula Uddin, member of the UK House of Lords and grandson of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela Zwelivelile Mandlesizwe Mandela, and Ecuadorian MP Anna Beilin Marin Aguirre.
Yasser al-Farhan, head of the Syrian Coalition’s Commission on Detainees and Missing Persons, expressed his full support for the demands of the conference. He said that the conditions of detention in Assad's prisons cannot be found in the rest of the world, stressing that tens of thousands of detainees died under brutal torture.
Farhan pointed to the importance of holding to account those responsible for crimes against detainees, especially children and women. He stressed that accountability can contribute significantly to the comprehensive political solution that was set out in international resolutions on Syria.
Majd Sharbaji spoke about her experience in detention along with her children and her husband who died in the Assad regime's prisons. She noted that detention in Syria means enforced disappearance as nothing is known about the fate of the detainees.
"When entering the prisons of the Assad regime, we become mere numbers and forget our names so that no one knows us," Sharbaji said. Sharbaji described the situation in the Assad regime’s prisons as "terrible and unimaginable." She said that she was electrocuted and brutally beaten.
Sharbaji also expressed the hope that the goal of the conference will be achieved and all women and children detained in the regime's prisons will be released.
Yavuz Dede, spokesman for the Conscience Movement, said that the conference aims to draw international attention to the suffering of women who were imprisoned in Syria and subjected to torture and rape. He added that the Movement is an international initiative dedicated to the release of women and children who have been detained since 2011.
The campaign is supported by more than 2,000 NGOs and thousands of people from 110 countries.
Participants issued a statement saying that more than 13,500 Syrian women have been detained in Syria since March 2011, 7,000 of whom are still being held, tortured, raped and sexually abused. They stressed that the Assad regime used rape as a weapon of warfare.
The statement indicated that the Movement's priority will be to ensure the release of Syrian women and children from the prisons of the Assad regime.
The Conscience Movement advocacy campaign was launched last year to support Syrian female detainees. Back then, a humanitarian convoy brought together over of 2,000 women from around the world and travelled to the Bab al-Salama border crossing north of Aleppo to demonstrate solidarity with the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s Department of Refugees Affairs held a teleconference with former Lebanese Minister of State for Refugee Affairs Mouin Merehbi on Tuesday.
The meeting discussed the situation of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, especially in the camps in and around the town of Arsal. Head of the Department, Amal Sheikho, said that one of the major reasons why Syrian refugees are still in Lebanon is the Hezbollah militia’s aiding of the Assad regime in its brutal war against Syrian civilians and the mass forced displacement of Syrians from their homes in Qalamoun, Quysair and other areas. Sheikho noted that the Hezbollah militia is to blame of the ongoing tragedy and the suffering of Syrian refugees.
Sheikho added that the Assad regime has avidly sought to displace Syrian civilians with the help of the Iranian-backed terrorist militias since day one. She said that these actions are part of a wider plan to force civilians out of their homes and bring about a demographic change and to exploit the refugee crisis to put pressure on the international community.
Moreover, Sheikho called for providing Syrian refugees in Lebanon and other countries with international protection and confront attempts to exploit the issue of refugees to achieve political gains. She also stressed the refugees’ right to voluntary, safe return under the supervision of the United Nations as was stipulated in international resolutions on Syria, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Head of the Coalition’s Department of Media and Communications Ahmed Ramadan said that the Coalition is seeking to hold meetings with representatives of Lebanese parties and forces as well as media personalities and intellectuals to explain the opposition's view that there is no intention to resettle the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and to reassert their keenness to return to Syria in accordance with international resolutions.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Abdul Majid Barakat stressed that the Coalition considers that the true place of refugees is in their country. He voiced concern about plans to forcibly deport the Syrian refugees and rounding them up in detention camps in various areas across Syria. He also expressed concern that the young people will be forcibly recruited be used as a cannon fodder in the regime’s war against the Syrian people.
For his part, Merehbi said that the Russian plan for the return of the Syrian refugees would not ensure the return of refugees to their areas of origin but to camps outside the cities. He considered this as unacceptable, stressing that he discussed the issue of refugees with Russian officials in several meetings.
Merehbi pointed out that the recent repatriation of refugees does not meet the UN standards calling for the safe and voluntary return. He added that he had listened to testimonies and obtained documents confirming that refugees returning from Lebanon had been brutally murdered by the Assad forces. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition strongly condemned the twin bombings that rocked the city of Idlib on Monday. It stressed that this horrific act is aimed at negatively affecting the political solution as it called on the international community to take firm stance and confront the "sponsors of terrorism" in Syria.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Coalition said that at least 17 people were killed in the twin bombings. “The perpetrators sought a return of the scenes of death, criminality and murder to the forefront, especially as the bombings were carefully planned and cold-bloodedly executed.”
“This horrific crime once again demonstrated that the battle against the Assad regime and terror is one and a complex battle. Such crimes cannot be brought to an end without eradicating the murderous regime and terrorist groups; the drying up of their sources; the elimination of their sponsors; and preventing them from taking the opportunity to regroup or regain foothold.”
The Coalition continued: “It is imperative that the international community condemn this horrific crime and take action at the highest level to support the political solution by all means possible as the only response that is capable of defeating terrorism in all its forms and the regime supporting it and preventing sponsors of terrorism from achieving their goals, whatever they are.”
“The current situation needs to be resolved at an international level. Watching idly by as the Assad regime as well as the terrorist and extremist organizations and militias massacring civilians on a daily basis needs to come to an end.”
The Coalition pointed out that the perpetrators who planned these criminal bombings “clearly aimed to create chaos and negatively affect the course of the political solution, which requires a firm response by the international community in line with the international resolutions.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)