Coalition News
30 March 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition denied allegations by the Assad regime about a Saudi ban on Syrian pilgrims. It stresses that these allegations are baseless as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to provide all facilitations to Syrian pilgrims.

In a press release issued on Saturday, the Coalition reiterated its appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its continued efforts to provide services and facilitations for Syrian pilgrims and to enable them to perform the hajj pilgrimage with utmost ease and smoothness.

“For the past seven years, the Syrian Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee has been catering for all Syrian pilgrims in coordination with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. Syrians have been able to perform the hajj pilgrimage thanks to the remarkable services and care being provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The Coalition added: “The hajj policy covering the 2019 season (1440 Hijri) included increasing Syria’s quota to 22,500 pilgrims. We expect the quota to increase further in the coming years.”

“The Coalition, as has been the case over the past years, is keen to ensure that all Syrian citizens from everywhere in Syria have access to the services being provided by the Supreme Haj Committee without any exceptions.”

“On behalf of all the Syrian people, we reiterate our thanks and appreciation for the positions of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their efforts to serve the hajj pilgrims in general and for Syrian pilgrims in particular.”

The Supreme Haj Committee completed the reception of applications for the current hajj season in its offices in mid-March and will draw lots for the names of those accepted. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

29 March 2019 In Coalition News

President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, stressed the importance of the report issued recently by Amnesty International which said that the Assad regime and Russia were targeting civilians and vital facilities in the province of Idlib.

President Mustafa called for the report to be put "before the leaders of the free world,” stressing that they have a responsibility to put an end to the violations and war crimes against civilians “as the party capable of reining in the criminal and his supporters and holding them accountable.”

“The conclusions of Amnesty International confirmed what we already know very well,” President Mustafa said in comments he posted on Twitter on Friday. “The strategy that the regime and its allies are pursuing in their war against the Syrian people is based on blatantly violating the conventions and laws as well as the targeting of civilians.

Amnesty International on Thursday issued a detailed report confirming previous reports about attacks by the Assad regime forces with Russian backing targeting residential areas and vital facilities in Idlib province. Amnesty’s conclusions relied on eyewitness accounts, photos and videos, and satellite imagery.

“These were direct attacks on civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks,” Amnesty International said after verifying six attacks.

Amnesty went on to say that “the ongoing attacks in Idlib fit the same pattern we’ve seen before, in Aleppo, Dara’a, Damascus Countryside, whereby Syrian government forces hit hospitals, medical facilities, emergency responders, bakeries, schools, leaving people no choice but to flee.”

During a recent European tour, a delegation from the Coalition highlighted the Assad regime’s military escalation against civilians in Idlib. It stressed the importance of providing protection for civilians in the liberated areas to avoid a new humanitarian crisis and fresh waves of refugees to neighboring countries. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

28 March 2019 In Coalition News

Amnesty International has confirmed the reports about attacks by the Assad regime forces with Russian backing targeting residential areas and vital facilities in Idlib province. Amnesty’s conclusions relied on eyewitness accounts, photos and videos, and satellite imagery.

Amnesty on Thursday said that the Assad regime forces, supported by Russia, hit a hospital, blood bank and other medical facilities as well as a bakery and a school in towns and cities under the control of armed opposition groups in Idlib.

These were direct attacks on civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks, Amnesty International said after verifying six attacks.

Many towns and villages were declared ‘disaster areas’ after weeks of relentless bombardment forced all of their residents to flee.

The Syrian Coalition described these attacks as constituting "war crimes," calling on the international community to stop watching idly by and doing nothing other than counting the number of victims.

Amnesty went on to say that “the ongoing attacks in Idlib fit the same pattern we’ve seen before, in Aleppo, Dara’a, Damascus Countryside, whereby Syrian government forces hit hospitals, medical facilities, emergency responders, bakeries, schools, leaving people no choice but to flee.”

The Syrian Coalition condemned the Assad regime’s ongoing violations of the Idlib Agreement as it called on the international community to preserve the agreement and consolidate the ceasefire in place.

During a recent European tour, a delegation from the Coalition highlighted the Assad regime’s military escalation against civilians in Idlib. It stressed the importance of providing protection for civilians in the liberated areas to avoid a new humanitarian crisis and fresh waves of refugees to neighboring countries. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

27 March 2019 In Coalition News

US President Donald Trump's decision on the occupied Golan Heights has sparked Arab and international outcry as more statements are issued to condemn the move and warn of its serious repercussions for the region.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Monday said that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “clear that the status of Golan has not changed.”

“The U.N.’s policy on Golan is reflected in the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and that policy has not changed,” Dujarric added.

President Trump's move contravenes UN Security Council Resolution 497 affirming the legal status of the Golan Heights as an occupied Syrian territory and rejecting the Israeli occupation’s decision to annex it in 1981. The resolution also considers the decision as null and void.

Moreover, the EU said that its stance on the status of the Golan Heights "has not changed" despite U.S. move to recognize Israeli occupation’s sovereignty over the "occupied territory," the foreign policy chief of the bloc said on Wednesday.

"The position of the European Union as regards the status of the Golan Heights has not changed," Federica Mogherini said in a declaration on behalf of the EU.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit denounced the Monday announcement by US President Donald Trump, saying that “if the occupation is a major crime, its legitimization is no less serious.”

Gheit said that the use of force does not shape rights and does not entail advantages and that international law is not made by any one state, whatever its status.

The Syrian Coalition said that the attempts by US President Donald Trump to grant legitimacy to the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights “constitutes a violation of international law and consolidation of the law of the jungle.” It warned the international community against “remaining silent about any allusions to the territorial integrity of Syria.”

“The mere talk by anyone about recognizing the legitimacy of the occupation and the seizure of land by military force constitutes a violation of international law and consolidation of the law of the jungle. Such move also contravenes UN Security Council resolutions,” the Coalition said in a press release issued by the political committee on Friday.

A Financial Times’ editorial on Monday said that President Trump has “set a dangerous precedent that risks repercussions far beyond the region,” adding that “Donald Trump has once again displayed a reckless disregard for international norms.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

26 March 2019 In Coalition News

President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, warned of the repercussions of the US’s recognition of the Golan Heights as part of the Israeli entity, stressing that it is an “occupied Syrian land.”

Speaking to the Anadolu news agency, President Mustafa said: “We always emphasize the unity and integrity of the Syrian territory and that the Golan Heights is part of Syria that is occupied by the Israeli occupation. International resolutions are clear in this regard.”

President Mustafa pointed out that the US latest statements about the Golan Heights “constituted a violation of the international resolutions. The Syrian people want to preserve the Syrian land and we will maintain the sovereignty of Syria over all its territory.”

President Mustafa stressed that the US position “will not contribute to security, peace and stability in the region as he warned that chaos will continue. Reneging on this position is very necessary as it violates international law.”

President Mustafa’s remarks came in response to US President Donald Trump’s signing on the decision to recognize the sovereignty of the Zionist entity over the entire Golan Heights which has been occupied since 1967.

Trump's decision was met with widespread condemnation and rejection by many countries and the United Nations. These included British Foreign Ministry, the Turkish Foreign Minister, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, the European Union, Arab countries, and Secretary-General of the Arab League. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

25 March 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition’s Secretary of the political committee, Riad al-Hassan, said that the “systematic incitement of hatred" has flared up against the Syrian refugees in Lebanon recently. He pointed out that the Patriarch Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi is taking part in the incitement of hatred against Syrian refugees.

Al-Hassan noted that some Lebanese officials insist on describing the Syrian refugees in Lebanon as displaced persons with the aim of depriving them of the rights enshrined in international conventions and resolutions relating to refugee affairs and consequently “evading any legal consequences.”

Al-Rahi voiced support for “calls by the Lebanese President to completely separate between the political solution in Syria and the return of the displaced Syrians," and his remarks that “connecting the two issues is the biggest threat to Lebanon.”

Al-Hassan reiterated the need to fully comply with UN Security Council resolution 2254 stating that there is no lasting solution to the current crisis in Syria except through an inclusive political process that is based on the implementation of the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012.

Al-Hassan also stressed the need to comply with paragraph 14 of UN resolution 2254 underscoring “the critical need to build conditions for the safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their home areas and the rehabilitation of affected areas, in accordance with international law.” He stressed that these provisions are an essential part of the political solution.

Moreover, Al-Hassan warned of the risks threatening the Syrian refugees in Lebanon should they were forcibly returned to Syria, including reprisals and oppression by the military and security apparatus of the Assad regime and its sectarian militias. He also underscored the need to create the safe conditions for their return such as changing laws in the country such as Law No. 10 on property and the laws relating to the compulsory military service. He also stressed the need to give the refugees access to personal documents, rehabilitate the areas they have left, and provide the returnees with the means of a decent life.

Al-Hassan cited the Assad regime’s execution of Syrian refugees returning from Lebanon to Syria as was revealed by the former Lebanese Minister of State for Refugee Affairs Mouin Merehbi.

Al-Hassan also stressed the need for the non-signatory States to the convention on refugees, including Lebanon, to abide by the provisions of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in order to ensure that no forcibly returned refugees will be subjected to persecution. He said that those responsible for the forced repatriation of refugees will bear complete legal and moral responsibility for any harm that may happen to them. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

 

22 March 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition held a special event at its headquarters on the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the Syrian revolution. The event brought together activists, media activists and lawyers as well as members of the Syrian community in Turkey and members of the presidential body and political committee.

The event included a photo exhibition featuring the major landmarks in the course of the Syrian revolution, a documentary film, and placards showing the Assad regime’s violations against civilians, including bombings and torture of detainees in its prisons.

President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, opened the event with a speech reaffirming commitment to the principles of the Syrian revolution. He pointed out that the majority of the Syrian people support the revolution and want to live and coexist in freedom and dignity in a state that is based on equal citizenship.

“Our duty requires us to work to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people through a successful political transition,” President Mustafa added. He noted that the Syrian Coalition is committed to and insists on the implementation of international resolutions on Syria, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254 as well as reaching a comprehensive political transition.

Moreover, President Mustafa called on the international community to activate the issue of accountability and not to allow the regime officials to escape punishment. He thanked the European countries that issued arrest warrants for the Assad regime’s officials involved in war crimes.

President Mustafa explained that the Coalition decided to establish headquarters inside the Syrian territory next April next as part of a new plan of action. He pointed out that this move will reflect positively on the course of the Syrian revolution as it will coincide with the restructuring of the Syrian Interim Government and the activation of its role to enable it to expand its work in the areas of governance, civil administration, and basic services.

Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition, Nazir al-Hakim, said that the anniversary of the Syrian revolution "is dear to the hearts of the Syrian people as it ushered in the struggle against the tyrannical Assad regime." He added: “The revolution is a culmination of the Syrian people’s decades-long struggle during which the Syrian people made immense sacrifices, including tens of thousands who were killed, detained, and persecuted.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

22 March 2019 In Coalition News

Local and international media outlets have published horrible images showing the situation in and around the town of ​​al-Baghouz in eastern rural Deir Ezzor where battles are still raging between the PYD militia and the remnants of ISIS. The Syrian Coalition expressed deep concern about the fate of civilians who are still trapped in the region.

The photos showed charred bodies of people and bodies stacked on top of one other in al-Baghuoz. Anadolu news agency said that the bodies are of dead ISIS militants as well as civilians trapped in a camp near the town. The agency said that phosphorus-filled bombs, an internationally prohibited weapon, were likely used by the international anti-ISIS coalition forces.

In a press release issued on Friday, the Syrian Coalition stressed the need to provide the necessary protection for civilians, especially children and women, and to meet their medical and relief needs.

“The Syrian Coalition once again warns of making civilians pay the price of hastiness and recklessness amounting to the showing of disregard for the lives of innocent civilians.”

The Syrian Coalition added: “We have already stressed that all justifications would not exempt the international anti-ISIS coalition from the responsibility for any possible civilian casualties, abuse or failure to provide them with protection.”

On Wednesday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said that attacks by the international anti-ISIS coalition has killed more than 3,000 civilians, including more than 900 children since its intervention in the country.

The Syrian Coalition condemned the targeting of civilians causing heavy civilian casualties. It added: “Reports indicated that women and children are at greatest risk of the ongoing clashes and military operations amid complete lack of food and medical supplies.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

22 March 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition said that the attempts by US President Donald Trump to grant legitimacy to the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights “constitutes a violation of international law and consolidation of the law of the jungle.” It warned the international community against “remaining silent about any allusions to the territorial integrity of Syria.”

“The mere talk by anyone about recognizing the legitimacy of the occupation and the seizure of land by military force constitutes a violation of international law and consolidation of the law of the jungle. Such move also contravenes UN Security Council resolutions,” the Coalition said in a press release issued by the political committee on Friday.

“The violation of the rights and sovereignty of the Syrian people over their territory is a comprehensible act. Such move will be unacceptable whatsoever,” the Coalition added.

The Coalition went on to say that US President’s recent remarks risk undermining the very principles on which the United Nations was founded, especially the rejection of the seizure of the land of others by the use of force.

“The rights of the peoples, international legitimacy, and international law should not be used as a means for furthering electoral schemes and interests as well as political goals and tactics.”

The Coalition added: “Any attempt or hint at the granting of legitimacy to the occupation will risk opening the way to a world where there is no place for the international law. Such move will also leave the rightful owners, the displaced and the oppressed people without any legal or lawful means to regain their rights, which will cause more chaos in the region.”

The Coalition warned the international community not to remain silent about any allusions to the unity and territorial integrity of Syria as it warns of the possible consequences of such hints for the future of the region, the peace process, and the role of the United Nations. It also stresses that the peoples should not bear responsibility for the failure of the international community to enforce its resolutions; finding the necessary legal frameworks for their implementation on the ground; and returning the rights to their true owners. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

20 March 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Negotiations Commission criticized the visit by the UN envoy Geir Pedersen to the city of Homs, stressing that this primary task is “bringing the negotiating parties together and forcing Assad to sit at the negotiating table in Geneva.”

Pedersen visited the city of Homs during his second official visit to Syria since he undertook his role as the UN envoy in January. The UN envoy met with the mayor of Homs and the UN team in the region, as well as a shelter for displaced Syrian men, women and children.

“Mr. Pedersen should focus on his main task, namely to reconcile the parties to the negotiations and force Assad to sit at the negotiating table in Geneva to find a solution instead of boasting about visiting the ruins of a city that was destroyed by Assad and his supporters by brutal bombardment in which they used various types of weapons, including chemical weapons,” the Syrian Negotiations Commission said in comments on Twitter on Wednesday.

Member of the Commission Ibrahim al-Jibbawi said that the UN envoy’s visit to Homs and his meeting with its mayor represented a provocation to the feelings of the Syrians who were forced out of their homes by the sectarian regime to camps lacking the necessities of life after it reduced the city into rubble.”

“Does Mr. Pederson know that the Assad regime is blocking the UN humanitarian aid to these people and send to its mercenaries and the militias that are killing the Syrian people," al-Jibbawi said.

“Did Mr. Pedersen visit a IDP camp in northern Syria or a refugee camp in neighboring countries?" al-Jibbawi asked. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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