President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, and an accompanying delegation will arrive in the German capital Berlin on Monday as part of a European tour. He will discuss the consequences of the Assad regime’s serious military escalation against civilians in Idlib as well as ways to push the political process forward.
The Coalition delegation will be meeting with a number of officials in the German government and parliamentary blocs on Monday and Tuesday. President Mustafa said that the Coalition is discussing with allies ways to prevent the Assad regime from committing more crimes against civilians.
President Mustafa stressed the importance of accountability and not allowing crimes by the regime officials to go unpunished. He hailed the European countries’ issuance of arrest warrants for Assad regime officials who are involved in war crimes.
Moreover, President Mustafa said that they will discuss the situation in northeastern Syria, pointing to the need to clear the region of all terrorist organizations and enable the Coalition to work on the formation of local councils elected by the local population to restore stability in that region.
The Coalition has already developed a plan to work inside Syria and move its headquarters to Syria next April, President Mustafa said. He also said that the Coalition has already developed a plan to restructure the Syrian Interim Government and to secure support to enable it to expand its work in the framework of governance and civil administration in the areas of services, education and health. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The delegation of the Syrian Coalition to Brussels, headed by President Abdurrahman Mustafa, held a number of important meetings in the Belgian capital over the past two days. The meetings came as part of a European tour coinciding with the Brussels III Conference being held by the European Union and the United Nations under the title “supporting the future of Syria and the region.”
The Coalition delegation met with James Jeffrey, the US State Department’s Special Envoy to Syria as well as heads of delegations and envoys from Germany, Great Britain, France, Turkey, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries, Belgium, the European Union, and Syrian civil society groups.
The Coalition’s delegation highlighted the Assad regime’s grave military escalation against civilians in Idlib and its use of the white phosphorus, an internationally prohibited weapon, in the bombing of civilians causing dozens of casualties.
The Assad regime commits such violations ahead of every international conference or event on Syria, the Coalition said, adding that these violations are aimed at undermining international efforts and sabotaging the political process as well as all efforts that could alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
The delegation called on the international community to take urgent action and put an end to the aggression on Idlib and condemn the brutal attacks against civilians. It also called for raising the issue of accountability and not allowing these crimes go unpunished.
The delegation thanked the European countries that issued arrest warrants for senior Assad regime officials involved in war crimes and urged other countries to follow suit to ensure accountability.
The delegation also stressed the importance of the issue of reconstruction as it underscored that reconstructions cannot begin without the launch of a genuine political process in Syria.
The delegation also discussed the situation in northeastern Syria as it called on the friendly countries, especially the United States and Turkey to coordinate their policies in Syria. It called for real partnership with the Coalition to enable it to carry out its role in that region after the issue of terrorism has been addressed and to establish civil administrations that are elected by the local population to restore stability in that region.
Moreover, the delegation called on the friendly countries to continue to provide support to those in need in Syria, especially the forcibly displaced people in Idlib and other areas in northern Syria. It warned against allowing the Assad regime to take over this aid.
The delegation explained that the Coalition has already developed a plan to work inside Syria and to begin moving its headquarters to inside the Syrian territory next April and to restructure the Syrian Interim Government. It called for supporting SIG to enable it to step up its work within the framework of governance and civil administration in the areas of services, education and health. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, condemned the Russian airstrikes on rural Idlib claiming the lives of many civilians and wounding many others as well as the use of the internationally prohibited white phosphorus, stressing that such attacks constituted war crimes.
“The Russian bombings in Idlib clearly constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity,” President Mustafa said in comments on Twitter on Friday.
President Mustafa denied the claims that the airstrikes had been carried out in coordination with Turkey. He explained that he communicated with the Turkish side with regards to the Russian allegations about coordination between them in this bombing, adding that Ankara denied the allegations. He described these allegations as “pure Russian propaganda.”
The Coalition earlier said that the latest Russian bombings and the Assad regime’s military escalation and its use of the white phosphorous is a breach of the Idlib agreement and an attempt to disrupt international efforts to reach a political solution in Syria.
The latest military escalation coincided with the Brussels III Conference being held by the European Union and the United Nations under the title “supporting the future of Syria and the region."
The Coalition stressed that the regime and its allies’ plans involve military escalation and war crimes with the aim of avoiding engagement in the political process and blocking all international efforts to push for a solution. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, met with James Jeffrey, the US State Department’s special envoy to Syria in Brussels on Thursday and discussed with him the importance of protecting civilians, especially from the ongoing deadly attacks by the Assad regime in Idlib province.
President Mustafa pointed out that it has become clear how the Assad regime uses military escalation against civilians whenever there is an event or conference held to serve the Syrian people. He added: “It is very important to preserve the Idlib agreement and revitalize the political process under the full supervision of the United Nations.”
President Mustafa also said that the Brussels III Conference gives a reasonable opportunity to support the Syrian people and ease their suffering. He pointed out that all the projects proposed by the supporters are under threat as the Assad regime carries on with the bombings and destruction.
“The only way to end the suffering of the Syrian people is through the political solution outlined in UN Security Council resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique and UN resolution 2254.”
President Mustafa added: “The Coalition looks forward to increased political and diplomatic action by the United States to restore balance to the political process aimed at building a secure, stable state that is free of the Assad regime and the Iranian militias.”
Moreover, President Mustafa stressed the need for accountability for all war crimes, including the use of chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombings and destruction as well as the brutal torture in prisons and the forced displacement. He called for taking a tougher stance against the Assad regime and the crimes it is committing in Syria.
The two sides also discussed the latest developments in northeast Syria. President Mustafa stressed the need for coordination with Turkey and the taking of joint steps in this regard.
For his part, Mr. Jeffrey stressed that the US-Turkish talks are still ongoing. He pointed to the importance of the presence of a delegation from the Syrian Coalition on the sidelines of the Brussels III Conference. He reaffirmed his country's continued support for the Syrian people's demands for freedom and dignity and the elimination of all terrorist organizations and militias.
Mr. Jeffrey also stressed that Washington does not see any possible solution in Syria other than the political one, noting that half of the Syrian people are now outside the control of the Assad regime because of the criminal actions he is committing against them. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition said that the Assad regime's attacks, crimes and violations have not stopped since the demilitarized zone agreement took effect just as the regime have not respected any international agreements or resolutions since 2011.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition said that the “escalating bombing campaign and the use of the incendiary white phosphorus is a blatant breach of the agreement and a desperate attempt to disrupt the Brussels conference which the regime and its allies are avidly seeking to undermine.”
“The Assad regime and its allies are pursuing the tactic of escalation, intensified bombing campaigns and war crimes in an attempt to avoid engaging into a political solution and to undermine all international efforts to push for a solution.”
The Coalition added: “The recent attacks have resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians and massive destruction in the towns of Tamana’a, Habeit, Salhiya, and Sarmin which were targeted with cluster bombs. The shelling also targeted other areas and towns in Idlib and Hama provinces.”
“These latest developments require serious positions mainly by the guarantors of the Idlib agreement. The continued crimes against the Syrian people and the continued shelling of civilian areas as well as the violations of the agreements should prompt the international community to shoulder its responsibilities, especially with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security by taking serious action to put an end to these war crimes and hold the criminals to account.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A delegation from the Syrian Coalition on Tuesday begun a visit to the Belgian capital Brussels where it will hold several meetings with senior officials and diplomats from the United States, the European Union and a number of other countries.
The delegation, which is headed by President Abdurrahman Mustafa, includes Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Abdul Ahad Steifo and Head of the Department of Media and Communications Ahmed Ramadan.
The visit will continue until next Friday. The delegation will begin the visit by meeting the US Special Envoy to Syria James Jeffrey and his accompanying delegation. It will also meet with officials from the EU delegation to Syria and the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
Steifo described the visit as ‘especially important’ as the delegation will discuss a number of important issues, including the dire humanitarian situation, especially in the al-Rukban refugee camp and in the northeast of the Euphrates River.
Steifo stressed that the delegation will highlight the Assad regime and Iran’s ongoing violations in Idlib and Hama provinces and their role in supporting the terrorist militias and destabilize the region.
Steifo said they would also raise the issue of detainees and the brutal torture in the prisons of the Assad regime. “These war crimes require a firm stance from the international community," he said, calling for the referral of those crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and holding those responsible to account.
Moreover, Steifo stressed the importance of allowing the Syrian people to determine the amount of humanitarian aid they need. He also underscored that the Syrian Coalition still believes in the major role of the international community in meeting the demands of the Syrian people, namely to get rid of tyranny and violence and to find a sustainable political solution in Syria in accordance with the international resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the UN Security Council resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition hailed the revival of the popular uprising against the Assad regime in Dara’a province, describing the renewed anti-regime demonstrations as “the deeds of the brave” as it reaffirmed its full support for the demonstrators against the repressive regime and its security apparatuses.
The remarks followed anti-regime demonstrations that took place outside the Omari Mosque in in the city of Dara’a on Sunday. Demonstrators demanded freedom and the overthrow the regime, holding signs that read ‘we prefer death to humiliation,’ and ‘Dara’a once again is clad in the dress of freedom.’
In a press release issued on Sunday, the Coalition said that the “heroes of Dara’a once renewed their commitment to the demands of the revolution on its eighth anniversary. They also reasserted their respect for the sacrifices of the Syrian people as they proved that the regime, which has long lost its legitimacy, will not be able to re-impose itself on the conscience of the free Syrian people.”
The Coalition added: “The struggle of the Syrian people against tyranny, repression and injustice is a national duty. The Syrian people will continue their struggle by all available means to build a democratic, civil state that contributes to the building of human civilization and renounces violence, repression, and criminality; rejects the showing of disregard for the lives and dignity of citizens; and rejects being a hotbed of terror.”
People in the town of al-Bab in northern rural Aleppo took to the streets to show solidarity with the people of Dara’a. Syrian activists also launched a campaign on social media under the title ‘Assad will be brought down’ as an expression of their support for those demonstrations in Dara’a.
Activists also published posts and photos as they stressed that the “torch of Dara’a cannot be extinguished.’ They also stressed that the revolutions will continue until the overthrow of the regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Renewed violations by the Assad regime and its allies in rural Idlib and rural Hama have so far killed more than 100 civilians, including many women and children as well forced thousands to flee towards camps near the Turkish border.
The Emergency Response Coordinators Team in northern Syria said that the ongoing bombing campaign and the daily targeting of towns and villages in rural Idlib and Hama have killed more than 101 civilians and injured more than 350 others since early February.
In figures the Team compiled regarding the humanitarian and field conditions in the demilitarized area, the Team on Friday said that the military actions by the Assad forces and their allies have forced around 14,226 families out of their homes. It noted that more families are fleeing as the shelling on the area continued unabated.
The Team said that the shelling targeted more than 92 towns and villages, including towns and villages in rural Hama, 35 others in rural Idlib, and 15 in Aleppo. The Assad regime’s air force bombed more than 10 towns and villages in rural Idlib.
Activists in rural Idlib on Friday said that five people were wounded in violent shelling by the Assad regime forces and their allied militias on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Al-Deir Al-Sharqi, Maarashimarin, and Talminas, and Sukeik in southern rural Idlib and the villages of Badama, Maarand and Najia.
Activists in rural Hama said that the Assad forces intensified their shelling on the towns and villages in the area. They said that regime forces carried out heavy artillery and rocket shelling on the towns of Kafr Zeita, the Tal al-Sakhr, Hasaraya, Qalqat al-Madiq, Tuwayneh, Huwiz, Beit al-Ras. The shelling caused many casualties among civilians.
The Syrian Coalition earlier stressed the need to put an end to the violations and crimes and daily shelling by the Assad regime forces on civilians in rural Idlib and Hama. It said that the Assad regime is deliberately targeting civilians and launching deadly attacks against them.
The Coalition called for holding to account those responsible for breaches of the demilitarized zone agreement as well as for implementing the agreed upon monitoring and follow-up mechanisms. It also called for preventing the regime from using the agreement as a means of concealment and impunity. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition, Dima Moussa, saluted all Syrian women on the occasion of the International Women's Day. She emphasized the pivotal role of the Syrian women in the Syrian revolution and their effective participation in the political work at its various levels.
Moussa also stressed the important role of Syrian women, especially in the political process and in negotiations as key to making Syria a place of safety and creating sustainable peace.
“As the world observes the International Women's Day, Syrian women continue their struggle and courageously endure the suffering resulting from the Assad regime’s harassment, detention, torture and forced displacement of them and their families,” Moussa said.
She added that thousands of Syrian women and girls are currently held in the Assad regimes’ secret dungeons and are subjected to all types of violations in response to their civic activity as well as their calls for freedom and dignity. She noted that women in other parts of Syria are subjected to other types of violations, including forced military conscription, child marriage, and the imposition of dress code and a certain lifestyle.
Moussa called on all women around the world to remember the suffering of the Syrian people; show solidarity with them; and to call on the international community to take the necessary steps to put an end to the tragedy that has been affecting Syrian civilians for nearly eight years.
Ending this tragedy requires the implementation of international conventions and UN resolutions on Syria, including the taking of concrete steps to stop the hostilities; ensure the release of detainees; and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need everywhere in Syria, Moussa said. She pointed out that these are the first steps towards bringing about a political transition to Syria that is based on justice, the rule of law, and equal citizenship for all Syrian citizens.
Moussa concluded her remarks by reaffirming commitment to carrying on with the efforts to reach a political solution that guarantees freedom, dignity and justice for the Syrian people in general and Syrian women in particular. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition, Badr Jamous, said that the Assad and Iranian regimes are responsible for the formation of many sectarian militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, including Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba which the US targeted by sanctions on Tuesday.
Jamous said that the formation of these militias is aimed at provoking sectarian strife which in turn led to the emergence of terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, noting that these militias created chaos in the societies of these countries with the help of the Assad and Iranian regimes.
The US latest move, and before it the classification of the political wing of the Lebanese Hezbollah as a terrorist entity, is a positive step,” Jamous said, describing it as “coming late and needing more serious actions.”
“Regardless of these classifications, the main sponsors of these militias are still committing crimes against civilians and are still recognized by the United Nations and the Security Council., It will be better to include the Assad and Iranian regimes on the terrorist list.”
Moreover, Jamous called for the withdrawal of international recognition and the ratcheting of pressure on these two regimes as well as for holding to account those responsible for the widespread war crimes taking place in Syria and the rest of the region.
“Further serious steps will contribute to the revitalization of the political process based on the implementation of the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254 calling for a comprehensive political transition in the country. Such steps will ensure the restoration of security and stability to the region.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)