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)