The Syrian Coalition condemned the bombardment being carried out by the Assad regime in rural Hama and Idlib on a daily basis. It called on the international community to maintain the Idlib agreement and uphold the ceasefire currently in place.
Local media outlets reported that the shelling killed two children and a woman as well as injured many others in the Ghab plain in western rural Hama in the early morning hours of Wednesday.
A civilian was killed and two others were injured in rocket and artillery shelling by the Assad regime forces that targeted 13 towns and villages in rural Hama on Tuesday. The Syrian Coalition called for the launch of a serious investigation into these violations and for holding all those responsible to account.
Local activists said that the Assad regime forces targeted many towns and villages in rural Hama with rockets and heavy artillery, including Kafarzeita, Lataminah, Kafranbouda, Qalet Al-Madiq, Jisr Beit Al-Ras, Ankawi, al-Hawija, al-Hawash, al-Sharia, al-Twainah and Tal Othman. Many injuries were reported.
Many civilians were also injured in rocket and artillery shelling by the Assad regime forces in the towns and Khan Sheikhoun, Al-Teeh, Jarjanaz, Baboulin and Tamana’a in southern rural Idlib.
Dozens of towns and villages in the provinces of Idlib and Hama have been subjected to relentless rocket and artillery shelling by the Assad regime resulting in many civilian casualties although the area is covered by the Idlib Agreement calling for a halt to shelling in the area.
During its European tour, the Syrian Coalition delegation raised the consequences of the Assad regime’s ongoing military escalation against civilians in Idlib. It stressed the importance of providing protection to civilians in the liberated areas to avoid a new humanitarian crisis and a new wave of refugees to neighboring countries. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, met with members of the German Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and discussed with them the Assad regime’s ongoing war crimes against civilians, the latest of which are the bombing campaign in Idlib as well as the latest developments in the political process.
President Mustafa stressed the importance of providing protection to civilians in the liberated areas as he called for preserving the ceasefire agreement in Idlib province in order to avoid a major humanitarian crisis and a new wave of refugees to neighboring countries.
Security in Idlib province “is important for us,” President Mustafa said, adding that “Idlib alone is home to around four million civilians, half of whom were forcibly displaced from other parts of Syria.” He noted that the Assad regime continues with its “criminal behavior against Syrian civilians," noting that this behavior “carries a message to the international community that the regime still insists on pursuing a bloody military solution.”
President Mustafa pointed out that the Coalition supports the efforts of the UN envoy Geir Pedersen to fully and effectively implement UN Security Council Resolution 2254, noting that the Constitutional Committee is the only gateway to the political process.
Moreover, President Mustafa explained that the Syrian Coalition is in the process of moving its headquarters into the Syrian territory next April. He said that the Coalition has already developed a plan to restructure the Syrian Interim Government and activate its role in order to enable it to work more broadly in the framework of governance and civil administration in all areas of basic services.
President Mustafa thanked Germany for hosting the Syrian refugees and for its remarkable efforts to file lawsuits against Assad regime officials involved in war crimes in Syria as key to holding them accountable and to preventing impunity.
For their part, the German officials stressed that their country will not contribute neither economically nor politically to the reconstruction program in Syria or engage in the issue of the return of refugees unless a real political solution is achieved in Syria. They renewed Germany's support for the demands of the Syrian people for freedom and democracy. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
In yet a new show of defiance to the Assad regime and its tightening of its grip on the province, residents of Dara’a and its countryside staged anti-regime demonstrations calling for freedom and the overthrow of the regime and marking the eighth anniversary of the Syrian revolution.
Local activists said that dozens of people on Monday gathered outside the Omari mosque to commemorate the Syrian revolution as they reaffirmed commitment to their demands and to transition Syria towards a democratic state.
Anti-regime graffiti was also scrawled on the walls inside the city reflecting the insistence of the Syrian people on continuing with revolution until victory and expressing their hopes and aspirations for freedom and dignity.
Another demonstration took place in the town of Da'eal to condemn the Assad regime’s repressive practices against civilians and demand the release of detainees from its prisons.
Syrians in the diaspora also commemorated the eighth anniversary of the Syrian revolution over the past three days. They reasserted their commitment to the principles and legitimate goals of the revolution.
The Syrian Coalition said that the eighth anniversary should act as a new call for all Syrians to rally around the revolution as common identity bringing the Syrian people together. It noted that the demonstrations that took place on this occasion were an extension of the demonstrations that took place on the first day of the revolution.
The Coalition stressed that the Dara’a demonstrations sent a clear, strong message telling everyone that the Syrian people will insist on achieving victory despite all the odds, namely the crimes and tyranny being practiced by the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
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)