Coalition News
25 May 2019 In Coalition News

The head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of Media and Communications, Ahmad Ramadan, called on the United Nations to launch an official, urgent investigation into Lebanon’s deportation of Syrian refugees from Beirut airport to the Assad regime-held territories. He warned that the lives of the deportees would be at serious risk of torture and execution.

"Nearly 74 percent of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon do not have valid residence permits due to the intransigence of the Lebanese authorities which are dominated by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia,” Ramadan said in comments on Twitter on Friday.

Rights activists also denounced the eviction of Syrian refugees from their homes by the Beirut municipal police without prior notice. They described these recent evictions as "unfair."

Activists on Saturday started a petition on the global rights movement Avaaz to stop the deportation of Syrian refugees from Lebanon.

Organizers of the campaign cited remarks by Syrian rights activist Anwar al-Bunni who said that “the Lebanese authorities, and those racists behind them, are seeking to put increasing pressure on Syrian refugees to achieve their goals having failed with their attempts, along with the Russian criminal Putin, to provide international cover for the handing over of Syrian refugees to the murderer Bashar al-Assad.”

According to the petition, the Lebanese Ministry of Interior issued a decision to remove Syrian refugees’ camps and settlements without taking any action to shelter them elsewhere. More than 1,400 Syrian households are now at the risk of being left out in the open, the petition said, adding that the armed militias in Lebanon were given a free hand to harass Syrian refugees, especially activists, and hand them over to the Assad regime.

Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, on Friday said: “Lebanese authorities shouldn’t deport anyone to Syria without first allowing them a fair opportunity to argue their case for protection and ensuring that they don’t face a real risk of persecution, torture, or other serious harm.”

HRW stressed that “Lebanon is also bound by the customary international law principle of nonrefoulement not to return refugees to places where they would be persecuted or to expose anyone to a real risk of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or threat to their life.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

24 May 2019 In Coalition News

The Assad regime and Russian forces have stepped up the bombardment of residential areas and healthcare facilities in Idlib and rural Hama using internationally prohibited weapons. The Syrian Civil Defense said that the attacks are hitting targets located far from the battlefronts in southern rural Idlib.

The Syrian Civil defense said that the Assad regime and Russia are using vacuum bombs, cluster munitions, and S-5 rockets, causing widespread destruction to civilian homes and property and the outbreak of large fires in agricultural crops.

Local activists said that at least five civilians were killed and dozens more were injured as a result of the bombings. They noted that Friday congregational prayers were cancelled in the majority of towns and villages in northern rural Hama and Idlib province for fear of the intense aerial activity by the Assad regime and Russian air forces.

Last Monday, the Emergency Response Coordinators Team said that the continued bombing campaign killed 492 civilians, including 144 children in the period between February 2 and May 20.

The regime is using high-explosive bombs in the bombardment as collective punishment for the heavy losses its forces have suffered over the past two days at the hands of the FSA groups. The Syrian Coalition said that “Syrian civilians are paying the price of the inaction of the international community.”

The Coalition stressed that “if they have the will, the active players in Syria can stop military attacks on civilian areas and enforce political solution in accordance with the international resolutions.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

23 May 2019 In Coalition News

The Assad regime and Russia have further stepped up bombardment on Idlib and rural Hama in response to the heavy losses they are suffering at the hands of the Free Syrian Army which made significant gains on the ground over the past two days.

Activists said that the Assad regime forces used cluster munitions and vacuum bombs in the bombardment on towns and villages in northern rural Hama and southern rural Idlib. The bombings killed 18 civilians on Wednesday, including two children, and injured dozens more.

The Syrian Civil Defense said that the shelling mainly targeted civilian homes, two schools and a convenience store in the town of Kifranbel.

At least nine people were killed in heavy shelling by the Assad forces and Russian forces on the town of Maaret al-Nouman. The Civil defense said that a total of 77 people were injured in the shelling on Wednesday.

The Syrian Coalition, meanwhile, said that the silence of the international community is to blame for the current situation.

“The Syrian people continue to pay a heavy price for the continued inaction of the international community, especially as this reprehensible crime is only one of the long litany of crimes against civilians and constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity,” the Coalition said.

It is our duty to remind the international community of its responsibilities to maintain peace and save the lives of civilians. We reaffirm that if they have the will, the active States can stop this barbaric attack and act towards enforcing a political solution in accordance with international resolutions. We reiterate calls for such a solution as we stress the need to enforce it without further delay. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

22 May 2019 In Coalition News

The Secretary of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee, Riyad al-Hassan, said that the Assad regime and its allies are to blame for the ongoing massacres and the tragic situation in the country, especially in northern Syria. He pointed out that the Assad regime and its allies’ ongoing military operations and targeting of medical and public facilities constituted blatant violation of international resolutions and the Astana agreements calling for a ceasefire.

Al-Hassan reaffirmed the Coalition’s support for the Free Syrian Army’s efforts to defend civilians in view of the international community's failure to put an end to the ongoing onslaught by the Assad regime and Russia on Idlib and rural Hama.

Al-Hassan expressed his disappointment at the failure of the UN Security Council to stop the regime’s bombing campaign in Idlib and rural Hama and even to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians. He pointed out that this failure was compounded by another catastrophic failure to revitalize the political process and return to the negotiations aimed at the implementation of international resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.

Al-Hassan added that the gains the Free Syrian Army achieved in the last two days and its recapture of most of the areas it earlier lost to regime forces have further exposed the weaknesses of the Assad regime forces and the Iranian terrorist militias which were further compounded by the international sanctions. He stressed that the FSA fighters would continue to advance until they recapture all the areas they lost in northern rural Hama.

The Free Syrian Army groups on Tuesday launched a major counterattack and managed to recapture the town of Kifranbouda, Tal Hawash hill, and al-Hamirat in northern rural Hama.

Local activists published photos and videos of big reinforcements sent by the Free Syrian Army to the frontlines in northern rural Hama. They also published videos of ATGM (Anti-tank Guided Missile) attacks against the Assad regime forces and Iranian terrorist groups.

FSA commanders said they had inflicted heavy losses on the Assad regime and its allies in Kifranbouda and the rest of the battlefronts, stressing they will continue to press on with the counterattack until they recapture all the areas they earlier lost. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

20 May 2019 In Coalition News

Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, warned that the loss of Idlib will sabotage the political process before it begins, noting that the Assad regime is seeking to wriggle out of its political obligations through military escalation.

“Every time we get closer to resuming the political process, the Assad regime resorts to military escalation," Hariri said in an interview with the Anadolu news agency. “Negative developments on the ground will negatively affect the political process.”

Hariri said that since the start of its direct military intervention in Syria in 2015, Russia has been trying to shore up the Assad regime and enable it to achieve military victory. However, all these attempts have so far failed on the ground.”

“In all the de-escalation zones, Russia and the Assad regime used terrorist organizations as a pretext, including more recently in Idlib where civilians and infrastructure are deliberately and systematically being targeted using aircraft, helicopters and heavy artillery.”

Hariri went on to say that the humanitarian catastrophe is unspeakable as hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced for the second time in dire conditions. He pointed out that what is going on in Idlib contravenes political solution and all calls for the return of the refugees.”

“It is estimated that 300,000 people have been detained across Syria," Hariri said. “Only the Assad regime which detains them knows the exact number of detainees. They are being held in the public and secret prisons and subjected to brutal psychological and physical torture.”

“Progress is yet to be achieved in the issue of detainees,” Hariri said, adding: “We do not accept the principle of ‘one for one’ as it is unfair. All detainees must be released.”

With regards to the Constitutional Committee, Hariri said that “all the parties agree on the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254 of 2015 as the basis for solution. It has already been agreed that the Constitutional Committee is not the entire political process but a gateway to the political solution. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

17 May 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Interim Government's Free Hama Governorate Council on Friday issued an appealed to international bodies, human rights organizations and guarantor states to assume their commitments and put an end to the Assad regime forces and their allies fierce onslaught on the provinces of Hama and Idlib.

In a statement it published on Facebook, the Council called on civilians to demonstrate on Saturday to demand the return to their homes and to denounce the Assad regime, Russian, and Iranian occupation of their areas.

The Council pointed out that the continued onslaught on rural Hama and Idlib aims to displace the people of the region as the Assad regime, with direct support from the Russian air force and Iranian militias, is targeting schools, hospitals, civil defense centers, and infrastructure.

The relentless combing campaign has so far killed hundreds of people and displaced more than 500,000 people from their homes, the Council said, calling on the rebel forces to close ranks and unite to defend the liberated areas.

The Syrian Coalition earlier warned of dire consequences should the Assad regime and its allies continue with attempts to recapture the liberated areas. It also warned of a major humanitarian disaster resulting from the targeting of civilians and a possible new, huge wave of refugees towards Europe.

Thousands of displaced people currently stay out in the open and unofficial camps in northern and western rural Idlib, as more families are being displaced from rural Hama and Idlib by the regime, Russia and sectarian militias continued fierce campaign against the two provinces. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)Syrian Coalition Emphasizes UN Security Council Role in Protecting Civilians and Stopping Onslaught on Idlib

Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition, Badr Jamous, called on the UN Security Council to take a clear, firm stance towards the Assad regime’s grave military campaign against Idlib and rural Hama. He stressed that the ongoing bombing campaign will have a negative impact on the political process and the humanitarian situation.

“The UN Security Council's failure to protect civilians means that the lives of more than four million people will be at huge risk,” Jamous said in a special statement on Friday. “The UN Security Council is required to ensure protection for civilians in Idlib and Hama and provide them with urgent humanitarian and medical aid.

Jamous warned of yet the biggest wave of refugees to outside Syria absent a serious action by the UN Security Council today to stop the ongoing military operations targeting civilians.

The UN Security Council is set to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the situation in Idlib. The meeting is a follow-up to the closed session it held last week, during which several countries expressed concern about a possible humanitarian disaster in Idlib.

The meeting will discuss the dire humanitarian situation in the region, the possibility of a ceasefire, and revitalization of the political process.

Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric, on Thursday said that the United Nations is closely following the recent developments and military escalation in Idlib.

Dujarric said that that aerial attacks on population centers and civilian infrastructure resulted in hundreds of civilians dead and injured and over 180,000 newly displaced persons since late April. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

16 May 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition’s political committee held its regular meeting at the Coalition office in the countryside of Aleppo on Thursday.

The meeting discussed the situation on the ground in the liberated areas, the Russian-Iranian aggression on Idlib and the countryside of Hama, and the mass displacement of civilians in the region.

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa said that the brutal airstrikes on civilians in Idlib and Hama have so far killed more than 350 civilians, including many children and women, as well as displaced more than 300,000 people. The bombings also caused massive destruction to civilian homes and infrastructure, hospitals and schools.

President Mustafa called for an immediate halt to the aggression on Idlib as he commended the international outcry over the assault on Idlib. He also praised efforts by sisterly and friendly countries to put pressure Russia to stop its support for the aggression and to refrain from launching further attacks on civilians.

The political committee discussed mechanisms of communication and interaction with civil bodies in the liberated areas. It met with representatives of local councils and discussed with them the situation of services and the displaced people from the areas that were occupied by the Assad regime and the Iranian militias.

The Syrian Coalition has recently opened an office in the countryside of Aleppo and began to communicate with the local councils and directorates active in the liberated areas and the civil society organizations in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

16 May 2019 In Coalition News

The Syrian Negotiations Commission held a number of important meetings at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland during which they discussed the Assad regime and Russian serious military escalation in the province of Idlib and its impact on the political process.

The Commission’s delegation also met with officials and diplomats from the United States, the European Union, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Australia and Japan. Head of Delegation, Nasr Al-Hariri, briefed the diplomats on the situation in Idlib, especially the Assad regime and Russian violations of the Idlib agreement. He underscored that the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating as a result of the relentless targeting of residential areas and public facilities.

Hariri stressed that the Assad regime and Russia are using terrorism as a pretext to target civilians and force them out of their homes as they previously did in various areas across Syria. He emphasized the importance of international cooperation to stop the military escalation; ensure respect for the Idlib agreement; consolidate the ceasefire; and seriously engage in the peace process.

The Commission’s delegation also met with Khawla Matar, Deputy Special UN Envoy to Syria who is in charge of following up on the issue of detainees. Hariri and Matar discussed ways to achieve progress in the issue which he described as both “sensitive and catastrophic.”

Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, met with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Ankara on Tuesday and discussed with him the serious military escalation by the Assad regime and its allies in Idlib province.

Hariri stressed the need to protect civilians, consolidate the ceasefire that was established last year, and deliver humanitarian aid to those in need. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

15 May 2019 In Coalition News

Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, met with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Ankara on Tuesday and discussed with him the serious military escalation by the Assad regime and its allies in Idlib province.

Hariri said that he and Çavuşoğlu discussed the Assad regime’s violations of the ceasefire agreement and the efforts being exerted to stop the escalation. He stressed the need to protect civilians, consolidate the ceasefire that was established last year, and deliver humanitarian aid to those in need.

Hariri pointed out that he felt real concern by Turkey over the situation in Idlib province, noting that the Assad regime and Russia are using terrorism as a pretext to target civilians and destroy infrastructure, hospitals and schools.

“The Syrian opposition supports fighting terrorism in its all forms, including the terror of the Iranian militias," Hariri said, adding that this threat should not be used as a pretext to subjugate the liberated areas with the force of arms. He stressed that the ongoing onslaught violated the UN resolutions on Syria and the Idlib agreement.

Moreover, Hariri said that the talks touched on coming closer to an agreement on the formation of the Constitutional Committee, adding that that issue enjoys “common interest” as a gateway to a comprehensive, just political solution in accordance with UN resolution 2254.

In comments he published on Twitter, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that the Assad regime’s attacks on Idlib constituted a blatant violation of the Sochi Memorandum, adding that they were close to an agreement on the formation of the Constitutional Committee. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

14 May 2019 In Coalition News

President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, called on the international community and the major players in Syria to put an end to the Assad regime and Russian onslaught on Idlib, adding that Russia is still refusing to abide by the agreements in place and seeking to “shore up the Assad regime.”

President Mustafa warned of dire consequences affecting the whole world should the Assad regime and its allies try to storm Idlib province. He also warned of “the humanitarian tragedy resulting from the targeting of civilians and of a fresh wave of refugees towards Europe.”

“The Russians insist on pursuing a military solution,” President Mustafa said, noting that this places increased responsibility on the major players to maintain the ‘de-escalation zone’ agreement as the last remaining agreement in place.

President Mustafa described the ongoing military escalation as “extremely grave,” pointing out that it is targeting children, women, civilian infrastructure and hospitals. He stressed that this is the same policy Moscow has pursued since the start of its direct intervention in 2015, targeting the revolution’s social base as it previously did in Aleppo, Dara’a and many areas across Syria.

The Assad regime, Russia and Iran are still using the strategy of relentless bombardment in Idlib, displacing tens of thousands of civilians towards safer areas, President Mustafa said.

President Mustafa pointed out that "Russia has not complied with any of the agreements reached on Syria and has limited its military goals to the popping up of the regime.”

Moreover, President Mustafa pointed out that the Coalition is working in coordination with Turkey as a guarantor of the Idlib agreement to overcome the Idlib crisis and as Turkey has military observation points in the region. He noted that the tasks of those points are not limited to monitoring as they represent a deterrent impeding any regime advance into Idlib.

The regime forces’ targeting of the Turkish observation points was aimed at exerting pressure on Turkey to force it to make political concessions in other files as it is an influential state and open to dialogue with all major players. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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