Leaders of one of the largest tribes in Syria called on the international anti-ISIS coalition to exercise pressure on the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) to stop their violations against civilians in the areas east of the Euphrates River. They also demanded the immediate release of the detainees in the PYD’s custody and to allow people held in IDP camps, especially women, children and the elderly, to leave.
The calls were made in a statement issued following a meeting that brought together leaders and dignitaries of the Al-Akidat tribe in the town of Al-Shuhail in rural Deir Ezzor on Monday. The meeting was held in response to the death of many townsmen at the hands of the PYD militia.
According to Deir Ezzor 24 news network, the aim of the meeting was to take a unified position of the PYD repeated violations in the province and to make their voices heard to the international anti-ISIS coalition. The meeting addressed the issue of the PYD-controlled local councils and their rampant corruption as the statement called for allowing peaceful demonstrations in the region.
The statement said that the PYD militia were submitting “malicious reports” to the international anti-ISIS coalition in which the PYD militia asked the coalition forces to bomb purely civilian areas, which led to the deaths of dozens of innocent civilians.
The statement stressed the need to annex the areas west of the Euphrates to those in the east and force the Iranian and Russian militias out of the region. It also stressed that the Akidat tribesmen stand ready to work with the international coalition forces in this regard as they possess the military, political, security and administrative capabilities to do so.
The Deir Ezzor countryside has recently witnessed mass anti-PYD demonstrations in many towns and villages in the region. Demonstrators denounced the PYD violations and the de facto authority they imposed on the local people in the province as well as the rampant PYD’s rampant corruption and mismanagement of the region. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Britain, Germany and France on Monday called for an end to the military escalation in northwestern Syria, saying they were gravely concerned at recent violence which had led to the death of more than 120 civilians.
“This military escalation must stop,” said the joint statement from the three countries, issued by Britain’s Foreign Office.
“Airstrikes on population centers, indiscriminate bombardment and use of barrel bombs as well as the targeting of civilian and humanitarian infrastructures, notably schools and health facilities, are blatant violations of International Humanitarian Law.”
The UN Security Council on Friday held an emergency meeting on Syria at the request of Belgium, Germany and Kuwait amid growing concerns over the escalation of airstrikes against the rebel-held areas in the province of Idlib.
European countries, including France, Germany and Belgium, had expressed their concerns about the continued attacks by the Assad regime's forces and allies in the province of Idlib before the UN Security Council began its meetings on the situation in Libya and Syria.
The Syrian Coalition earlier said that the regime’s ongoing onslaught on the countryside of Idlib and Hama seeks to undermine efforts to achieve progress in the political process.
The Syrian people expect that the European and Turkish pressure on Russia will force them to stop the brutal assault on Idlib which has displaced more than 350,000 civilians as well as killed and injured hundreds and destroyed more than 16 medical centers and 28 schools. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
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)
Local activists and human rights organizations reported increasing civilian casualties as a result of the fierce onslaught the Assad regime and Russian forces have launched against many towns and villages in the provinces of Idlib and Hama.
According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), seven civilians were killed in regime shelling on Idlib province on Monday. It said that a child was killed in an attack that was untraceable.
Attacks on the fourth ‘de-escalation zone’ by the Assad regime and Russian forces killed 169 civilians, including 39 children and 38 women from April 26 to May 13, 2019, the monitoring group said.
The Network on Sunday said that the Assad regime and Russian forces targeted at least nine mosques in the provinces of Idlib and Hama in the first week of Ramadan. They also attacked 24 schools and 12 medical centers in the same region in the period between April 26 and May 9, 2019.
The ongoing bombing campaign in Syria’s northwest is mainly targeting civil defense centers, hospitals, places of worship, and schools, the Network said, adding that the attacks are aimed at obliterating any semblance of life in the liberated areas.
The Syrian Coalition earlier called on all states to take a firm stance towards the blatant aggression on the liberated areas, calling on the major players to take swift action to ensure an end to the Assad regime and Russian onslaught on civilians in rural Idlib and Hama.
The liberated areas in southern rural Idlib and northern rural Hama have been subjected to relentless bombardment in the last few days. The bombings have claimed the lives of dozens of civilians as the Assad regime and Russian forces are using jets and helicopters to bomb the densely populated areas. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)