The head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, said that Russia continues to support the Assad regime militarily and does not have any intention to engage in the political process. He pointed out that Iran continues to seek to consolidate its influence and maintain a foothold in the country.
The political process in Syria has stalled as the Assad regime rejects all proposals for a political solution in Syria, Hariri told a press conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday.
He stressed that while Russia is talking about a political process in front of the international community, it uses various types of weapons against the Syrian civilians in Idlib province. He noted that the Commission refused to meet with Russian officials unless the bombing campaign in Idlib province stops.
Hariri said that the Assad regime and Russian forces are relentlessly bombing civilians in Idlib and rural Hama, mainly targeting children, women and the elderly. He said that the bombing campaign has caused a humanitarian disaster in northwestern Syria.
Hariri said that the Assad regime and its allies’ ongoing military operations have so far killed 900 Syrians, including 210 children; forced more than half a million people out of their homes; and destroyed the infrastructure, hospitals, civilians homes, and bakeries.
As for the Iranian intervention in Syria, Hariri pointed out that Tehran is still seeking to increase its influence in the country by penetrating the Syrian state institutions, especially the security services and the army. He noted that Iran has already incorporated its militias into the Assad regime's army.
Moreover, Hariri went on to say that Iran is continuing to spread Shiism in the Syrian society, stressing that there can be no political solution in Syria without the withdrawal of Iran.
“We will not accept any solution that allows Iran to maintain its military presence in our country. We are determined to reverse all what Iran did to the social fabric in Syria,” Hariri said.
Hariri also said that Iran is now threatening international and regional peace and security, citing Iran’s recent targeting of oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf.
Hariri called on the Lebanese political blocks to distance themselves from Hezbollah, Iran and the Assad regime, and to stand by the Syrian people against the regime that once killed them on the streets of Lebanon. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition mourned President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi as it extended its sincere condolences to his family and the brotherly Egyptian people.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Coalition said that “throughout his presidency, the late President Morsi supported and remained faithful to the aspirations of the Syrian people and their revolution for freedom, dignity and democracy. He also showed firm commitment to the fundamental causes of the Arab nation and did not compromise any of those.”
The Coalition also said that “we will always remain hopeful that Egypt will remain a bulwark against all attempts to threaten the security of the region and to spread and chaos. We are confident that it will hold to its commitments to the peoples’ aspirations for freedom and dignity.”
News about the death of President Morsi sent a wave of sadness and anger over the social media, with online campaigns launched to pay tribute to the deceased president. The hashtags ‘Mohammed Morsi’ in Arabic and English was on top of the list of trends on Twitter within just one hour after the news of his death.
Many Syrian activists mourned Morsi’s death as they cited his noble stances towards the Syrian revolution and his attempts to help the Syrian people rid Syria of the authoritarian rule and make a transition to democracy. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of the Refugee Affairs Amal Sheikho, said that the recent statements by Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has fueled hatred and racism against the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, pointing out that such statements will not solve Lebanon's economic and social problems.
Sheikho warned that these racist statements risk further destabilizing Lebanon and the region. She said: “Such statements will only serve to fuel the tensions and exasperation in the Lebanese society and makes it an increasingly hostile environment on the verge of explosion.”
Sheikho expressed her concern about the fate of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in the wake of these “unprecedentedly racist statements.” She stressed that these statements risk undermining efforts to find a solution to the issue of the Syrian refugees.”
Moreover, Sheikho appealed to “the Lebanese forces with living conscience” to support the Syrian refugees and to “stand firmly against the campaigns targeting Syrian refugees who had been displaced by the Hezbollah militia.”
Lebanese officials have recently launched a media campaign against Syrian refugees coinciding with attacks and violations against the Syrian refugees, such as arrest, destruction and burning of camps, and murder.
The Coalition said that these campaigns are aimed to force refugees to return to Syria in extremely risky conditions in violation of international resolutions on the protection of refugees. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, said that Russia bears primary responsibility for the tragedy unfolding in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria. He stressed that the repeated shelling of Turkish observation points could not happen without a green light from Moscow.
“The Assad regime is merely implementing orders for the recent military escalation," Mustafa said on Monday, adding that the ongoing bombing campaign in northwestern Syria put the lives of nearly four million civilians cramped along the Turkish border at huge risk.”
Mustafa went on to say that the objectives of the recent military operations “have long been exposed as the Russian role is abundantly evident following the shelling that targeted the Turkish observation points.” He pointed out that the targeting of these points indicated attempts to put pressure on Ankara and sabotage the Idlib agreement which was meant to pave the way for a nationwide ceasefire and the resumption of a genuine UN-led political process.
Mustafa noted that the Assad regime and allies’ ongoing military operations in northwestern Syria have so far killed hundreds of civilians and wounded thousands more as well as forced hundreds of thousands to relatively safer areas near the border with Turkey.
Moreover, President Mustafa stressed that Russia violated its role in the UN Security Council as it is aiding and abetting the Assad regime’s war crimes as well as shielding it at the UN Security Council through the repeated use of its veto power, which threatens international peace and security. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s Department of Refugee Affairs held an emergency meeting on the risks and threats facing the Syrian refugees in Lebanon as well as the worsening violations against them.
The meeting was attended by members of the presidential and political bodies, heads of departments and committees, head of the committee for the follow-up on the affairs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon Abdul Rahman Akkari, and journalist and political activist Ahmed Qusair.
The participants discussed the situation of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon in light of the increasing hostility and violations they are facing, including arrests and murder as well as the destruction and burning of refugee camps leaving thousands of refugees without shelter.
Head of the Department of Refugee Affairs Amal Sheikho said that the recent developments are a clear example of the growing hostility being fueled by the Lebanese Foreign Minister and the officials allied with Hezbollah and the Assad regime. She pointed out that these attacks were aimed at putting increasing pressure on the Syrian refugees and forcing them to return to Syria in risky conditions.
Sheikho went on to say that the growing hostility towards the Syrian refugees serve the interests of Hezbollah which is seeking to blame Lebanon’s economic hardships on refugees. It also servers the Assad regime’s goals of putting pressure on the international community to accept its conditions for the issue of reconstruction.
Moreover, Sheikho stressed that these tactics represent violation of the international resolutions on refugees as she called on the United Nations to put an end to these attacks.
Sheikho called on the Lebanese officials who have stood with the Syrian revolution to continue supporting the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and to stand up to the hate speech and racism against the refugees. She praised their great efforts in this regard, adding that the Lebanese and Syrian peoples have suffered for decades at the hands of the Assad regime and the blatant Iranian interference that undermined the security and stability of the region. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, said that the Assad regime and Russia continue to target residential areas and vital civilian centers in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria and did not abide by the ceasefire.
“The Assad regime and Russia have a proven track record in violating the ceasefire agreements," Hariri said in comments he published on Twitter on Friday.
“We hear a talk about a cease-fire or some sort of a truce, but what we see is quite the opposite,” Hariri added. He stressed that the Assad regime and its allies were continuing the bombardment of civilians and causing civilian casualties, including children in rural Hama, Idlib and Lattakia.
The Friday congregational prayers were cancelled for fear of the targeting of civilian gatherings by the Assad regime and Russia. Local activists said that the Assad regime and Russian jets did not leave the skies over Idlib province and targeted several towns and villages at dawn today.
The Assad regime and its allies have repeatedly breached agreements for ceasefires and the introduction of humanitarian aid to those in need. They also did not show any respect for agreements calling for the lifting of the siege on the besieged areas and for all international resolutions aimed at finding a political solution in Syria, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the UN Security Council resolution 2254.
The Syrian Coalition earlier called on the international community to take urgent action to protect civilians and put an end to the targeting of residential areas and vital civilian centers. It also called for maintaining the Idlib Agreement to establish a ceasefire and for the revitalization of the political process to find a just political solution. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition, Badr Jamous, said that some Lebanese parties’ showing of hostility towards the Syrian refugees is aimed at forcing them to return to their country in risky conditions. He cited the recent demolition and burning of Syrian refugee camps and the increasing attacks on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, which reached the level of murder in different parts of the country.
Jamous on Friday said that Hezbollah’s actions have been extremely detrimental to Lebanon by rebelling against the Lebanese state and acting at direct orders from Iran.
“We all remember how the Assad regime and Hezbollah stood against the proposed national unity government in Lebanon in early 2011 and their obstruction of the work of all Lebanese governments, which led to economic crises and unprecedentedly high rates of unemployment.”
Jamous pointed out that Hezbollah is promoting hate speech and racism against the Syrian refugees to divert attention away from the crimes and subversive actions it is committing in Lebanon and Syria in favor of Iran. He underscored that the solution to Lebanon’s problems lies not in the return of the Syrian refugees but by preventing Hezbollah and its terrorist militias from committing more crimes, especially those targeting civilians in partnership with the Assad regime.
Jamous called on the United Nations to shoulder its responsibilities with regards to the violations against the Syrian refugees in Lebanon. He urged the United Nations to take immediate action to protect the Syrian refugees in accordance with the international norms on refugees.
“There is an urgent need for a concrete, serious international intervention to stop the violations against the Syrian refugees" Jamous added as he called on the international community to help Syria and Lebanon and all other countries suffering from the blatant Iranian interference that undermines the security and stability of the region.
Jamous stressed that the Syrian and Lebanese peoples have common demands and the same project, namely to get rid of the dictatorship of Assad regime and the building of a democratic state based on justice and equality. He called on the political forces that stood by the Syrian people to support the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and to put an end to the persecution and injustice against them.
Moreover, Jamous stressed his outright rejection of exploiting the issue of the Syrian refugees for political ends or using them as a bargaining chip. “The Syrian people fled to Lebanon to escape death and arrest,” he said, stressing that forcing them to return without guarantees for their safety is tantamount to sending them to a certain death.
“Whoever is forcing the Syrian refugees to return will bear direct responsibility before international courts,” Jamous said, adding that the Syrian Coalition will resort to those courts in accordance with international norms and laws on the protection of refugees. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition called for respect for the international conventions on refugees and to hold those involved in violations against refugees to account. It expressed his rejection and condemnation of the hate speech and racism being promulgated by Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and other Lebanese officials against the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the Coalition warned of dire consequences of the incitement of hatred against Syrian refugees as well as the participation in the spreading of the obnoxious hatred, racism and populism being promulgation by the Lebanese Foreign Minister. It also warns that this hate speech will have dire consequences for those promoting it.
“No Syrian can deny the solidarity being demonstrated by Lebanese brothers who stood by the Syrian refugees during their ordeal. Many of them demonstrated in Beirut on Wednesday to denounce the violations against Syrian refugees,” the Coalition said.
“No one can also ignore the criminal role being played by well-known parties, especially the terrorist Hezbollah Militia, which has been involved in the crimes taking place in our country and its major role in the resulting mass displacement and refugee crisis.”
The Coalition stressed that unless the Hezbollah Militia withdraws from all the Syrian territory and ceases its support for the murderous Assad regime, there will be no point in calling for a unilateral solution to the problem of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
“Therefore, those who propose and support plans to force refugees to return to Syria are responsible for the crimes the Assad regime is committing against Syrians.”
The Coalition called upon the rational voices in Lebanon, especially the Lebanese Prime Minister, to assume their humanitarian and official responsibility as was stipulated by the principles and resolutions of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the treaties to which Lebanon is committed. It also called for putting an end to such statements before they cause more damage or turn into a spark leading to unpredictable consequences.
“We emphasize the need to respect the laws and treaties, and to abstain from making more inflammatory statements which recall the violations against Syrian refugees, including the arrest campaigns, the destruction and burning of tents, and the handover of Syrian refugees to the Assad regime.”
The Coalition went on: “There is an urgent need for practical and legal intervention to put an end to these campaigns and the offensive statements against the Lebanese people before any other party.”
“We renew our call for respect for international agreements on refugees and for holding accountable those involved in violations, incitement of hatred against refugees and violation of their legitimate rights.
It is imperative that the United Nations and the International Human Rights Commission shoulder their responsibilities to prevent further violations and crimes against Syrian refugees and hold those responsible accountable.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of the Refugee Affairs, Amal Sheikho, condemned the murder of the Syrian youngster Zakaria al-Taha in Lebanon. She demanded that the Lebanese authorities launch an immediate, transparent investigation and hold those responsible for the crime to account.
Zakaria, who used to work in a cafe in the city of Sayda, was murdered by two young men on Tuesday, one of whom was Lebanese. Lebanese media outlets reported that the two youths, who were drunk, stopped in front of the coffee shop where Zakaria used to work and ordered coffee. Enraged that their order was delayed, a brawl broke out between them and Zakaria that ended with one of the two clients shooting Zakaria in the head.
Sheikho said that the promulgation of hate speech by some Lebanese officials, including most notably Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, is largely to blame for the crimes being committed against Syrian refugees in Lebanon. She stressed the need to put an end to the racist speech against refugees and to respect the International Law.
Sheikho pointed out that the rampant corruption in Lebanon, which has exacerbated the country’s economic problems in recent years, should not be blamed on the Syrian refugees.
She stressed that the involvement of Hezbollah, a key component of the Lebanese government, in the crimes of the Assad regime against the civilians in Syria is a major reason for the refugee outflow from Syria.
Attacks against Syrian refugees in Lebanon have increased recently, coinciding with anti-refugee remarks by some Lebanese officials. These attacks included murder, arbitrary arrests, and a clampdown on businesses run by Syrian refugees.
Sheikho described these attacks against refugees as systematic, warning of attempts to force the Syrian the refugees to return in risky conditions. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa said that the burning of the vital wheat crops in the countryside of Qamishli in northeastern Syria constituted a war crime as he called on the international community to intervene immediately to help contain these fires and ensure that they are not repeated.
“The burning of agricultural crops in the Jazeera area is a war crime," Mustafa said Tuesday. He called on the international community to end the control of the PYD terrorist militias in the region and to provide urgent relief aid for those affected by the fires.
Moreover, Mustafa called for the implementation of the international resolutions on Syria, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254 calling for a political solution that is needed to rid Syria of terrorism, Assad and the rest of the terrorist militias.
Wild fires intensified on Monday and ravaged the wheat and barley crops in and around more than 28 villages in al-Qamishli region. Strong winds caused the fires to expand to the north and east, causing tremendous losses to the local farmers.
Local activists stressed that the fires were man-made and could be attributed to natural conditions, especially as they occurred in several different regions.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Civil Defense Corps announced its willingness to help put out the fires. Civil Defense Director Raed Al-Saleh said that the organization stood ready for emergency response and to help extinguish the huge fires that threaten the food security of Syria.
Al-Saleh called on the countries concerned to give civil defense teams access to the regions ravaged by the wild fires and to benefit from the civil defense’s experience in the fight against fires.
Activists pointed out that the local population are worried about the recurrence of the fires and that they could spread to new farmlands in the region which is considered, along with the provinces of Raqqa and the eastern countryside of Aleppo, Syria’s breadbasket. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)