Syrian Coalition - Syria
Department of Media and Communications
July 11, 2019
The criminal attack that ripped through the town of Afrin this morning is a reprehensible terrorist act.
The attacked killed 11 people and injured dozens more, according to the available information. Rescue teams, the civil defense and civilians in the area are working together to rescue the wounded and rush the seriously injured to hospitals.
The crime in Afrin coincided with attacks in the city of Hasaka in a similar scene that reveals that the perpetrator is one and that terrorism, its sponsors and tools are one and the same. The attacks in Hasakah were carried out using car bombs that resulted in injuries and material losses.
The Syrian Coalition stresses that the Syrian National Police and Army will continue to hunt the terrorist militias and track their elements everywhere. They were put on high alert while precautions were taken to prevent infiltration by terrorists into vital areas.
The Coalition stresses that terrorism targeting civilians, whether through the use of car bombs, bombs, and barrel bombs is one and the same. These acts will not succeed in achieving any progress on the ground as we trust the capabilities of the Syrian National Army and the importance of its decisive role.
It is imperative that the international community intervene at the political and legal levels by supporting the choices of the Syrian people; assisting them in confronting terrorism in all its forms; and restoring security and stability in preparation for an inclusive political solution.
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Syrian activists on Thursday started a petition on the Avaaz website to put an end to the Assad regime institutions’ blackmail of the Syrian refugees abroad.
The petition was started under the title ‘Stop the blackmail and humiliation of the Syrian refugees at the Assad regime’s embassies and consulates in the host countries.” The activists called upon the UN Secretary-General, the President of the Security Council, the UN Security Council permanent members, and the Member States of the UN General Assembly to find a just solution for Syrians in the diaspora.
"The Assad regime continues its war against the Syrian people even after they were forced from their homeland,” the statement said. “The Syrian refugees are subjected to various forms of extortion, humiliation, and violations of their basic rights.”
“There is no need to remind you of the tens of thousands of Syrians who were tortured to death in the prisons of the Assad regime. You already have hundreds of thousands of documents. There is no need to remind you of the hundreds of thousands of barrel bombs the Assad regime dropped on the Syrian civilians, of the use of chemical weapons, the dozens of massacres against Syrian civilians, or of the crimes amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
The statement added that “the Syrian refugees in the host countries who need to renew their passports are subjected to blackmail at the hands of the Assad regime which uses the issuance and renewal of passports to generate revenue and regain political legitimacy.”
The petition went on to say that the Syrian refugees are treated "inside these embassies with the utmost humiliation and with the absence of the basic human rights. These embassies are no different from the Assad regime’s security branches and intelligence agencies.”
The organizers of the petition called on the United Nations to work with the host countries to provide Syrian refugees with legal papers such as temporary travel and residence permits to spare them further blackmail, extortion and humiliation.”
Moreover, they called on the UN Secretary-General to find a just solution to the Syrian crisis and help bring about the desired political transition in line with the UN resolutions. They also called for the formation of a new government that treats all its citizens equally and one that respects human rights. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Head-designate of the Syrian Interim Government, Abdurrahman Mustafa, held extensive consultations with civil and local bodies and groups to outline the SIG’s vision and plans of action for the next phase. The consolations also discussed the major challenges and difficulties as well as the chances for the selection of an efficient cabinet.
Mustafa stressed the importance of activating SIG’s work and the effective management of the liberated areas in order to bring about security and stability. He also stressed the importance of the provision of essential services to the civilian population through the rebuilding of the civil bodies and institutions that were destroyed by the Assad regime and its allies over the past years.
Moreover, Mustafa stressed the need for coordination between the service tracks represented by SIG’s work and the political track represented by the political process. He noted that the success in these two tracks will reflect positively on the meeting of the demands of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity.
SIG will make use of the competencies in the liberated areas and rely on them to build a government that meets the most pressing needs in the next phase. He stressed that the main slogan of the work is "the absence of political quotas."
Mustafa went on to say that the construction process will be based on the positive points in the previous government. “We will not start from scratch … There are positive points in the previous government that we will proceed from and build on.”
Mustafa commended the Turkish government’s help for the Syrian Interim Government to enable it to manage liberated areas, stressing the importance of constant coordination with the Turkish government to meet all needs and necessities. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s representative in France, Munther Makhous, condemned the Assad regime’s continued blockade on Rukban camp near the Jordanian border, saying that these policies constituted war crimes.
Makhous said that the UN relief convoys have not entered the camp for about three months. He added that the humanitarian situation is further worsening due to the lack of food, health and medical equipment as well as the shortages of water in the desert camp.
The Assad regime and its allies are exerting pressure on the residents of the camp through the tight blockade and the blocking of the commercial convoys, Makhous said. He noted that the regime is seeking to force the residents of the camp to leave to areas of its choice, pointing out that the UN is seeking to end the blockade and reach those in need.
Makhos said he was in constant contact with the United Nations and the camp managemnt to coordinate humanitarian convoys and meet the needs of the camp residents.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday said that “the UN is currently awaiting approval from the Government of Syria on an operational plan submitted last week to assess needs inside Rukban, to assist with transport for people who wish to leave, and to provide humanitarian relief for those who decide to remain.”
“Our humanitarian colleagues are concerned about conditions in Rukban in southeastern Syria along the border with Jordan, where an estimated 25,000 displaced people continue to live in dire conditions,” Haq added.
Haq said the refugees have limited or no access to health care, basic food and other humanitarian assistance.
In April, the United Nations announced it stood ready to assist in relief operations for the residents of the camp which is under tight blockade by the Assad regime and Russian forces. Dozens have already died as a result of malnutrition and lack of medical care.
Residents of the camp earlier appealed to the US and the European Union for protection and for not leaving them easy prey to the Assad regime and its Russian ally. They stressed that the Assad regime must not be allowed to use food and medicine as a weapon against the camp residents to force them to leave to the areas under its control. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A new team established by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to attribute blame for the use of banned munitions in Syria will investigate nine attacks that took place in over the past several years, including in the town of Douma.
The new team will focus on sites of chemical attacks where culprits have not yet been identified by the United Nations-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM). The attacks took place between 2014 and 2018.
The JIM concluded in a series of reports that the Assad regime used both nerve agent sarin and chlorine as weapons, while the ISIS extremist group used sulphur mustard gas on the battlefield.
The OPCW concluded in a March 1 report that a chemical weapons attack occurred in Douma, most likely with chlorine. It did not assign blame. However, other monitoring groups confirmed that the Assad regime was responsible for the attack which claimed the lives of dozens of civilians, including children and women.
“This adds to the growing evidence of deliberately false declarations by Syria, destruction of possible evidence, and the alarming likelihood that Syria continues to possess” banned chemical agents, Canada’s ambassador to the OPCW, Sabine Nolke, told delegates attending meetings at the OPCW in The Hague this week.
The Syrian Coalition stressed the need to bring all those responsible for these attacks before the International Criminal Court, stressing that orders for the use of the chemical weapons in Syria were coming from the highest echelons of the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Reuters)