President of the Syrian National Coalition Anas Al-Abda met with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara on Tuesday. The meeting was focused on the need to put an end to the Russian and Assad regime ferocious onslaught on Idlib and northern rural Hama.
Al-Abda said that Turkey, as a guarantor of the ‘de-escalation zone’ agreement, needs to take diplomatic and political action to ensure an end to the military campaign being launched by the Assad regime and Russia in northwestern Syria. He said that the onslaught will have catastrophic consequences should it not be brought to an end.
The Coalition delegation, which included the Coalition vice-presidents and the secretary-general, gave an overview of the disastrous consequences of the Assad regime’s bombing campaign in northwestern Syria which has already killed hundreds of civilians, wounded thousands, and forced tens of thousands more out of their homes. The delegation said that the recently displaced people are staying out in the open without access to the basic necessities of life.
Both sides exchanged their views and visions which included commonalities on the safe zone to be established in northern Syria.
The Turkish FM reaffirmed his country’s support for the Syrian people and their revolution as he reasserted the importance of working together to protect Idlib and stop the regime’s assault. He pointed out that finding a political solution in Syria is still one of Turkey's top priorities.
The visit came in the context of the series of the urgent diplomatic moves by the Coalition to ensure an end to the ferocious onslaught being launched by the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies against the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Dima Moussa, Vice-president of the Syrian National Coalition, lashed out at the international community’s silence about the atrocities taking place in Syria at the hands of the Assad regime and Russia. She denounced the decision by the UN Security Council to postpone its monthly meeting on Syria in these difficult circumstances.
Moussa was speaking at a press conference held on Monday to talk about the latest political and field developments in Syria, especially the ongoing military escalation and the worsening humanitarian situation in Idlib province.
Moussa said that the conference is not aimed at sending messages to the international community or denouncing the crimes taking place under the watchful eyes of everyone, stressing that the international community is “completely paralyzed.”
The UN Security Council’s decision to postpone its meeting on Syria in these dire circumstances “consolidates the belief among the Syrian people that the international community is indifferent to what is happening in Syria and that it is shirking its responsibilities.”
The Assad regime’s ferocious onslaught on Idlib and rural Hama is still continuing “with direct support from Russia and Iran as well as indirect support from those watching the ongoing Holocaust without taking any real action to stop it,” Moussa added.
Moreover, Moussa said that the FSA and rebel fighters are putting up “legendary resistance” in the liberated areas in northwestern. She noted that Idlib is home to more than four million unarmed civilians and is being defended by a few thousand rebel fighters who are battling one of the world's largest military forces. She also said that the Assad regime and its allies are directly targeting hospitals, ambulances and rescue workers, and popular markets.
Since the beginning of the bombing campaign in late April, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced, mostly staying out in the open without access to basic necessities of life and without any humanitarian assistance. She said that all this is taking place as the world obseve the World Humanitarian Day.
Furthermore, Moussa pointed out that the Coalition is working in coordination with the revolutionary forces, the relevant bodies, and rebel groups, especially those affiliated with the Coalition. She stressed that “our top priority today is Idlib, northern rural Hama and the rest of the liberated areas where the spirit of the revolution is still alive.”
The Coalition continues to hold meetings and maintains contacts with Turkey, the European Union, the United States and Arab countries with regards to the situation in Idlib and northern rural Hama. “For more than a year, our primary concern has been to ensure protection for this region which has received forcibly displaced people from all over Syria and which serves as the last resort for millions of Syrians.”
Moussa also stressed that “the inaction of the international community is to blame for this situation.” She said that if the onslaught continues, it will be impossible for civilians to remain in this spot which is shrinking with each passing day.”
The situation in northwestern Syria requires more courageous, more humane, firmer and clearer positions by those who called themselves “friends of the Syrian people,” Moussa said.
She continued: “The Assad regime was on the brink of total collapse when Russia begun its direct military intervention, a fact that the Russian themselves acknowledged to be true. Today we have to open all the fronts that we can open everywhere and at all levels, especially the media, political, civil and military levels.
Moussa also stressed that “the revolution is still alive in the hearts and minds of the Syrian people, as is evidenced by those who opened their homes and hearts for the displaced people, the civilians in the northwest who are doing their best to relieve their fellow Syrians.”
“Today all the forces of our revolution are being targeted, not only those in Idlib,” Moussa stressed. She called for unity as she said that “our strength lies in our unity. Today we must work together on our major battle in the face of the Assad regime and its allies as well as those seeking to serve their own interests directly or indirectly.”
Moreover, Moussa said that the issue of detainees, the missing persons and abductees is still one of our top priorities. “We must not forget their families who are waiting to meet them or at least to know their fate. We salute them and salute all those who confront this criminal regime and fight for the Syrian people and their cause.”
Moussa paid tribute to the civilian population who constituted the social base of the revolution. She said that the Syrian civilians are still paying the price of the inaction of the international inaction, adding that “they will continue to guide our work which is aimed primarily at alleviating their suffering, especially of those in Idlib and northern rural Hama.” Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s political committee on Sunday held an emergency meeting to discuss the serious developments on the ground and the escalating war crimes against civilians in rural Idlib and Hama. The participants included President Anas al-Abda.
The participants also included members of the General Assembly, ministers of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), heads of the local councils, and activists in the areas of relief aid and human rights who spoke via a video link.
Firas al-Jundi, SIG’s Minister of Health who is based in the town of Maaret al-Nu'man, talked about the health and humanitarian situation in the ravaged town. He talked about heavy civilian casualties as a result of the indiscriminate shelling which is mainly targeting populated areas as well as medical and services centers and which resulted in mass exodus of civilians.
Al-Jundi pointed out that the National Hospital in Maaret al-Nu'man and other hospitals in the town can hardly cope with the rising casualties or treat the serious injuries due to the constant, deliberate shelling.
Ahmed Qassoum, Deputy Minister of Local Administration, spoke about the mass displacement and the tragic situation of civilians who are being forced to flee their homes. He also talked about the inability to shelter the recently displaced people or provide them with basic necessities. He called on international humanitarian organizations to declare an emergency situation and provide the IDPs with urgent relief aid.
With regards to the situation on the ground, Brigadier General Adnan Al-Ahmed gave a detailed overview of the confrontations in the most important areas and the goals of the Assad regime and its Russian ally. He stressed that the regime and its allies are seeking to increase the pressure on the revolution’s social base by forcing civilians to flee en masse. They are also seeking to capture strategic areas and towns in northwestern rural Hama as well as the Aleppo-Lattakia highway and Aleppo-Damascus highway and securing the Hmeimim Airbase. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
In yet new bloody attack on unarmed civilians, the Russian jets on Friday bombed a building sheltering IDPs in the town of Hass in southern rural Idlib, killing 14 civilians, including four children, two women as well as injuring more than 30 others.
The Syrian Civil Defense said that the attack caused a “horrific massacre.” It also said that similar attacks killed two other children in the towns of Ariha and Al-Ghadfa, bringing to 16 the number of deaths and to 52 the number of injuries.
The rescue group pointed out that the Assad regime and Russian air forces bombed 22 targets in rural Idlib on Friday. It also said that it had counted at least 93 airstrikes that hit the region, 38 of which were launched by the Russian air force. The region was also hit with 37 barrel bombs and 577 artillery and rocket shells, 300 of which hit the village of Rakaya while 140 others targeted the town of Kafarsijnah.
The Syrian National Coalition earlier said that the atrocities being caused by the Assad regime and Russia's ongoing brutal bombing campaign in Idlib and rural Hama countryside require concrete, firm international action to force the aggressor parties to immediately withdraw their forces from the areas they have captured recently.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights said that the Assad regime and its allies are committing widespreaed crimes in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria. In its latest report, the monitoring group sad that it registered the deaths of at least 433 civilians in July, including 119 children, 64 women, five medical workers, two media activists, and three civil defense volunteers. The Network pointed to marked increase in the number of casualties in Syria following the start of the regime’s military campaign in late April. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition said that the atrocities being caused by the Assad regime and Russia's ongoing brutal bombing campaign in Idlib and rural Hama countryside require concrete, firm international action to force the aggressor parties to withdraw their forces immediately.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition said that the bombardment and shelling did not stop during the Eid al-Adha holidays. It stressed that these attacks led to a new series of violations and crimes in rural Idlib and Hama, describing these attacks as “blatant violations of the existing agreements and understandings that are supposed to have been safeguarded by international guarantees.”
“These grave recent developments risk causing yet new major disasters for the Syrian people, the region and beyond, which require strong international condemnation and a swift, firm action by the friends of the Syrian people,” the Coalition said. It noted that such action must “ensure an end to this brutal onslaught and force the aggressor parties to withdraw their forces immediately.”
“The Free Syrian Army groups are still holding their ground as they are sparing no effort to repel the ongoing onslaught. Over the past few days, this ongoing onslaught forced thousands of civilians out of their homes and left them with no shelter.”
The Coalition added: “There is an urgent need, therefore, for accommodation centers and camps to shelter the displaced civilians until military operations stop and the IDPs are able to return to their towns and villages.”
The Coalition held the leaders of the free world and the friends of the Syrian people responsible for the failure of the international community to take the necessary action and concrete steps to stop these attacks and violations.
The Coalition also held them responsible for the international community’s failure to take the necessary political, military decisions and steps to save the lives of unarmed civilians in this region which is already home to millions of civilians displaced from across Syria. (Source: Syrian National Coalition)
Chairman of the Syrian Supreme Hajj Committee, Abdurrahman Mustafa, met with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the Mina Palace in Makkah as part of the annual meeting with the Arab and Islamic hajj missions on the second day of Eid al-Adha.
Mustafa thanked King Salman bin Abdulaziz for the Kingdom’s efforts to serve the pilgrims as he praised the work done by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and its good planning and wise management of this year's Hajj season. He stressed that all services were available in addition to the necessary safety and health centers.
“We are grateful for the services provided by the Kingdom this year to serve the pilgrims,” Mustafa said. “I thank Saudi Arabia, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness the Crown Prince for their constructive, constant positions in support of the Syrian people and their revolution as well as for standing by the Syrian people as they are seeking to achieve the goals of the revolution for freedom, justice and dignity.”
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had granted the Syrian National Coalition the exclusive right to manage the pilgrimage for Syrian nationals seven years ago. As many as 22,500 Syrian pilgrims performed hajj this season, while another 200 others performed the ritual as part of the royal gift the King Salman bin Abdulaziz offered to the Syrian National Coalition for the second consecutive year. (Source: Syrian National Coalition)
Syrian pilgrims on Saturday gathered at the sacred hill of Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia for the climax of the Islamic hajj pilgrimage after they spent the Day of Tarwiyah in Mina on Friday.
Staying in seven camps at the Arafat plain, Syrian pilgrims along with other pilgrims form across the Arab and Islamic world will head to Muzdalifa by sunset where they will perform the sunset and evening prayers. They will stay at Muzdalifa until dawn.
According to the Syrian Supreme Hajj Committee, 6,500 Syrians came from regime-held areas, while 6,000 others came from Hama, Aleppo, Idlib and Erbil. In addition 4,800, came from southern Turkey and Istanbul, while 5,200 others came from Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf countries.
Abdurrahman Mustafa, Head of the Supreme Hajj Committee, stressed the importance of ensuring the safety of all Syrian pilgrims, noting that the top priority of the Committee’s teams is to ensure the pilgrims’ safety throughout the hajj journey.
Mustafa pointed out that the Committee is working according to a plan drawn up in cooperation with the heads of the Syrian pilgrimage campaigns and the relevant administrative staff. He added that the Committee will directly supervise the exodus of Syrian pilgrims towards Muzdalifa and their move to the camps in Mina as well as at the Jamarat walls.
“May Allah accept worship from all the Syrian pilgrims. May these blessed days bring relief to the Syrian people. May Allah help us serve our country and our people in these difficult circumstances,” Mustafa said.
Mustafa added: “On the Day of Arafat, we will pray for the Syrian people and every Syrian who is suffering inside and outside Syria. We hope that this day will bring relief to our beloved country.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
As part of this year's Hajj season, which is being managed by the Syrian National Coalition, the Supreme Hajj Committee received a royal grant from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. On Friday, 200 intending Syrian pilgrims who were offered the grant flew from Hatay Airport in Turkey. The grant, which will allow the intending pilgrims to perform hajj at the expense of Saudi Arabia, was offered to people who has family members killed in the ongoing conflict.
According to remarks by member of the Coalition’s political committee, Badr Jamous, the grant was mainly given to the wives, mothers and fathers of the deceased and detainees.
Jamous thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques as he praised the Kingdom’s honorable positions and its generous support for the Syrian Revolution and the Syrian people who are being subjected to the most heinous crimes at the hands of the Assad regime, its allies, and the Iranian-backed militias. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian National Coalition, Anas Al Abda, thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for the grant his Majesty offered to 200 Syrian pilgrims to perform hajj at the expense of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The pilgrims will join the Syrian pilgrims who already arrived in Saudi Arabia in the coming hours.
In a letter to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques sent on Thursday, President Al-Abda expressed heartlet appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s honorable stances and its support for the Syrian revolution and the Syrian people in the face of the crimes they have been subjected to at the hands of the Assad regime and its allies, especially the Iranian-backed militias.
President Al-Abda reaffirmed the Coalition's keenness on maintaining the fraternal and distinguished relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its desire to strengthen these relations for the benefit of the two brotherly peoples. He also commended Saudi Arabia’s efforts to support the Syrian people at all humanitarian and political levels.
Moreover, President Al-Abda pointed to the Kingdom's role in supporting the Syrian Supreme Hajj Committee and enabling it to show remarkable performance over the past years and serve the Syrian pilgrims from all Syrian regions. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Yasser Al-Farhan, Coordinator of the Syrian National Commission for Detainees and Missing Persons, stressed that war crimes and genocide is taking place in the prisons of the Assad regime, calling on the United Nations to focus on the issues of detainees in Syria and exert pressure on the regime to release them.
Al-Farhan said that the file of crimes committed by the Assad regime against detainees is one of the most urgent ones, pointing to the importance of serious action to issue binding resolutions to put an end to the arrests and systematic torture against detainees.
Al-Farhan pointed out that mass arrests and execution of detainees in the Assad regime's prisons are still ongoing. These atrocities have already been confirmed by several human rights reports and activists, he added, stressing that this must put greater responsibility on the United Nations to save the lives of detainees.
Moreover, Al-Farhan stressed the need to implement the recommendations of UN investigators to refer perpetrators of violations against detainees to fair and immediate trials, release the remaining detainees, and prevent new arrests outside the law in accordance with the international resolutions, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254.
Al-Farhan also called on the United Nations and international organizations to take urgent, concerete steps to address this issue, including by making regular visits to detention centers and ensuring access for the relevant international organizations to these centers in order to ascertain the situation inside. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)