The Syrian NGOs Association (SNA) held a sit-in protest on the occasion of the World Humanitarian Day to protest against the continued bombardment and shelling on the de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria and the targeting of humanitarian workers.
Humanitarian workers have become a constant target for the Assad regime and Russia air forces which directly target healthcare centers and ambulances.
The Syrian Civil Defense on Sunday said that two of its volunteers were injured in Russian airstrikes in rural Idlib. Aerial and ground shelling by the Assad regime and its Russian ally have killed and injured dozens of humanitarian workers in recent weeks.
SNA comprises more than 22 of the biggest humanitarian organizations operating in northwestern Syria.
The United Nations earlier condemned the bombing campaign being launched by the Assad regime and Russia in the Idlib and Hama provinces and which killed many humanitarian workers. It called for sparing medical and humanitarian personnel, their means of transport and property as well as hospitals and other medical centers in accordance with international humanitarian law.
The UN Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Mark Cutts, on Thursday said that rescue and humanitarian workers risk their lives every day to help the civilians trapped in Idlib and Hama. He stressed that the death toll is increasing daily as a result of the relentless bombing campaign by the Assad regime and its allies.
The World Humanitarian Day, which falls on August 19, is dedicated to pay tribute to the efforts of aid workers who risk their lives to save others. On this day, support is being mobilized around the world for people affected by crises. (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)
Turkey on Monday sent new military reinforcements to Idlib province with the aim of maintaining the Idlib agreement and preventing the Assad regime forces and its allied militias from further advancing in the region.
Local news outlets reported that a Turkish military convoy arrived at southern rural Idlib to reinforce the previously agreed upon observation points. Turkish reconnaissance aircraft was seen flying in the region as the convoy marched towards southern rural Idlib.
The Anadolu news agency quoted the Turkish Defense Ministry as saying that the convoy was targeted by airstrikes while on its way south. The attack killed three civilians and wounded 12 others who were nearby. Turkey strongly condemned the attack as violating the existing agreements and understandings reached on the region.
The deployment of the Turkish convoy came as the Assad regime and Russian forces stepped up their fierce military campaign in the region. Local activists said that the regime forces and their allies are using the scorched earth tactic with the aim of causing massive destruction and forcing the civilian population to flee their homes. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)