Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition, Dima Moussa, welcomed with appreciation the efforts of UN Security Council members Kuwait, Belgium, and Germany, through a draft resolution that aimed first and foremost to protect the millions of civilians in Idlib from the military campaigns that the Assad regime is carrying out with the assistance of its Russian ally.
Moussa said that the Assad regime forces supported by Russia have committed and continue to commit war crimes and violate international laws by deliberately targeting civilians and civilian structures, under the pretext of presence of radicals in the area.
Moussa added that “the draft resolution specifically called for complying with international laws including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and stated that countering terrorism does not absolve the parties of their obligations thereunder.” This part specifically disturbed the regime, and Russia rejected it wanting to include a language similar to that in UNSC Res 2401, which ultimately it used as a green light to carry out military operations that targeted civilians in Eastern Ghouta before forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands of them.
“We welcome the efforts by the member states that supported the draft resolution and voiced disappointment at the inability to pass it in blatant disregard for human life, international laws, and basic human decency,” said Moussa. She added “this is not surprising from a regime whose representative in the UN attacked with lies and accusations the member states that proposed the draft resolution.”
This was in reference to the regime’s UN representative responding to the representative of Kuwait with accusations of harboring and supporting terrorism and terrorist groups, following a comment by Mr. Mansour Al-Otaibi in which he expressed disappointment at the UNSC’s failure to shoulder its responsibilities towards the people of Idlib and Syria, by failing to adopt a resolution that is purely a humanitarian decision.
“The response we saw from the regime’s representative is exactly what we expect from a criminal regime constantly working to cover up its crimes by trying to undermine the efforts of any party that exposes them and calls out the regime on its crimes,” said Moussa.
“We have said it many times, and we say it again, we will not forget those who stood up for the Syrian people and who stand up to this regime’s attempts to undermine not only the political process but all international laws and human decency,” added Moussa.
She stressed that the position of Kuwait and other member states is a reminder that the Syrian people still have friends advocating for their basic rights in an international system that “is obviously broken and unable to maintain international peace and security as was intended when it was created.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
A delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission met with a number of prominent members of the US Congress and the US special envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, to discuss with them the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Idlib as a result of military operations being launched by the Assad regime and Russia and the latest political developments.
The meeting, which took place inside the US Congress in Washington DC, was organized by the Syrian community in the United States. Member of the Commission Badr Jamous, said that they asked members of the US Congress to urge the US administration to take serious action to protect civilians in Syria and ensure a nationwide ceasefire, the release of detainees, and the provision of humanitarian aid for the IDPs.
The delegation called on members of the US Congress to seek greater US engagement in Syria and supporting the cause of the Syrian people in their quest for freedom, dignity and getting rid of the Assad regime.
Jamous said that the delegation reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of international resolutions on Syrian, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolution 2254 as he stressed the need to adhere to the timetable and steps set out in those resolutions.
The delegation then held an internal meeting with the Syrian community in the United States. Head of the Commission Nasr al-Hariri gave an overview of the humanitarian and political situation as well as the vision of the Syrian Interim Government to manage the liberated areas. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF) has agreed to provide funding for a number of vital projects in the liberated areas, bringing to 148.4 million euros the value of projects approved by the Fund so far.
The decision was made during the 22nd regular meeting of the SRTF Management Unit (MU) which was held in the Czech capital of Prague on Thursday. The meeting was attended by representative of the Syrian National Coalition Hadi al-Bahra and representative of the Syrian Interim Government Yasser al-Hajjo.
The meeting focused on following up on the projects SRTF is funding in the liberated areas. Participants also discussed drafts for new projects.
Al-Bahra said that the meeting resulted in the approval of funding and budgets for projects in the liberated areas, pointing out that the implementation of these projects will reflect positively on the reality of services being provided to the population in those areas.
Al-Bahra pointed out that SIG is currently developing other projects for the liberated areas. “The international community has responsibility to achieve security and stability in the areas outside the control of the Assad regime, which will secure these areas and improve services as key to the return of IDPs and refugees.”
The projects included providing support for the Syrian Civil Defense’s efforts to clear rubble and landmines from eight towns and villages in Aleppo province. Funding was also provided to support a project to maintain the food warehouse and refrigerators of the local council in the town of Marea.
SRTF Management Unit also approved funding for a project for mobile clinics and a clean water supply for rural communities in Raqqa province. The total value of these projects is approximately 8.3 million euros.
The Syrian National Coalition chairs the Board of Directors of SRTF which was established in 2013. Members of the Fund comprise Germany, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, France, Kuwait, Japan, Denmark, Italy, Turkey, and Jordan. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s political committee held a regular meeting to discuss a the latest political and on the ground developments. It also discussed the results of the recent European tour and the meetings with Arab officials held to mobilize support for the cause of the Syrian people.
Members of the committee reviewed the scale of the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Assad regime and Russian ongoing military operations in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria. They also discussed a comprehensive plan for an emergency campaign involving friendly states as well as international and local organizations in order to alleviate the suffering of the IDPs.
Tabled for discussion were also the results of the tripartite summit in Ankara which coincided with the meeting of the international Small Group on Syria in Geneva last week. The committee members reiterated calls for the implementation of international resolutions in the sequence set out by those resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Moreover, members of the committee stressed the need to implement the humanitarian provisions contained in international resolutions as a confidence-building measure, including a nationwide ceasefire, the release of detainees, the introduction of humanitarian aid, and ensuring the voluntary return of displaced persons and refugees to their places of origin.
The members also discussed the meetings being held by a joint delegation from the Coalition and the Syrian Negotiations Commission on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings with the aim of mobilizing Arab and international support for the Syrian people in their quest for freedom, dignity and getting rid of the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition said that Russia and China’s vetoing of the draft UN Security Council resolution that was proposed by Belgium, Kuwaiti and Germany calling for a truce and the protection of civilians in Idlib represents “continuation of the Russian-Chinese covering of the Assad regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
In a press release issued on Thursday, the Coalition said that “this repeated step must be condemned, especially as it comes in the context of Russia’s direct military support to the regime and its active participation in the bombing of civilians and the war crimes against the Syrian people as well as its interference in Syria’s affairs amounting to direct occupation of the country.”
“The use of the veto by the sponsors of the murderous regime should not absolve the international community of its responsibility towards the tragedy of the Syrian people, whether with regard to the ongoing war crimes, the humanitarian catastrophe, the issue of detainees and refugees, and the dozens of other outstanding issues,” the Coalition added.
The Coalition went on to say that “there is no room for comparison between the draft resolutions that were blocked by the Russian-Chinese veto disrupting the will of the international community and those put forward by the Assad regime's allies in the UN Security Council and which were all rejected by a majority of votes.”
The Coalition called on the major actors to shoulder their responsibilities by working collectively to establish an international mechanism that is capable of putting an end to the killings and crimes against the Syrian people and create the suitable conditions for a political solution in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a draft resolution submitted by Kuwait, Germany and Belgium calling for a truce in Idlib province, allowing humanitarian access and medical evacuations, and urging against the besiegement of residential areas. This is the 13th time Russia cast the veto on the UN Security Council in support of the Assad regime and to prevent any condemnation of Assad since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)