The Syrian National Coalition on Tuesday held several teleconferences with a group of journalists and media activists operating in the liberated areas to discuss the situation on the ground, especially in Idlib province. The participants also discussed the possibility of cooperation for the launch of media campaigns to confront the disinformation campaigns being launched by the Assad regime and Russia to discredit the Syrian revolution. The discussions also touched on the latest political developments.
Participants in the teleconferences included Vice-president Dima Moussa, Secretary of the political committee Riad Al-Hassan, members of the political committee Mohammed Yahya Maktabi, Yasser Al-Farhan, Abdullah Kaddo, and member of the Coalition Safwan Jandali. The media activists and journalists included Head of the Journalists Association in Aleppo Ammar Jabir, members of the Executive Office Sami Al-Raj, Darwish Al-Saleh, Majid Abdul Noor, and Ismail Al-Raj as well as Mohammed Talha of Thiqa agency and the “International” website.
The two sides agreed to hold more discussions with the aim of unifying the media efforts. The media activists demanded the establishment of a major media platform that serves the goals of the Syrian revolution with the support of the Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. They also stressed the importance of standing up to the disinformation campaigns being launched by the Assad regime and Russia against the Syrian revolution. They reaffirmed commitment to the principles of the revolution and the rights of the Syrian people to freedom, dignity and getting rid of dictatorship.
The media workers talked about the war crimes against civilians they witnessed while covering the military operations that the Assad regime and Russian forces have launched in northwestern Syria since late April. They explained that the suffering of the displaced persons is unimaginable as they stressed the importance of the Coalition’s role in securing international, humanitarian relief aid.
For her part, Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Dima Moussa condemned the Assad regime and its allies’ war crimes against civilians. She pointed out that the Coalition is in constant contact with friendly countries to secure a permanent ceasefire and ensure that the agreements concluded in this regard are respected.
Moussa noted that the Coalition is making every effort to instruct the donors to support the IDP and to ensure the resumption of relief aid to the liberated areas, especially in the area of healthcare.
Secretary of the political committee, Riyad Al-Hassan, spoke about the Coalition's efforts to urge the UN Security Council to follow up on the enforcement of its resolutions, especially resolutions 2139 and 2165 calling for the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.
Al-Hassan pointed out that the Coalition’s General Assembly approved the cabinet formed by Abdurrahman Mustafa, stressing that the vision of the new Syrian Interim Government focuses on supporting civil administration and the provision of basic services to civilians in the liberated areas.
In response to a question, al-Hassan denied any talk or discussions about a merger between the Syrian Interim Government and the Salvation Government. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Secretary of the Syrian National Coalition’s political committee, Riad Al-Hassan, said that the UN Security Council has a responsibility to enforce resolution 2165 of July 14, 2014 as he warned of the continued international failure to address the dire humanitarian situation facing civilians in different areas of Syria, especially in the northwest of the country.
Resolution 2165 stated that “UN humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners are authorized to use routes across conflict lines and the border crossings in addition to those already in use, in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches people in need throughout Syria through the most direct routes, with notification to the Syrian authorities.”
The resolution also called for the establishment of a monitoring mechanism under the authority of the UN Secretary-General in order “to confirm the humanitarian nature of the relief consignments.”
Al-Hassan recalled Resolution 2449 of December 13, 2018 which decided to renew these procedures for an additional twelve months until January 10, 2020.
Al-Hassan stressed that there is nothing to prevent the United Nations from enforcing this resolution through the several border crossings in northern Syria in partnership with the implementing partners. Should the UN fails to deliver humanitarian aid, it will be seen as a partner of the Russian, Iranian, Assad regime forces and their allied sectarian militias in the horrific crimes they are committing against the Syrian people.
Moreover, Al-Hassan went on to say that the military operations being carried out by the Assad regime and its allies in the “de-escalation zone” in northwestern Syria since last April have forced more than 1.2 million people out of their homes. He pointed out that this places a great responsibility on the international organizations to provide relief to those civilians.
Multiple human rights groups talked about the immense suffering of civilians in northwestern Syria as they stressed the urgent need to deliver humanitarian assistance to those in need and provide medical supplies for the sick and wounded. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), Abdurrahman Mustafa, stressed the importance of gaining the confidence of the Syrian people by translating the plans into real, concrete programs of action serving all civilians in the liberated areas.
Mustafa thanked the Syrian National Coalition’s General Assembly for giving confidence to the new SIG’s cabinet, stressing the importance of the complementary relationship between the political work of the Coalition and SIG’s provision of services. He said that that achieving this will support the negotiation process to find a just political solution in Syria in accordance with the UN resolutions, especially resolution 2254.
Mustafa also stressed SIG’s keenness on maintaining close coordination with the Turkish authorities as key to securing the needs to enable the work of SIG’s ministries and institutions in the liberated areas.
Moreover, Mustafa said that SIG’s vision is based on supporting civil administration in the liberated areas as key to achieving the goals and strategy of the Syrian revolution and the provision of a model for the future of Syria. He reaffirmed SIG’s keenness on maintaining the unity of Syria and respecting all social components without any discrimination.
Mustafa pointed to the "urgent need" to activate SIG’s work and enhance security and stability, stressing that the number one priority for the next stage is the upholding of the rule of law, the protection of the rights of civilians, the overcoming of political splits, and the reliance on competent people in all areas.
Furthermore, Mustafa pointed out that SIG will work to unify all military formations under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff; control weapons; and continue with the efforts to build a national army on the basis of sound, professional, military foundations so as to enable it to defend the liberated areas and assist the police force in the maintaining of security when the need arises.
The Ministry of Interior will focus on leading and managing the security and police forces in order to ensure respect for the law; establish civil peace; reduce violence; combat crime; maintain security; protect public and private property; and set up effective management for the border crossings.
He stressed the importance of the establishment of the Supreme Judicial Council; the outlining of a legal system and an independent, impartial and just judiciary; and the activation of the work of the courts and the rule of law.
Mustafa said that the areas of health and education are already part of SIG’s plans as he said that they are working on the development of programs ensuring the creation of a suitable environment that will encourage the displaced people to return to their areas. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Members of the Syrian National Coalition’s General Assembly voted to approve the new cabinet of the Syrian Interim Government, headed by Abdurrahman Mustafa.
The vote came during the General Assembly’s 47th session which began on Saturday by paying tribute to the victims of the regime’s bombing campaign in Idlib and Hama. The participants included a group of the injured and people with disabilities.
The new cabinet included Major-General Salim Idriss as Minister of Defense, Colonel Mohieldin Harmoush as Minister of Interior, Abdallah Abdel Salam Mohamed as Minister of Justice, Abdel Hakim al-Masri as Minister of Finance and Economy, Huda al-Absi as Minister of Education, Maram Sheikh Mustafa as Minister of Health, and Mohamed Said Suleiman as Minister of Local Administration and Services.
SIG’s Head Abdurrahman Mustafa said that SIG’s vision is based on the establishment of a civil administration in the liberated areas. This vision will seek to help achieve the goals and strategy of the Syrian revolution; provide a model for the future Syria; and integrate the impact of this civil administration and its output with the Coalition’s political efforts.
Members of the General Assembly discussed the situation on the ground and the war crimes being committed by the Assad regime and Russia in their barbaric bombing campaign targeting residential areas and hospitals in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria.
The General Assembly stressed that the international failure to shoulder its duty with regards to the protection of civilians is to blame for the tragedy unfolding in northwestern Syria. It emphasized the need to take immediate, concrete action to put an end to all military operations as well as ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need, especially the IDPs.
The injured and people with disabilities talked about the difficulties facing them as a result of the ruthless bombardment and shelling being carried out by the Assad regime and Russian forces resulting in the destruction of hospitals, mass displacement of civilians, and the cessation of humanitarian aid in the affected areas.
Moreover, the Assembly underscored the importance of communication and coordination with the Coalition and the Syrian Interim Government with the aim of meeting the major needs of the injured and those with disabilities and engaging them in the political work and the UN-led political process. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)