The Syrian National Coalition’s political committee on Thursday held its periodic meeting with the chairmanship of President Anas al-Abda. The meeting brought together Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri and Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee Hadi al-Bahra who discussed the situation in Idlib and the latest developments in the political process.
The agenda of the meeting included an assessment of the situation on the ground by the Liaison and Military Studies Office and the military situation in Idlib and rural Aleppo following the collapse of the truce agreement announced in Ankara by the Russian and Turkish presidents. The truce collapsed as a result of the refusal of the regime and its sponsors to fulfill their obligations towards this agreement.
With regard to the political developments, participants in the meeting discussed the suspension of the meetings of the Constitutional Committee due to the regime's rejection of the political solution and its pursuit of a bloody military solution as well as its refusal to receive the UN special envoy Geir Pedersen to agree on a date and an agenda for the next round of talks.
The political committee called on the international community to exert pressure the Assad regime to implement UN Security Council resolutions and to seriously engage in the negotiation process.
President Al-Abda talked about the results of the meeting with the Kurdish National Council as he gave an overview of the opinions of both sides and the need to adhere to the document and understanding between the two sides.
A briefing was provided to the political committee on the meeting that took place with US officials who reaffirmed their country's continued position to isolate the regime politically, prevent any attempt to normalize relations with it, keep the sanctions on individuals and entities involved in the killing and mass displacement of the Syrian people and the destruction of their towns and villages.
With regards to the joint Syrian-Turkish Committee to follow up on the affairs of the Syrian nationals in Turkey, members of the Committee indicated that the Committee has so far received 10,300 requests, of which 96% were processed. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition lashed out at the international community’s failure to assume its responsibilities with regards to the protection of civilians in Idlib province. It said that civilians in Idlib are being subjected to barbaric crimes despite the truce, calling for swift action to protect civilians and put an end to the mass displacement.
The Russian and Assad regime air forces on Wednesday launched two deadly attacks in Idlib province. Local activists said that the airstrikes killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.
“Idlib is being slaughtered today, not only by Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime; but also by the failure of the free world to take concrete action, protect civilians, or allow its people to have the necessary weapons to deter the criminals,” the Coalition said.
The Coalition said that the “military escalation by the Russian occupation, the Assad regime, and Iranian militias is not just an isolated breach of the truce, but a systematic criminal policy. These truces have become a tool of warfare that the regime and its allies are using to build up forces for further attacks and prepare for battle.”
“As usual, these escalating attacks mainly hit civilian targets as it targeted a vegetable market and an industrial zone in Idlib city as well as the main public market in the town of Ariha, residential neighborhoods, and a number of towns and villages southeast of Idlib.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Hadi Al-Bahra, Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, and members of the Syrian National Coalition participated in a workshop held in the town of Jarablus in rural Aleppo on the voice of civil society in the constitution.
The participants also included head of the Free Aleppo Provincial Council, Abdel Moneim Al-Mustafa, members and representatives of the local community, and representatives of the revolutionary, civil and women's activities.
The workshop came as part of a plan to hold more workshops on the course of the political process; from Geneva 2 talks up to the launch of the work of the Constitutional Committee. The workshop also explained the enforcement of international resolutions on Syria and the baskets set out in these resolutions.
Al-Bahra gave an overview on the sessions held by the Constitutional Committee, the regime delegation’s refusal to engage in it, and its attempts to disrupt its work by setting out preconditions.
Moreover, Al-Bahra said that the Constitutional Committee was sponsored and established under the auspices of the United Nations, not the Assad regime, with its work being facilitated by the UN special envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen.
“The delegation of the Assad regime attended the Committee’s meetings as a result of pressure from its allies following the international agreement on the work of the Committee, whose powers are higher than those of the Assad regime,” Al-Bahra said.
Al-Bahra reaffirmed the important role of the local community in the issues of the constitution and the need for its participation in the drafting of its articles. “The Syrian constitution will only be written by a Syrian pen and by Syrians. We will not accept otherwise.”
Al-Bahra indicated that “we are now in the negotiating stage. We are ready to discuss any basket of the four baskets.” He pointed out that this is completely different from the second stage, which is the stage of implementation that must take place according to the sequence and timeframe set out in UN resolution 2254.
Al-Bahra stressed the importance of continued communication and meetings to clarify the progress of the work of the Constitutional Committee and the political process as a whole. He also said that what frightens the regime the most is the convergence of the components of the Syrian people to draw up a constitution leading to the establishment of a state of equal citizenship.
He stressed the need to strengthen confidence and get rid of the suspicions that the Assad regime is trying to instill among the Syrian people. “All Syrians are now suffering the economic deterioration and the disintegration of the social structure as a result of the regime's insistence to continue to deplete the country’s resources in its military campaigns that will achieve neither security nor stability, nor will they restore peace or justice.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)