The 49th meeting of the Syrian National Coalition’s General Assembly kicked off on Saturday, focusing on its first day on the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Idlib as well as discussing the number of IDP people, their urgent needs, and the military situation.
Members of the General Assembly discussed the humanitarian situation in Idlib. They reviewed reports on the numbers of the displaced people and the areas they resorted to and their urgent needs, especially with the harsh weather conditions and the torrential rain that swept across the region.
An assessment of the situation on the ground showed the areas most affected by the bombing campaign in Idlib province, the facilities that the Assad regime and its backers are targeting, such as markets, houses, schools, health facilities, and places of worship.
The Minister of Defense in the Syrian Interim Government, Major General Salim Idris, and coordinator of the military office of the Coalition, Munther Sarras, gave an overview on the military situation in Idlib as they stressed that the regime and its allies did not abide by the truce agreement, leading to its collapse.
They emphasized that the Idlib battle is a battle of life and death. They praised the steadfastness of the armed opposition on the ground and the courage they are showing as they are repelling the barbaric attacks by the Assad regime forces and their allied sectarian militias. They pointed out that the coming period will witness an initiative by the armed opposition groups to open new battlefronts in order to ease pressure on the Idlib fronts.
SIG’s ministers submitted reports on their work programs in the coming period. The Minister of Interior, Mohiuddin Harmoush, talked about the progress of the Ministry's work in improving security and stability by improving the performance of the police and internal security forces.
Justice Minister Mohamed Abdel Salam talked about the establishment of law courts in the liberated areas, with members of the Coalition seeing in it an important step to improve security and prevent violations and abuses. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria on Thursday issued a report on the tragic situation of children's rights in Syria under the title “they have erased the dreams of my children,” indicating that the Assad regime committed various violations against children over the past nine years.
The report said that children in Syria have experienced unabated violations of their rights: “they continue to be killed, maimed, injured and orphaned.” The Commission said that the use of cluster munitions, so-called thermobaric bombs and chemical weapons by regime forces, have caused scores of child casualties.
“In detention centers, but also much more broadly, rape and sexual violence have been used against men, women, boys and girls as a tool to punish, humiliate and instill fear among affected communities.” The report also indicated that regime forces “detained boys as young as 12, subjecting them to severe beatings and torture, and denying them access to food, water, sanitation and medical care.”
The Commission described the situation of education in Syria as horrific and appalling, noting that “to date more than 2.1 million girls and boys within Syria have ceased to attend school on a regular basis.”
The report is based on approximately 5,000 interviews conducted between September 2011 and October 2019 with Syrian children, but also eyewitnesses, survivors, relatives of survivors, medical professionals, defectors, members of armed groups, healthcare professionals, lawyers and other affected communities.
The Commission called for respecting the special protection children are entitled to under international humanitarian and human rights law and to ensure accountability for violations that have occurred. The Commission also made a series of recommendations aimed at increasing the support for children who have suffered abuses. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition welcomed Great Britain’s decision to designate the Hizballah group with all its wings as a terrorist organization. It also welcomed the legal implications of this move for the members of this militia and its supporters, financiers and collaborators, including the freezing of its entire assets.
In a press release issued on Friday, the Coalition said that the crimes and violations being committed by this mafia-like terrorist organization against the Syrian people are more than horrific and grave. “Its leaders are responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of children, women and elderly people, which requires a legal action to hold this organization accountable.”
“The delay on the part of the world’s governments and international organizations in taking principled positions on such organizations and the countries that sponsor them is exacerbating the crises and causing the unjustifiable loss of countless lives,” the Coalition added.
The Coalition stressed that “the Syrian people and all the peoples of the region are looking forward to the end of the role of this organization as an arm of the Iranian regime. They also expect an end to the disasters this group has brought to the region.”
The decision came after the British Treasury on Friday ordered a freeze on assets of the political wing of Hezbollah. The British government had announced it was banning the Hezbollah group in the country in February 2019, designating it as a terrorist organization. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)