The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) political committee on Thursday held its regular meeting to discuss the danger of the coronavirus on Syria, focusing on response plans and preventive measures to protect citizens and prevent the outbreak of the pandemic in the liberated areas.
SOC’s President, Anas Abdah, said that the Assistance Coordination Unit will introduce, for the first time, testing equipment to the liberated areas. He pointed out that measures have already been taken to prevent the pandemic outbreak. The health sector, however, needs urgent support by the World Health Organization, especially as the majority of healthcare facilities in northwestern Syria have been intentionally destroyed by the Russian and Assad regime forces.
President Abdah commended the measures taken by the Syrian Interim Government to prevent the spread of the disease. SIG has recently stopped the movement of civilians through internal crossing points with the regime-held areas and announced that it was closing these crossings completely until the end of this month, including commercial traffic in both directions.
President Abdah also talked about the results of his recent visit to the State of Qatar. He pointed out that the visit was very important with regards to preventing the rehabilitation of the Assad regime and the normalization of relationships with it. He also said that the visit secured support for SIG’s projects in the liberated areas.
Then the Military Liaison Office gave an explanation on the reality of the ceasefire currently in place and the Russian and Assad regime’s breaches of the ceasefire in the past few days. The Office warned of attempts by the regime and its backers to resume military escalation in northwestern Syria.
Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr Al-Hariri, gave a briefing on the latest political developments, especially the Commission’s efforts with the United Nations and the major actors to agree on a clear agenda within the mandate of the Constitutional Committee so as to convene again under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) issued an appeal to the world about the risks the coronavirus pandemic poses to the Syrian people, especially those held in the prisons of the Assad regime which continues to deny the existence of any cases of the pandemic in Syria.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the SOC said that the risks of the pandemic are not limited to civilians in the regime-held areas as tens of thousands of detainees in the prisons of the regime represent the most vulnerable group.
“The photos that Caesar smuggled out of Syria represent but the tip of the iceberg of the reality inside the regime’s detention facilities since at least 2012. The regime continues to deny detainees the necessary food and medical care, confining them in overcrowded cells and continue to violate their rights by various means,” the SOC said.
The SOC warned that “if the pandemic finds its way into these overcrowded facilities, we will be in front of a terrible disaster that the regime might exploit to get rid of the detainees, which places direct responsibility on the relevant international organizations.”
“It is imperative that the international community exert real pressure on the regime to force it to give the International Committee of the Red Cross immediate, full access to its detention centers in order to ascertain the conditions of detainees.”
The SOC called on the humanitarian organizations, the United Nations agencies, the World Health Organization, and the International Committee of the Red Cross are required to carry out their duties with regards to the situation in Syria, including pressuring the regime to closely monitor the spread of the pandemic. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)