President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Anas Abdah, held an important meeting with the leadership of the National Liberation Front, an affiliate of the Syrian National Army, as well as notables and representatives of civil and political groups in Idlib province. Participants in the meeting also included members of the SOC’s political committee.
The meeting, which took place in the town of Jindires in rural Afrin, focused on rearranging the internal affairs and promoting teamwork. Participants in the meeting stressed the need for thorough preparation for the upcoming challenges in view of the critical circumstances the Syrian revolution is currently going through.
President Abdah discussed with them the latest political developments and the current situation on the ground.
He lauded the efforts being made by the various civil groups and actors in the liberated areas to confront the coronavirus pandemic, pointing to the possibility to build on this cooperation to create an environment that helps strengthen coordination and develop a new roadmap for the success of the civil administration.
Moreover, President Abdah pointed out that the SOC is seeking to activate its role in the liberated areas through its executive arms, namely the Syrian Interim Government, the Assistance Coordination Unit, Local Councils, and the Syrian National Army. It is also seeking to cooperate with the revolutionary and civil actors in order to help achieve the demands of the Syrian people and the Syrian revolution.
President Abdah congratulated the participants for the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan as he extended his condolences for the families of the victims of the terrorist bombing that took place in Afrin on Tuesday. He stressed that coordination and cooperation are crucial for success in foiling such terrorist attacks.
He stressed the need to maintain the agreement in place in Idlib until a nationwide ceasefire is reached in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and a political transition is achieved. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)
Vice-president of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, Oqab Yahya, welcomed Germany's decision to designate the Lebanese Hezbollah a terrorist organization and ban its activities on German soil.
Yahya emphasized that the Hezbollah Militia has been a partner with the Assad regime in the killing of the Syrian people for nine years, adding that the militia is one of Iran's arms to destabilize the region.
He urged the rest of the countries to follow suit so as to undermine the role of this sectarian terrorist group and dry up its sources of funding, which depends mainly on drug trafficking and other illegal activities.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Thursday banned all Hezbollah activities in the country, his ministry spokesman said on Twitter. He also confirmed that "police measures are underway in several federal states concurrently," and added that even in times of crisis, the "rule of law is able to act."
German police said that a number of properties in Berlin, Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia were searched early on Thursday. According to the police and the German Interior Ministry, four mosques and cultural associations were raided, as well as private homes of their board members, treasurers and tax advisers.
The German decision comes a few months after a similar decision by the British government, which banned the Hezbollah Militia from carrying out any social, financial or banking activities on British soil. The British decision also included asset-freeze of the group’s supporters and loyalists in the British banks. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) condemned the terrorist bombing that ripped through the town of Afrin on Tuesday killing and injuring dozens of civilians, including many of children. It described the attack as “extremely violent and brutal.”
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the SOC said: “We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones as we reaffirm that we will continue to hunt down those who are seeking to spread chaos and trying to turn the clock back.”
“These bombings are clearly aimed at spreading chaos and disrupting options that could pave the way to a real political solution based on international resolutions.”
The SOC went on to say that “the police and security forces as well as the Syrian National Army in the liberated areas of northern Syria will continue to combat terrorist organizations and militias as well as all those who are supporting, funding, and sponsoring them.”
“All our efforts will focus on confronting these schemes; ensuring the protection of civilians; and assuming our responsibilities towards the Syrian people,” the SOC added.
The SOC renewed its calls for “firm international positions against terrorism, its sponsors, and those investing in it. We also renew our calls for supporting the institutions representing the Syrian people and assisting them in carrying out their role and duties.” (Source: SOC’s Media Department)
Coordinator of the Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) Office in rural Aleppo, Ahmed Al-Shehadi, toured the Tleil Al-Sham IDP camps near the town of Azaz to ascertain the conditions inside the camps and ascertain the needs of the camp residents. He also met officials at the educational complex in the town of Tal Rifaat which supervises 23 schools in the informal settlements in the region.
Al-Shehadi was accompanied by Ibrahim Khalil, member of the Free Aleppo Provincial Council, Abdulaziz Mudlij, member of the Council, Abdul Razzaq Hayyani, director of the educational complex in the camp, and his assistant Zakaria Qandal, and the educational instructor, Abdul Jabbar Mustafa.
Al-Shehadi checked on the safety and preventive measures against the coronavirus as he talked about the SOC’s and Syrian Interim Government plans to confront the pandemic. He stressed that no cases have so far been confirmed in the liberated areas.
They reviewed the online learning process which was introduced by the Ministry of Education in the Syrian Interim Government last month. They discussed its results as well as the extent of the adaptation of teachers and students with it as they discussed the needs of teachers to record lessons and put them online. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) said that it is following the progress of the Turkish Ministry of Interior’s investigations into the death of Syrian youngster Ali Al-Assani through the Syrian-Turkish Joint Committee. Al-Assani, 19, was shot dead by a Turkish policeman in the Turkish province of Adana on Monday.
The SOC stressed the need for a transparent investigation into the incident and for those involved to be held accountable.
Meanwhile, SOC’s President, Anas Abdah, and Secretary-General Abdulbaseet Abdullatief called the family of Al-Assani to offer their condolences as they asserted the SOC’s support and solidarity with the family and that it would closely follow the investigations till all the circumstances surrounding the incident are revealed.
Adana police department published a statement saying that the policeman who shot the Syrian youngster was dismissed from service and that it began investigating the incident.
Al-Assani’s death provoked widespread outrage amongst the Turkish people and Syrian refugees alike. The hashtag ‘where are Ali’s killers’ in Turkish was on top of the list of trends on Twitter in Turkey a few hours after the news of Ali’s death. The Turkish society sent a clear message that it strongly denounces this tragic incident and demanded that those responsible be held to account. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)
A group of Syrian organizations launched a fundraising campaign to secure food and basic necessities for the internally displaced people in northwestern Syria and the refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.
Participants in the campaign, which was launched under the title “let’s show solidarity,” included the Assistance Coordination Unit, the Stabilization Support Unit, the Civil Defense, Mulham Volunteer Team, Midad, and Violet Aid Group. The campaign will be advocated and supervised by the Syrian Opposition Coalition, the Syrian Islamic Council, and the Syrian Business Forum.
Organizes of the campaign issued a statement indicating that the world is going through exceptional circumstances as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It added that the pandemic resulted in major change in the ways of life and the disruption of the social, economic aspects of life, which increased the challenges faced by the Syrian people at home and abroad.
The statement pointed out that the campaign targets "the households whose livelihoods were affected by the coronavirus crisis,” adding that it will continue for three months. The campaign will collect cash donations, improve the distribution of aid, communicate with decision-makers in the relevant international organizations and donors with the aim of maximizing the impact of the campaign. It will also include an advocacy campaign to urge donations and zakat money.
The statement pointed out that the overall goal of the campaign is to revive the values of solidarity in the current exceptional circumstances and activate collective action. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, Anas Abdah, congratulated the Syrian people on the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan as he saluted their resilience after they “have proved to the whole world that it is not only on bread a person lives, and that life is worthless without freedom and dignity.”
In a televised speech on Thursday, President Abdah said that “the whole world has seen how the Syrian people has been free, generous and how they have made tremendous sacrifices for the sake of an honorable, dignified life.”
“The Syrian people achieved many victories in this month. We have been promised, God willing, the greatest victory and salvation from this tyrant and his backers and invaders. ‘And there is no victory except from Allah.’”
President Abdah said that Ramadan came as the world is combatting a pandemic that threatens our lives and future. Ramadan is a month of worship and observing kinship ties. We should not give up the great advantages of Ramadan, but should observe them in accordance with the preventive procedures. Let’s perform our acts of worship and daily prayers with our families in our homes. Let us use the modern ways of communication to keep in touch with our beloved ones.”
“I remind well-off Syrians in Syria and abroad that Ramadan is a month of generosity and giving. Charity begins at home, especially our fellow Syrians who are living in IDP camps and in northern Syria as well as those living in the regime-held areas. We have onerous responsibilities towards the families of the martyrs and the detainees, not the least of which to support them and preserve their dignity.”
He pointed out that the Assad regime showed total disrespect for this holy month through the Syrian revolution. “We all remember Assad forces’ storming of Hama on the first day of Ramadan in 2011, and the blood that was shed in the mosques of Damascus on the 27th day of Ramadan in the same year, and the massacres in Bab Amr and Bab al-Duraib in Homs, al-Hirak in Dara’a, and Deir Ezzor, all of which took place in Ramadan.”
President Abdah continued: “The murderous regime has been deliberately committing massacres and bombardment at breakfast time as the people of Zabadani, the Damascus suburbs, and the rest of Syrian cities of remember this very well.”
He concluded his speech by stressing that “the sun of freedom will rise just as we will see the end of the tyrant and the demise of the occupation. We are continuing with this revolution, which is our destiny. We have no other option but to achieve victory.”
“The displaced people will return to their homes, towns and villages. Victory is but an hour of patient perseverance. Indeed, the people are stronger and more capable of patience than tyrants.” (Source: SOC’s Media Department)
The Syrian-Turkish Joint Committee said that the Directorate General of Migration Management agreed to reactivate the temporary protection identity cards that had been suspended in recent months. The move aims to allow Syrian nationals whose ID cards were suspended to once again have access to the services of the Turkish Red Crescent.
The Directorate General has suspended some of the temporary protection ID cards for several security, legal and administrative reasons, especially the ID cards for those whose original places of residence need to be updated. In December 2019, it demanded that Syrian nationals update their data before mid-March 2020.
The Committee pointed out that many Syrian households were unable to have their ID cards updated due to the measures the Turkish government has taken to stem the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. These ID cards were consequently suspended, which deprived their holders from access to the services of the Turkish Red Crescent.
The Committee added that it put forwards suggestions to resolve this issue as soon as possible, pointing out that the Directorate General of Migration Management responded positively with the request.
It indicated that the Directorate General will begin by reactivating the ID cards of children under the age of 18. It will facilitate the updating of data for individuals over the age of 18 who have been unable to get their records updated as a result of the measures being taken to combat the coronavirus.
The Committee noted that it collected the data of 300,000 Syrian households residing in Turkey at the request of the Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management which intends to draw up lists of the Syrian households that were affected by the preventive measures being taken to combat the coronavirus with the aim of providing them with assistance.
The global spread of the pandemic caused the closure of factories, companies and shops, which affected many workers, especially the Syrian refugees who work on an informal and per diem basis.
The Syrian-Turkish Joint Committee was formed by the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) and the Turkish Ministry of the Interior with the aim of addressing the affairs of the Syrian refugees in Turkey. The decision was made following a meeting between SOC’s President, Anas Abdah, and the Turkish Minister of the Interior Süleyman Soylu on July 24, 2019. It is made up of the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Head of the Directorate General of Migration Management and a number of senior officials in the ministry as well as SOC’s President Anas Abdah and relevant SOC members. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)
The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) Office of Strategic Consultation held an online panel discussion on the findings of the latest report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which confirmed the Assad regime’s responsibility for three chemical weapons attacks on the town of Latamina in rural Hama in 2017. The panel discussion also discussed the impending enforcement of the Caesar Act to impose sanctions on the regime and its backers.
Keynote speakers at the discussion, which was moderated by Head of the Official, Ahmed Ramadan, included Yasser Al-Farhan, member of the SOC’s political and legal committees, and director of Harmoon Center for Contemporary Studies, Samir Seifan. Around 50 experts and researchers in political, legal and strategic affairs also took part in the discussion.
The panel discussion was held under the title “the political and legal implications of accusing the Assad regime of using chemical weapons and its coincidence with the impending enforcement of the Caesar Act.” Participants agreed with the report conclusion that the attacks are of a special strategic nature and can only occur under orders from the higher echelons of the regime’s military command.
Seifan talked about the importance of the report in confirming the Assad regime’s responsibility for the repeated use of chemical weapons in Syria and exposing those who are seeking to cover up the regime’s crimes, especially Russia’s repeated use of veto to block any Security Council resolution condemning the regime.
Seifan pointed to the fact that the OPCWs’ report is supported by the UN General Assembly which approved its mandate at its last meeting in 2019, which reflects a broad consensus within the Assembly.
Farhan suggested that the report confirmed the Assad regime’s systematic criminal behavior. The report also confirmed that there is no alternative to enforcing fair accountability mechanisms by supporting the implementation of Article 21 of UN Security Council resolution 2118, and Article 6 of Resolution 2209 calling for taking immediate measures to hold those involved to account.
Ramadan said that the OPCW’s report and the enforcement of the Caesar Act constitute strong pressure on all states to prevent the restoration of relations with the regime that is committing widespread crimes and using chemical weapons. They also constitute pressure on the regime and its backers to reengage in the political process and support political transition in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communique of 2012. (SOC’s Media Department)
The Syrian Interim Government began distributing humanitarian, medical and relief assistance to the people who were forcibly displaced by Assad regime forces and their allies from Idlib to northern rural Aleppo.
The move came as part of the rapid response project which is being supervised by the General Directorate for Grain and the Directorate of Health in Aleppo in cooperation with local councils.
The project is targeted at around 8,300 households in the towns of Azaa, Al-Bab, Marea, Souran, Akhtreen, Al-Raei, Jarablus, and Al-Ghandoura.
The Directorate of the IDP of the Ministry of Local Administration and Services, in coordination with the local councils, had compiled lists of the displaced people in northern rural Aleppo and made a comprehensive assessment of the basic needs. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)