Tuesday, 24 December 2019 11:28

Press conference on the situation in Idlib province. December 23, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

The major actors are well aware of what is happening on the ground in Idlib province.

The onslaught on Idlib province is continuing and escalating. The Russian occupation forces, the Assad regime forces, and Iranian militias are directly and openly committing massacres and crimes. Towns and villages in Idlib province have been subjected to relentless bombardment with the aim of causing the greatest material and moral damage as well as killing and displacing as many people as possible as part of a project to displace more than a million Syrian civilians.

Killings, crimes, bombardment, destruction, and displacement are ongoing and continuing as we speak. The number of deaths, injuries and displaced people is on the rise. Civil defense teams (the White Helmets) are operating under unprecedentedly risky conditions to help the victims.

We call on our Arab brothers and friends of the Syrian people to take action and do everything possible to ensure an end to the massacres and genocide taking place in Idlib.

The Assad regime, Russian occupation, and the Iranians reject all international solutions and insist on pursuing a terrorist criminal solution. They are also showing utter disregard for the United Nations resolutions and the principles of international law and showing total disrespect and insults for the international community which receives them with a complete lack of responsibility towards the lives of the victims.

Three million civilians in Idlib are the victims of these endless attacks. Women constitute 25% of those, while children constitute 51%, with women enduring the greatest suffering and agony.

The widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure, including homes, shelters for the IDP, bakeries, public markets, hospitals, schools, and water stations is worsening the suffering of civilians and aggravates their basic needs.

The UN Security Council’s continued failure to save the Syrian people from the biggest humanitarian disaster that the world has seen since the Second World War will entirely destroy the credibility of international institutions in the eyes of peoples and governments and will have serious repercussions at all levels.

Attacks by the Russian occupation and Assad regime’s forces constitute blatant violation of Annex III signed by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations and which was filed in the Security Council in a letter dated December 29, 2016 stipulating the formation of a joint Russian-Turkish committee to monitor compliance with the ceasefire and threatening penalties to hold to account those involved in violating the ceasefire.

This reality requires taking effective measures to save civilians in Syria and salvage the credibility of the United Nations. We, therefore, demand the following:

An immediate halt to the ongoing onslaught on Idlib; saving the wounded and transferring them to receive the necessary treatment; expanding the scope of humanitarian assistance to meet the basic and emergency needs in the areas of shelter, food, education, health and services for the IDP and residents of those areas.

To submit draft resolutions at the UN Security Council with Russia being considered as a party to the conflict in accordance with provisions of Chapter VI and paragraph 3 of Article 52, with the activation of paragraph 3 of Article 27 of the UN Charter stipulating that sates that are parties to a conflict abstain from voting.

To refer the situation in Syria to the UN General Assembly in order to take deterrent measures in cases of non-compliance on the part of the regime and its backers with international resolutions.

To continue the delivery of cross-border humanitarian aid by renewing UN Security Council resolutions 2165 (2014) and 2449 (2018), or through an alternative mechanism that bypasses the Russian veto used to block the international consensus on the UN Security Council and which was repeatedly used as a tool of warfare against the Syrian people.

The Syrian National Coalition’s political committee is in permanent session and it conducts extensive contacts with all sides to ensure an immediate end to military operations.

We have sent letters to all active states and international organizations stressing the need for an immediate end to the criminal onslaught on Idlib province.

In such dire circumstances, the friends of the Syrian people need to prove that they are real friends of the Syrian people.

May our wounded recover, our detainees be free, and our fallen heroes rest in peace.

Long live Syria and the Syrian people, free and with honor.

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