President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Alabdah stressed that putting an end to the mass enforced displacement of civilians and lifting the sieges regime forces impose on the rebel-held areas should be an essential part of the US-Russian sponsored cessation of hostilities agreement.
Addressing MPs at the Friends of Syria All Party Parliamentary Group in the British parliament on Tuesday, Alabdah cast doubt about the willingness of Russian and regime forces to respect the CoH agreement. He said that numerous violations of the February truce by Russia and the Assad regime caused the collapse of the truce.
The session began with a minute’s silence for the late British MP Joe Cox who advocated for the protection of civilians in Syria until the last moment of her life.
In response to the US-Russian backed ceasefire, Alabdah said: “We remain cautiously optimistic. The deal presents an opportunity for a reduction in the violence in Syria. In parallel we have made clear our reservations to the United States; in particular the lack of a mechanism to enforce the ceasefire.”
“Clear and robust consequences in response to violations must be taken if the ceasefire is to be sustainable. A No Bombing Zone to halt the indiscriminate targeting of civilians would be a critical first step to achieving a lasting truce and generating the momentum needed for diplomatic negotiations to resume with a genuine chance of success,” Alabdah added.
Al-Abdah also paid tribute to the work of the late Jo Cox MP in advocating for the protection of civilians in Syria. He said Cox was a true friend of the Syrian people standing by them against injustice, killing and displacement. He urged MPs to ensure her critical work continues following her tragic death. (Source: Syrian Coalition)