Members of the Syrian Coalition and the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) on Tuesday held a teleconference with leading figures in the district of Barzah in eastern Damascus who confirmed that the Assad regime is committing war crimes against civilians in the rebel-held district, the latest of which is the forced displacement of the residents in the district.
The HNC meeting with the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura in Geneva will focus on humanitarian issues and forced displacement, Suhair Atassi, member of the HNC delegation to Geneva talks, said.
The besiegement and starvation of the population by the Assad regime and the Iranian militias constitute war crimes and violate international law and international humanitarian law, Atassi added.
HNC spokesman Salem Meslet said that the HNC delegation to Geneva talks is seeking to highlight war crimes being committed by the Assad regime against civilians, especially the forced displacement and demographic change operations.
“Mass forced displacement is a war crime and we will highlight it. The HNC delegation is seeking to bring this issue, along with all humanitarian issues, to the forefront of discussion in Geneva,” Meselet added.
Abu Aljoud, director of civil defense in Barza, said that residents of the ravaged district continue to insist on overthrowing the Assad regime and demand freedom, dignity and democracy. He added that they all reject extremism, calling on the international community to protect them from the sectarian militias the Assad regime has brought from many countries in the region.
Abu Aljoud pointed out that nearly 50,000 civilians still live in Barzah, stressing the need for the implementation of international resolutions and calling for lifting the sieges and introducing humanitarian aid to besieged towns and cities.
Abu Aljoud emphasized that displacement of the residents of the district is being carried out through coercion, denying claims that residents are willfully leaving their homes. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)