Syrian Coalition: No Chemical Weapons in Areas Under Free Syrian Army Control
The Syrian Coalition confirmed that there are no chemical weapons sites in the areas under Free Syrian Army control. The Syrian Coalition requested the General Director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to be concise in his statements, which recently suggested that some chemical weapons sites were in areas under rebel control. In their statement released today, “The Syrian Coalition, and the General Staff of the Free Syrian Army, reiterate their commitment to fully cooperate with members of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, as they carry out their duties in dismantling and destroying the Assad regime’s chemical weapons.” The statement continues, “The Syrian Coalition wishes that the Director-General of OPCW, Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü, will, in the future, choose his remarks with more precision. There are regime-controlled chemical weapons sites that are in areas besieged by the FSA, however there are no chemical weapons sites that are controlled by rebel brigades.” The statement concluded with the Syrian Coalition warning of the regime’s possible abuse of the ensuing chaos which regime attributes to armed groups connected to the FSA. In the Syrian Coalition’s recent statement on Muadamiyah, the Syrian Coalition said that “Red Cross officers have been alerted about the dangers of placing these vulnerable people under the care of the regime but have stated that they are just humanitarian aid providers and can do nothing to ensure the safety of these families…” In the same statement the Syrian Coalition urges “the international community to stop neglecting its responsibilities and to immediately begin establishing humanitarian corridors, providing international relief agencies with unfettered access to save civilians in Muadamiyah.” The Coalition also demands the opening of humanitarian corridors that allow international humanitarian organizations to relieve the besieged people and to exclude any humanitarian organization in the political conflicts happening in the region. The Syrian Coalition also pointed out that the civilians handed over to the regime were detained and taken to large military camps under control of Assad forces. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
Marwa: Citizens Handed Over to Regime Forces Will Be Imprisoned
Hisham Marwa, member of the Syrian National Coalition Legal Committee, said in a statement to the Syrian National Coalition Media Office that the humanitarian organizations’ evacuation of people from Muadamiyah in coordination with the Assad Regime is “systematic displacement.” He noted that “the process was conducted legally and has a façade of compassion, however, it deviates from the mission’s humanitarian, legal, and social goals.” Marwa said ” Syrian Coalition demands are not confined to the evacuation of residents from towns, cities, homes in which they live,” stressing that “the Syrian Coalition, under the authority of international law, demands that Assad’s siege on these areas must be lifted and humanitarian corridors must be opened for people to secure food for themselves and their children.” He added that “the people evacuated from these cities are placed in detention centers and large military camps under Assad’s control.” The Syrian Coalition demands that Assad halt his genocide and starvation of civilians in Muadamiyah by ceasing all attacks and allowing humanitarian aid into the area.
The Syrian Coalition added that the regime is detaining young boys and questioning them to gather information about Free Syrian Army movements in the city. The Syrian Coalition also state, “Red Cross officers have been alerted about the dangers of placing these vulnerable people under the care of the regime but have stated that they are just humanitarian aid providers and can do nothing to ensure the safety of these families.” The Syrian Coalition further urges the international community to stop neglecting its responsibilities and to immediately begin establishing humanitarian corridors, providing international relief agencies with unfettered access to save civilians in Muadamiyah.The Syrian Coalition also mentions that the siege has lasted for 331 days in an attempt to bring the Free Syrian Army soldiers within the area to their knees and surrender the fight. Shockingly, there are 12,000 civilians in Muadamiyah, 7000 of them women and children, who have for months now, been without basic necessities.
Combat battalions in the southern areas of Damascus demand the Assad regime to lift the siege on the Ghoutas and southern Damascus. They have been experiencing a suffocating attack by the regime preventing the entrance of all food and essential goods needed by the people. The latest blockade has claimed the lives of many children and other civilians trapped, victims of the starvation war tactic practiced by the Assad regime on the Ghoutas of Damascus. These areas are considered very important entrances to the city and pose a direct risk to regime security branches in the capital Damascus. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
Forty-six Dead in Syria today. 71 dead yesterday.
The death toll in Syria reached 71 people yesterday. Local Coordination Committees in Syria documented the death of 46 people all over Syria, among them one women, and two children. 27 people died in Daraa, 10 in Aleppo, five in Hama, three in Damascus proper and rural Damascus, and one in Deir Ezzor.
(Source: Local Coordination Committee)
Regime Forces Attack Red Cross While Using Civilians as Human Sheilds
Three people died and other women and children were injured in Muadamiyah during the regime’s use of civilians as human shields. The Red Cross pulled out of the aread because regime forces broke the Eid Ul Adha ceasefire during its attempt to raid the city. In Basateen Hajeerat al Balad the Free Syrian Army planned a surprise attack on the Lebanese Hezbollah militia and the Iraqi Abu al Fadl al Abbass Battalion eliminating 50 soldiers after fierce clashes between them and the FSA. The FSA also targeted regime security branches in al Barzah with mortar shells. Regime forces shelled Qaboun in Damascus with a surface to surface missile injuring many people and destroying many homes. Al Yarmouk Camp was shelled with heavy artillery as military reinforcements for the regime arrived in the area. Activists also identified a Scud missile launched by regime forces from Quteifa heading to an unknown location. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Smart News Agency)
A Mine Explodes in Tal Jumoo Killing 22 People
A mine exploded under a bus transferring people in Tal Jumoo, Dara’a killing 22 civilians and injuring others. Activists state seven people were immediately killed due to the explosion and others dying from injuries. Injured people flooded hospitals as regime war planes conducted air strikes on the area raising the number of dead to 22 civilians, four children, and nine women. Regime fighter jets also conducted air strikes on the border town of Naseeb and the cities of Tafas, Khayl, and Seida. The Free Syrian Army clashed with regime forces in Dara’a during the regime’s latest attempt to enter the area resulting in the death of seven regime soldiers and the injury of many others.
(Source: Syrian Coalition + Smart News Agency)
Regime Forces Attack Rural Aleppo with Explosive Barrels
Regime fighter jets dropped explosive barrels and fired heat seeking missiles as heavy artillery bombarded al Sfeira in Aleppo killing seven people and injuring many others. Regime forces shelled Mayer in rural Aleppo injuring one person and causing material destruction in the town. Fierce clashes occurred on the outskirts of al Rashideen and Jabal Muarat al Arteeq in the Aleppo countryside between the Free Syrian Army and regime forces. Many regime soldiers were killed during these clashes. Similar clashes occurred around the 93rd Battalion in Ain Issa in al Raqqa and the FSA targeted the area with homemade rockets. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Local Coordination Committees)
Saudi Arabia: Iran’s Negativity Hinders Process
Saudi ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah al Mualami considers that any consideration of the Syrian issue in Geneva 2 must be within the framework of “preparing for a real transition of political power, but if this is not the goal, there will be ambiguity in the vision and inconsistent with reality”. Al Mualimi states Riyadh’s rejection of “minimizing the Syrian issue to just the issue of the chemical weapons. He called on the Security Council to “deal with the whole issue”. Al Mualimi criticized ‘Iran’s negative role, which is not positioned to play an active role in peacemaking and forming a new Syria”. He called on Tehran to “abandon its support of the Assad regime and armed groups supporting him”. Al Mualimi said that “Saudi Arabia does not use its influence within the Syrian opposition to push it in one direction or another.” He continued “our job is to help the Syrian people achieve their aspirations. The Syrian people are represented by the leadership of the Syrian Coalition but do not exercise our influence on the Coalition to push it in one direction or another.” (Source: al Hayat)
Washington: Syrian Coalition Key to Peace Talks
United States Secretary of State Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, considers the decision not to participate in Geneva 2 by the Syrian Council not conducive to a political solution. She added “participation from all Syrian opposition groups in the peace talks is key and important.” She continued “the only way to put an end to the problem is a political solution.” The President of the Council, George Sabra, said that the SOC “had decided not to go to Geneva under the present circumstances (on the ground) and the death of more than 100,000 people since March 2011 until now, according to the United Nations.” The SOC’s decision, according to their statement, came as a response to the failure of the international community to halt Assad from massacring Syrian civilians and to stop the systematic sieges and starvation of the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian Coalition + al Jazeera)
ISIS Created by Bashar al Assad
The head of the Lebanese Forces Party, Samir Jaajaa, states Bashar al-Assad’s government established extremist organizations in Syria such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. He confirms that the regime is still in direct contact with some of its elements according to reliable sources. He added that “many ISIS fighters were prisoners in Iraqi and Syrian prisons; they were released with the goal of establishing the organization.” Jaajaa explained that “ISIS is not fighting the Assad Regime in any place, but fights are only directed at other Syrian rebels.” Jaajaa describes these organizations, which the regime created, as fungi. He insists “immediate and drastic measures should be taken to put a stop to these group.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + al Khabar)
OPCW Verifies 11 Sites: Sabra wants Assad Reprimanded for War Crimes
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, in charge of overseeing the dismantling of the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal, announced that it verified 11 sites on the list provided by the regime. They destroyed equipment essential for chemical weapons production at six sites. It is noteworthy that the UN Security Council has formed a joint mission between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal by mid- 2014. This was decided after Bashar al-Assad’s regime agreed to give up Syrian chemical weapons in exchange for remaining in power. The deal came in coordination with America, Russia and Iran. George Sabra, President of the Syrian National Council, said that the deal will be paid for by Syrian blood. He said in a statement to the Syrian National Coalition Media Office, “it is not logical to capture the chemical weapons and let the criminal go.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + al Hayat + AFP)
Assad Kills Journalists: Many Dead
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) confirmed that “the majority of journalists believe that going to Syria is very dangerous, despite the fact that a lot of them want to go, or see it as a necessity.” This comes after increased attacks against journalists from the Assad regime and some extremist groups he backs. Also, Assad’s authorities have imposed restrictions on granting visas to journalists. Navigating through a mine field while performing their professional duty to deliver the truth to the world community is what makes the work of journalists a thorny task. According to the organization’s numbers, 25 foreign journalists and 70 Syrian media activists have been killed since the outbreak of the revolution in mid March 2011. (Source: Syrian Coalition + al Hayat + AFP )