Riad Hijab, General Coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) warned of plans by the Assad regime to bring about a demographic change through the forced mass displacement of civilians in many cities and towns across Syria.
In a letter sent earlier on Tuesday to the foreign ministers of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), Hijab referred to the regime’s dangerous plans that began to unfold and materialize on the ground in many parts across Syria, especially in the towns of Daraya, Madaya, and Moadamiya in rural Damascus as well as in the district of Alwaer in Homs. Hijab said that the Assad regime plans to bring about a demographic change in Syria by forcing civilians en masse out of their homes.
Hijab pointed out that all these areas observed so-called local truce agreements signed earlier between the residents and the Assad regime with the mediation of the United Nations. However, the Assad regime reneged on all these agreements.
The residents of Daraya were forced out of their homes after over three and half years of suffocating siege and constant bombardment by various types of weapons, especially napalm, barrel bombs and rockets, Hijab said. He added that the regime forced the residents of these areas to agree to the so-called local truces under the threat of total annihilation. The regime then used these local truces as a ploy to execute its plans of cleansing civilians from their towns and villages.
Hijab warned that Alwaer has lately been subjected to an unprecedented fierce onslaught by the Assad regime which has also started to ramp up forces around the district to force its residents out of their homes.
Hijab referred to the town of Qazhal in northern rural Homs whose residents were forced out of their homes by regime forces who over the past month pillaged the village.
Hijab condemned the regime’s violations of the UN Security Council resolutions reiterating the importance of maintaining the unity and territorial integrity of Syria, namely UNSCR resolutions 2254 (2015) and 2268 (2016).
The Assad regime’s policies risk fomenting lengthy and bloody conflicts with very dire consequences. Assad’s policies also fuel violence and terrorism; cause further flows of refugees towards Europe, and jeopardize the entire political process and the cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria, Hijab warned.
Hijab concluded his letter by urging the ISSG to take immediate, concrete action to foil the regime’s plans and to exercise pressure on the Assad regime and its allies to abide by UN resolutions to lay the groundwork for achieving a real political transition as was set out in the UN Security Council resolutions, especially resolutions 2118 and 2254.
The HNC on Monday sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to warn of the regime’s plans to bring about demographic change in Syria using the UN as a cover for such plans. (Source: Syrian Coalition)