President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa warned that any attack on Idlib by the Assad regime and its allies would lead to catastrophic consequences as the province is home to more than two million civilians, most of whom were forcibly displaced from other parts of Syria. He stressed the need for the United Nations to prevent any such attack.
Speaking to Turkish media at the headquarters of the Syrian Coalition in Istanbul, Mustafa said that the Coalition “takes these threats seriously.” He noted that “there are two million Syrians in Idlib. They have no other place for to go.”
He pointed out that Turkey’s support for the Syrian revolution, the enormous aid it provides for the refugees and displaced persons, and the support it provided for the Free Syrian Army to defeat terrorist groups “make us optimistic that Idlib will not see such scenario.”
“The Assad regime and its allies sought to displace Syrian civilians to Idlib province. Turkey is seeking through political and diplomatic means to prevent an attack on Idlib as it is a guarantor of the ‘de-escalation zone’ in Idlib. Turkey is also the only country that is still on side of the Syrian people,” Mustafa added.
“With Iranian support, the Assad regime continues to pursue the policy of mass forced displacement, including most recently in Dara’a province. This took place after the United States discharged its obligations as a guarantor in the south. Idlib is now in the crosshairs of Assad’s policy of mass forced displacement. We hope that the same threat will not recur.”
Mustafa underscored that the Coalition supports any political solution that is likely to put an end to the bloodshed in Syria and fulfills the aspirations of the Syrian people. “We have participated in various conferences but we want the solution to be under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva talks in which we have participated since 2014. The Assad regime and its allies have not engaged seriously in these talks.”
Mustafa pointed out that Assad regime’s recapture of more areas does not mean that it is winning. “When the revolution broke out, there was no territory under the control of Syrian rebels. The Syrian people continue to make immense sacrifices. The solution is political rather than military.”
The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and the continued crimes against civilians are due to the failure of the international community to honor its duties. “We have reached this situation because the international community has failed to punish the criminal.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)