President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, stressed the need to protect civilians in Idlib and prevent any military operation in the region. He stressed that rebel fighters have an indomitable will to fight, warning the Assad regime and its allies that they will pay a heavy price if they go ahead with their plans for a major assault on Idlib.
“For those who place human rights at the top of their priorities, the safety of civilians in Idlib must be the top priority, which is the case for the Coalition,” Mustafa told Anadolu news agency.
Mustafa warned that a perfect storm is gathering over Idlib that will have “devastating consequences.” He said that the Assad regime and its allies are still pursuing a military solution and are seeking to wriggle out of commitment to a political solution. “This strategy has so far resulted in the death, displacement, arrest and enforced disappearance of millions of Syrians and the destruction of the country,” he said. “This strategy has also turned Syria into a battlefield for multi-level international conflicts.”
Mustafa underscored the need to immediately confront this strategy before it leads to a new disaster in Idlib and a new, unprecedented wave of displacement.
“Attempts to give the Assad regime justifications or a green light to attack Idlib will be unacceptable. Civilians and rebel groups represented by the National Liberation Front in Idlib have done a lot of work and made great efforts to confront extremism in the region. They are also ready to confront any potential attack by the Assad regime and to defeat it and its allies.”
Mustafa highly commended Turkey’s role in Syria as he stressed that being a guarantor country, Turkey’s role is crucial to protect Idlib from the plans of the Assad regime and its allies.
“The Idlib region is one of the de-escalation zones. Efforts must be focused to prevent any violation of the agreement and to maintain the security and safety of civilians,” Mustafa added.
Commenting on the remarks the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura made last week on the situation in Idlib, Mustafa said: “The positions of the UN envoy must be consistent with his role as a UN mediator. His recent remarks were contradictory to the nature of the tasks assigned to him.”
“It is clear to all parties that he de Mistura has violated his mandate as an impartial UN mediator. His latest remarks are undermining his credibility. Instead of exerting efforts and pressure to confront the regime’s plans and prevent an attack on Idlib as well as focusing on reviving the political process, his latest remarks were congruent with the Assad regime and its allies’ threats of military escalation, thus threatening the safety of more than three million civilians in Idlib.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)