The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) said that the massive wildfires have been raging in the forests and farmlands in the provinces of Latakia and Tartous are but a manifestation of the rampant corruption in the Assad regime’s institutions, adding that the majority of these fires are deliberate.
In a press release issued on Sunday, the SOC stressed that these fires were started by regime cronies with the aim of facilitating the seizure of forest lands to build mansions and palaces.
“Decades of neglect and mismanagement made the Assad regime’s institutions incapable of facing crises, many of which turned into major disasters,” the SOC said.
It also said that “as corruption, theft and mismanagement are pillars of the regime, the economic, human, legal and environmental meltdown will not stop without eradicating tyranny and corruption; dismantling this ruling class; and bring about a political transition that puts Syria on the path of reconstruction.”
“The Assad regime’s helicopters, which have been raining barrel bombs on Syrian cities and towns for the past nine years, have stopped short of dropping barrels of water to extinguish the fires that are ravaging our country and our people.”
The SOC went on: “Russia, which previously rushed to extinguish fires in Syria’s neighboring countries, is today holding back without showing the slightest concern for the lives and property of Syrians.”
“We call on our people in Syria to stand together in the face of this disaster and to declare civil disobedience in the face of the regime that is squandering their lives and property to survive in power and to satisfy its Russian and Iranian backers. Indeed, there will no salvation for the Syrian people without the departure of tyrants and invaders.” (Source: SOC’s Media Department)