Saturday marked the eighth anniversary of direct Russian military intervention in Syria. Russia provided weapons and equipment to bolster the Assad regime in its conflict against the Syrian people, who have been demanding freedom and dignity since 2011.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) issued a press release condemning this intervention, which has led to a multitude of violations, including what could be considered war crimes and crimes against humanity. These include the killing of civilians, destruction of neighborhoods, homes, civilian facilities, and infrastructure throughout the country.
The SOC highlighted that Russian military support has contributed to numerous violations and crimes, such as hundreds of massacres, including the use of chemical and internationally prohibited weapons, resulting in tens of thousands of civilian casualties, including thousands of children. It has also affected over a thousand vital urban areas, including schools and hospitals.
The SOC added that Russia has chosen to support the Assad regime despite its numerous crimes, including murder, disappearances, destruction, and the forced displacement of millions of Syrians. Russia has provided air cover that has targeted medical centers and civilian areas, effectively becoming a partner in these actions. Russia has also politically supported the Assad regime since 2011, using its veto power 18 times to block resolutions condemning the regime and calling for its accountability.
The SOC emphasized that Russia’s veto has played a significant role in Security Council disputes, obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid across the border, most recently in July, when the Security Council resolution was not extended.
The SOC asserts that these crimes committed by the Assad regime in Syria, with Russian support, would not have caused as many innocent civilian casualties if the international community had not failed to address these violations and war crimes against the Syrian people. It also points out the neglect of the UN-sponsored political process in Geneva, leaving the Syrian people to confront the regime and its allies without serious action to halt these crimes.
The SOC called on the international community to take effective measures to stop the Assad regime’s ongoing crimes against the Syrian people and to prevent any party from supporting it in its war on Syrians. It stressed that achieving peace in Syria, reconstruction, and the return of refugees and displaced persons is only possible through a comprehensive political transition in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 2118 and 2254.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)