The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) Office of Syrian Communities Abroad held a virtual meeting with councils of Syrian communities in the diaspora to discuss the developments on the ground in Dara’a province.
The meeting brought together President of the Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC) Anas Abdah, Coordinator of the SOC’s Office of Syrian Communities Abroad Muhammad Yahya Maktabi, member of the SOC’s political committee Muhammad Qaddah, members of the SOC’s General Assembly Ayman al-Asimi and Basil Ghuneim, the SOC’s representative at the United Nations Maryam Chalabi, the SOC’s representative in Germany Fadel Afa Al-Rifai, and the SOC’s representative in Jordan Tariq Abbas.
Participants also included President of the Syrian Community in Kuwait Muhammad Al-Hariri, Vice President of the Syrian Community in Italy Al-Hakam Effendi, Member of the Council of the Syrian Community in Denmark Muhammad Al-Hamdo, Member of the Syrian Community in Romania Mazen Al-Rifai, President of the Community Council in Gaziantep Mustafa Al-Hussein and head of the Community Council in Gaziantep Muhannad Khattab.
Qaddah gave an overview on the general situation in Dara’a, especially the recent developments starting from the 2018 agreement until now. He also talked about the stages of the recent escalation, from imposing restrictions on the movement of the residents of Dara’a to imposing a blockade and attempts to storm the city. He stressed that the steadfastness being shown by the people of Dara’a and the solidarity being shown by the Dara’a towns have so far thwarted the regime’s attempts to storm the city.
Qaddah also gave an overview on the course of the negotiations taking place between the Central Committee in Dara’a and the regime and Russia, pointing out that the Assad regime did not respect the truce that was agreed upon during the negotiations.
Abdah said that the reason for the regime’s vengeance against Dara’a is the symbolism of the city, especially the Al-Omari Mosque, in the conscience of the Syrian revolutionaries. He stressed that the Assad regime is seeking to break the will of the Syrian people by striking the symbolism of this province.
Abdah attributed the regime’s assault on Dara’a to its suspicions of the existence of Russian-American rapprochement and discussions on implementing UN Resolution 2254 and reaching a political solution in the country. He pointed out that channels of communication have been recently opened between the United States and Russia following the renewal of the mandate for the entry of cross-border aid.
Moreover, Abdah talked about the SNC’s efforts to ensure an end to the regime’s assault on Dara’a and lift the blockade through continuous communication with the foreign ministries and envoys of the major actors in Syria. He stressed the importance of integration in the work of the official political institutions of the revolution and the Syrian communities in the diaspora which can play an important role in influencing the public opinion and decision makers in the host countries.
Al-Asimi talked about the available options in front of the people of Dara’a to overcome the regime’s blockade. He stressed the importance of towns and cities of southern Syria to offer support to Dara’a, lift the blockade, prevent the displacement of its people, and prevent the Iranian militias and Assad regime forces from storming the city.
Maktabi talked about the significant role being played by Syrian-American organizations, which led to interaction by members of the US Congress and even the US Secretary of State with the events taking place in Dara’a. He stressed that Russia, which presents itself as a guarantor, is bragging that it has tested hundreds of weapons against the Syrian people.
Al-Hariri said that the Assad regime is trying to deceive the people of Dara’a by bringing in some personalities close to it and presenting them as activists representing Dara’a with the aim of deceiving the world and suggesting that the people of Dara’a want the regime forces to enter the city.
Al-Hariri stressed that regime forces were unable to storm Dara’a because of the residents’ steadfastness and heroic resistance, and because of the different attitudes of the regime’s enablers.
Effendi stressed the important role of Syrian expatriates and communities in supporting the efforts of the official political institutions of the revolution. He stressed that this role is increasing day by day, which confirms the need for integration of roles in order to achieve the demands of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity.
Al-Rifai also talked about the importance of the revolution’s media presenting a daily report that sheds light on the course of events in Dara’a. He pointed out that this report can act as a major source on Dara’a for media activity of the Syrian communities around the world.
Al-Hussein talked about the role of the community in providing moral support for Dara’a. He also talked about a meeting that took place between the Syrian community in Gaziantep and Syrian-American organizations with the aim of ensuring coordination and utilizing the expertise of these organizations. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)