Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi al-Bahra, and members of the Syrian National Coalition Ahmad Shehadi and Najib Rahmoun visited the town of Azaz in rural Aleppo to check on the conditions of the internally displaced people and listen to their basic needs.
They visited the local council, NGOs, civil and revolutionary bodies to discuss the conditions of the displaced people. They also reviewed the ways of the provision of the humanitarian and relief aid as well as the staples included in the food baskets.
They also checked on the most urgent needs of the IDP and the ongoing preparations to receive more IDP in light of the worsening humanitarian catastrophe resulting from the military operations being launched by the Assad regime and Russia in Idlib and southwestern rural Aleppo.
Al-Bahra briefed members of the local council, representatives of NGOs, and revolutionary bodies on the progress of the international talks aimed at putting an end to the regime’s onslaught on Idlib as he stressed that what is happening in Idlib is the result of international inaction.
Al-Bahra also talked about the ongoing communication processes to urge the international community to assume its legal responsibilities with regard to the establishment of a ceasefire, protecting civilians, and the revitalization of the political process to implement UN Security Council resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s political committee on Thursday held its periodic meeting which focused on the dire situation in Idlib, the disappointing position of the international community and its failure to assume its duties with regards to establishing a ceasefire and the protection of civilians.
Participants in the meeting, which was chaired by President of the Coalition, Anas al-Abda, reviewed to the field and military reports as well as the war crimes being committed by the Assad regime and Russia in Maaret al-Numan in rural Idlib and southwestern rural Aleppo. They also discussed the conditions of the IDP and the most urgent humanitarian needs.
Members of the committee also discussed the visit of the UN envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, to Moscow and Damascus and the briefing of the deputy of the UN envoy, Khawla Matar to the UN Security Council and preparations for the third round of the talks of the Constitutional Committee.
Moreover, the members reviewed the results of the recent meetings of the Small Group on Syria in London, which reaffirmed the continued political isolation of the regime and the prevention of normalization of relations with it. The Group also stressed they would not contribute to rebuilding except after a real political transition is put in place.
President Al-Abda gave an overview on the results of the meeting of the Coalition with the foreign envoys and diplomats held on Wednesday. The coalition urged the international community to put an end to the regime’s crimes and assume its role through the Security Council in ensuring the protection of civilians.
The committee welcomed Mahmoud al-Othman, the Syrian young man who rescued a Turkish woman in the Turkish province of Elazig from under the rubble of her house which collapsed in the earthquake that hit the region last week. The committee honored Mahmoud for his courage, stressing that he is an example for all Syrian refugees everywhere in the world. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
A female survivor from the prisons of the Assad regime recounted the horrors taking place in these prisons at a meeting between the Syrian National Coalition and envoys and diplomats from the major actors and influential countries in Syria, including the United States and the European Union.
The ex-detainee, who introduced herself as Mrs. Mona, talked about the horrors taking place against detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime. She said that female detainees are being subjected to horrific methods of torture and maltreatment.
She described how the jailers and regime security officers found joy in the killing of a child and a woman as she said she heard one of the officers saying after a child died “he perished. Take him away!”
Yasser Al-Farhan, Head of the National Commission for the Affairs of Detainees and Missing Persons, said that the Assad regime continues with the arrest, torture, and murder of detainees. “Mona escaped death, but there are thousands of women and children who are still detained and at the risk of death in Assad’s Holocaust.”
Al-Farhan stressed the need of raising the issue of detainees in all discussions and conferences on human rights, calling on the international community to take concrete measures to save the remaining detainees.
Al-Farhan called for the upcoming session of the Human Rights Council to focus on the issue of detainees in Syria. He also called for issuing a UN Security Council resolution on the issue of detainees and exposing the atrocities detainees are enduring in the regime’s prisons.
Moreover, he said that the Commission is working with the major actors to do justice to the victims, hold perpetrators of war crimes accountable, and propose a legal strategy that ensures an end to enforced disappearance, torture, and murder in the future of Syria. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Secretary-General of the Syrian National Coalition, Abd al-Basit Abd al-Latif, sent a message to the Syrian people, Arab and Muslim brothers as well as friendly states calling for relieving the people of Idlib in these harsh winter conditions. More than a million people were displaced as a result of military operations being launched by the Assad regime and Russia in northwestern Syria.
In an interview with Zaitoun media agency, Abd al-Latif called on the international community to stop idly watching the tragedy unfolding in Syria. This is a challenge for all humanity; either stop this barbarism and crimes or everyone will be affected.”
“We are faced with enormous challenges, most notably that there is no moral or legal deterrent to prevents the regime from continuing its crimes,” he stressed.
Abd al-Latif pointed out that "the international community is using the Russian veto as a pretext for its inaction. Even the friends of the Syrian people are absent, and when they intervene, they do so only for the sake of their own interests. In contrast, the Assad regime is receiving tremendous support from its allies.”
Abd al-Latif went on to say that "the Syrian Coalition and the Syrian people have been punished from the very beginning. When the rights of this people are not supported, and when criminals are not stopped or punished, any other positions will be worthless, especially when the crisis is being managed instead of its root causes being addressed. The international community is required to enforce its resolutions and fulfil its promises and activate its role in a political solution.”
Moreover, Abd al-Latif stressed the Coalition's will continue to "communicate with foreign envoys and ambassadors. Our relations with these countries are continuing, and they are expressing their commitment and support, but at the practical, political, and field levels, things are different.”
“Even the simple, sporadic grants are symbolic and do not correspond with the needs and complicated reality. Though we appreciate these grants, we do not base our positions on their continuity or interruption. We will always be guided by the interests of our people and our revolution.”
With regard to the international position of the Coalition and the extent of its influence on the international community, he said: “The Coalition is the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Its mission is to defend the rights and aspirations of the Syrian people and their revolution. It continues its work to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people and the goals of their revolution that formed a landmark in the history of peoples' struggle for their freedom and getting rid of tyranny.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, and Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi al-Bahra, met representatives of the member states of the Small Group on Syria in London on Tuesday. Both sides discussed the latest on the ground developments and the war crimes the Assad regime and its backers are committing in Idlib and their impact on the political process, especially the track of the Constitutional Committee.
Al-Hariri stressed that the Assad regime, Russia and Iranian militias have never committed to the implementation of international resolutions as they continue to commit crimes against civilians. He said that unspeakable crimes and violations are taking place in Maaret al-Nouman, adding: “The people of the town fought against ISIS and Al-Qaeda, showing unwavering commitment to the principles of the revolution.”
He added that “the talk about Russia and the regime's rejection of a political solution is no longer an expectation, but rather a reality we are experiencing today.”
For his part, Al-Bahra pointed out that the responsibility lies with the international community as it has so far failed to assume its legal responsibilities, first and foremost the protection of civilians. He also talked about the humanitarian catastrophe resulting from the military operations the Assad regime and Russia are conducting against civilians. He demanded increased humanitarian support and the launch of a humanitarian appeal to meet the basic needs of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people.
Al-Bahra stressed the need to take all the necessary steps to establish a ceasefire and return to the political track in order to reach a solution through the full implementation of international resolutions, most importantly UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Al-Hariri and al-Bahra earlier met with Dr. Andrew Morrison, Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs at the British Foreign Office and discussed with him the gave situation in Idlib. They called for pushing towards establishing a ceasefire, protecting civilians, and stepping up humanitarian aid to the IDP. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition met with envoys and diplomats from the major actors and influential states in Syria, most notably the United States and the European Union to discuss the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Idlib as well as the war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed by the Russia and the Assad regime forces in northwestern Syria.
Chaired by the Coalition President, Anas al-Abda, the meeting brought together Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission Nasr al-Hariri, Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi al-Bahra, Head of the Syrian Interim Government, Abdurrahman Mustafa, and coordinators of the Coalition’s offices and departments.
Al-Abda conveyed to the envoys and diplomats the popular anger and resentment over the way friendly and sisterly states are dealing with the situation in Idlib, especially as it is part of international understandings as a “de-escalation zone.”
President Al-Abda stressed that the ongoing international inaction is mainly to blame for what is happening in Idlib, stressing that the international community has a responsibility to enforce international resolutions and protect civilians. He said: “The international community’s silence on the crimes taking place in Syria is encouraging the criminals to commit more crimes let alone worsening the overall situation in Syria.”
The international community’s silence about what is going on in Idlib will have a negative impact on the political process, President Al-Abda warned, adding that "Russia is seeking to encourage the Assad regime’s obstinate refusal to sit at the negotiating table.”
For his part, Mustafa gave an overview on the progress of SIG’s work as he submitted a report on the services projects that have been implemented recently, the development of the services institutions, and the improvement of security and stability in the liberated areas.
The meeting touched on the Caesar's Act legalization which the US has recently adopted. President Al-Abda stressed the need to put the legalization into effect as soon as possible, noting that the international conditions are conducive to enforcing the act thus sparing the blood of the Syrian people and forcing the Assad regime to engage in the political process.
Participants in the meeting also discussed the economic crisis resulting from the sharp decline of the Syrian pound against the US dollar. They emphasized that the Assad regime is mainly to blame for the record collapse of the Syrian pound in view of its policies and its depletion of the country's resources in its military operations against Syrian civilians. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Joint Syrian-Turkish Committee to follow up on the affairs of the Syrian nationals in Turkey held a workshop to discuss issues related to migration by sea to European Union countries. Participants included people with past experiences and families of missing persons.
The workshop also brought together members of the Committee, local and international organizations, and Syrian media outlets. Representative of the Syrian National Coalition and member of the Committee, Nazir al-Hakim, said that those who are drowning are not just numbers. He opened the door for discussion to identify the motives of those who had previous experiences and to suggest solutions that could help Syrian refugees to settle down then submit them to decision makers.
People with past experiences talked about the motives behind their risking of their lives along with their families in the sea. They explained that the most prominent of these motives was the difficulty in obtaining personal documents, which constitutes a major obstacle in the settlement process with regards to registering the place of residence, getting jobs, and enrolling their children in schools.
The Committee warned of taking the risk of travelling in the “death boats,” especially during these winter conditions when the sea water is high and very dangerous. It called for making use of the services provided by the Committee and the rest of the international institutions and organizations in order to ensure stability and legal protection.
The workshop put forward a set of recommendations to reduce the risks and challenges facing Syrian nationals in Turkey and neighboring countries as well as to build a network of communication between Syrian nationals and decision-makers in the organizations and institutions working to provide services to them.
This workshop came as part of a program launched by the Committee with the aim of connecting Syrian nationals in Turkey with Turkish and international organizations and institutions which implement projects supporting stability and help them solve their problems. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Minister of Health in the Syrian Interim Government, Maram Al-Sheikh, said that the Ministry is ready to detect and diagnose any case of influenza infection in the liberated areas through the early warning network program, categorically denying reports of infections with swine flu, bird flu, or coronavirus.
Al-Sheikh explained that the two deaths that have recently taken place in the town of Marea and Al-Bab in rural Aleppo were due to infection with a virus that causes seasonal flu which usually occurs in the winter and fall seasons and comes along diseases such as cold and flu.
He stressed that what happened “does not mean that every case of deaths from a respiratory infection caused by viral infections or influenza is the result of infection with swine flu, bird flu or coronavirus as is being reported. He pointed out that rural Aleppo witnessed three deaths from seasonal influenza last year.
Al-Sheikh added that there is no cause for concern, stressing that there are no pandemics or epidemics in the liberated areas. He noted that the results of the analyzes of the two deaths will be issued in the near future, adding that the Ministry will clarify the real causes of the two deaths. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Olympic Committee met with sportspersons in the Turkish province of Hatay at the office of the Syrian National Coalition’s representative office.
The meeting came as part of the Committee’s strategy and plan of action. It discussed with the attendees its plans to develop and expand the scope of sports activities, accredit clubs, organize sports activities, matches and events, conduct courses for coaches and referees, organize the activities of clubs, and prevent chaos.
The meeting stressed the importance of cooperation and partnership, especially with regard to the Syrian sports entities in Turkey and the sporting activities in the liberated areas. They also discussed organizing the work of Syrian sports clubs.
The participants agreed to hold a football league for the Syrian teams in Turkey in cooperation with the Turkish Football Federation. They also agreed to hold other sport activities and events.
Representative of the Coalition in Hatay, Adnan al-Shaghri, pointed out that unity is key to achieving the goal that everyone seeks. He emphasized that the Coalition and its office in Hatay are in the service of the national sportspersons and all other activities and events.
For his part, Secretary-General of the Committee, Ahmed Al-Ali, pointed out that the Committee is now seeking to unify efforts and improve the organizational and administrative conditions so as to advance the work of the Committee.
For his part, Secretary of the Committee, Mohamed Koronfol, stressed that the reforms currently taking place in the sports area, especially with regard to linking the Committee’s offices with each other, are aimed at ensuring an appropriate launch in all areas.
Muhannad Khattar, an international referee, volleyball coach and member of the Syrian national volleyball team, and Zakaria Nabhan, the international coach of table tennis, stressed the importance of unity and the selection of active staff in the Hatay office. They pointed to the importance of expanding the base of games and speeding up the forming of committees and conducting training, refereeing and organizational courses. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition extended its sincere condolences to the brotherly Turkish people for the casualties that were caused by earthquake that struck southeastern Turkey late on Friday. Dozens of people were killed and injured in the tremor.
Anadolu Agency reported that a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the province of Elazig in southeast of the country late on Friday. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the quake killed 19 people, 15 of whom died in Elazig and four in the neighboring province of Malatya.
“We have approximately 30 residents under the wreckage in Elazig. The search and rescue operations are continuing and the death toll could rise,” Koca added.
Earlier, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said 782 others were injured; 433 in Elazig, 222 in Malatya, 37 in Kahramanmaras, 34 in Sanliurfa, 31 in Diyarbakir, 19 in Adiyaman, 6 in Batman.
The Coalition said that “the hearts of millions of Syrians in Syria, Turkey and everywhere in the world go with the Turkish people who have spared no effort to stand with the Syrian people throughout their plight, which has been going on for nearly nine years.”
“we are confident that Turkey will overcome this calamity thanks to the great efforts and rapid, organized response being made by the Turkish authorities so that Turkey remains a country of prosperity and stability as well as a source of hope for millions of the free people,” the Coalition added. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)