The Supreme Hajj Committee held a technical meeting with officials in the Turkish Foreign Ministry to discuss a mechanism for the transit of Syrian pilgrims from the liberated areas through the Turkish border crossings to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia. The meeting was attended by Secretary-General Abdel Baset Abdel Latif.
The meeting also brought together Salim Al-Khatib, member of the Committee, deputy directors of Hajj Abdul Khaleq Darwish and Muhammad Al-Araj, and director of the Committee’s office in Gaziantep Abdul Ilah Abdo.
Abdel Latif thanked Turkey for its firm stances in defending the Syrian people and their cause as well as for providing facilitations for all Syrians, including Syrian pilgrims. He expressed the hope that these facilitations will continue for the eighth consecutive year.
The Committee begun the reception of applications for the Hajj pilgrimage for the 2020 season (1441 Hijri) in early January. Registration ended on February 13.
Established by the Coalition, the Committee provides its services for the eighth consecutive year to all Syrian citizens wishing to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition said that Syrian refugees in northwestern Syria and in Lebanon, especially in the camps in and around the town of Arsal, are facing increased suffering as a result of the severe shortages in heating fuel and foodstuffs. The suffering of the Syrian refugees in Arsal has also been compounded by the absence of effective measures to assist them.
In a press release issued on Friday, the Coalition said that more than nine people died in the IDP camps as a result of the severe cold in the past two weeks, while more people are fleeing their homes in Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
According to a report the Syrian Network for Human Rights released on Thursday, no fewer than 167 Syrian civilians, including 77 children, have died from the cold since March 2011.
The Coalition said that “tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in camps near Arsal are already suffering extremely dire living conditions. They need emergency support to cope with these harsh conditions as well as sustainable support ensuring the basic requirements for a decent, dignified life.”
“Despite the harsh circumstances, and despite the fact that their homes and lands are only a few kilometers away, Syrian refugees in Arsal prefer to endure these difficulties than to return to live under the regime of tyranny and terrorism. They are waiting for the appropriate conditions for the safe, dignified and honorable return to a homeland ensuring their freedom and basic rights.”
The Coalition called upon the Lebanese authorities, the international community, and the international and relief organizations take swift action to relieve Syrian refugees in Arsal and the rest of the affected areas, especially through the provision of heating fuel, relief aid, and medical aid as quickly as possible. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Coordinator of the Syrian National Coalition’s Office in northern rural Aleppo, Ahmed Al-Shehadi, toured several IDP camps in rural Aleppo, which is home to large number of displaced persons. He was accompanied by activists of the Rahmat aid group.
Al-Shehadi ascertained the living conditions in the camps and services facilities. He spoke to residents of these camps and listened to their most urgent needs, especially heating equipment to cope with the severe cold wave and snow that has recently gripped the region.
Moreover, Al-Shehadi talked about the latest political developments and the campaign the Coalition has launched at the international, Arab, and Islamic levels with the aim of bringing an end to the Assad regime’s and Russia’s onslaught on Idlib and southwestern rural Aleppo.
He also stressed the role of the Syrian National Army in fending off the fierce assault being launched by Russia, the Assad regime and Iranian militias on the region. He emphasized the ability of the SNA fighters to confront this assault and regain the areas they had lost in Idlib. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)