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Thursday, 01 October 2015 16:27

President Khoja’s Press Conference Remarks on Russia’s Airstrikes in Syria

Press Conference                                                         "Original in Arabic"
Khaled Khoja
October 1, 2015

Russian warplanes conducted air strikes in Homs province, killing 36 civilians, including five children and a civil defence worker.

While we strongly condemn Russia’s bold aggression on the Syrian people, we call upon the international community represented by the United Nations and the major world powers to condemn this aggression and to take necessary action to prevent further attacks. We also call for the departure of all foreign forces from Syria, namely Russia, Iran, ISIS, the Hezbollah militia and other terrorist sectarian militias.

Immediate and necessary measures must me made to protect civilians and to launch a political process that initiates a transitional process without the dictator Bashar al-Assad and those war criminals who stand beside him in Syria.

It has become clear that Russia’s claims about intervening in Syria to combat ISIS is just a cover for its attempts to prolong the life of a regime that has lost legitimacy by committing heinous crimes against the Syrian people.

Despite using his cache of weapons, Assad cannot break the Syrian people’s will to regain freedom and dignity. Barely controlling 14% of Syrian territory, the Iranian occupation and sectarian militias have failed to salvage the Assad regime. Likewise, the Russian occupation will fail and will only suffer losses.

We emphasizes the right of the Syrian people to liberate their land from the double Russian and Iranian occupation while struggling to achieve the goals of the revolution in freedom and dignity.

The Syrian Coalition’s utmost priority, after four and a half years of suffering, affecting the majority of Syrian people whether through displacement, murder, torture, and starvation, is to protect civilians from the Russian and the Iranian occupation, the regime’s barrel bombing and from ISIS’s brutality. We therefore renew calls upon the international community to establish safe zones to provide stability needed to set up a civilian governance and prevent chaos that feeds the Assad regime, extremist groups and foreign occupation alike.

The safe zones will be the only guarantee to stop the flow of Syrian refugees to the rest of the world by providing a model for a civilian pluralistic system that respects human life, lays the foundations of the rule of law and citizenship, and dedicates its efforts to resettlement, reconstruction and development.