Syrian Opposition Coalition
July 13, 2021
The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) General Assembly held its 57th session in Istanbul on 12-13 July.
SOC’s President Nasr al-Hariri opened the session which was held under the title “in tribute to the late revolutionary Oqab Yahya,” former SOC’s Vice-president who passed away on July 5th. Members of the Assembly observed a minute of silence for Yahya and the rest of the fallen heroes of the Syrian Revolution.
The SOC’s presidential body, political committee, departments, offices and representations presented reports on their work to the General Assembly for reviewing.
The General Assembly elected a new presidential body and a political committee, with Salem Al-Meslet elected as President, Haitham Rahma as Secretary-General, and Abdulahad Asteiphou and Ruba Habboush as Vice-Presidents. The Assembly also elected a 19-member political committee.
The Assembly discussed the report of the Syrian Negotiations Commission which was presented by its President Anas Abdah and the latest political developments and communications in this regard. It also discussed the work of the Syrian Interim Government and the Assistance Coordination Unit.
Moreover, the General Assembly discussed the latest political and on the ground developments, especially the military escalation by the Assad regime and Russia in northwestern Syria, especially in the al-Zawiya Mountain region in Idlib province. It also discussed ways to confront the blockade recently imposed by Russia and the regime on Dara’a, the birthplace of the revolution, and the resulting deterioration of the humanitarian situation, namely the severe shortages of food and medical supplies. The Assembly discussed the conditions of the IDPs in northwestern Syria and ways to help the IDPs return to their villages and towns in rural Idlib and Aleppo. It also discussed ways to provide services and relief aid for the IDPs, the situation of Syrian refugees around the world, and the problems they are facing in terms of living and legal conditions, and the threats of repatriation.
With regard to the political issues, the General Assembly stressed that it continues to work with the international community in order to establish effective mechanisms for holding the Assad regime accountable, especially as plenty of legal evidence has been gathered that prove these crimes to the whole world, especially the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians, the Caesar photos and the killing of thousands of detainees under torture, to the latest crime which the SOC unveiled a few days ago and which was dubbed the “Victory” crimes, in reference to the Tal al-Nasr cemetery in Homs. The Assad regime turned the cemetery into mass graves in which the bodies of more than 5,000 detainees were buried, according to official documents leaked from its institutions.
The General Assembly stressed the need to step up work in the liberated areas, support the programs and activities aimed at activating the SOC’s office in these areas, strengthen communication with the bodies and forces of the Syrian people, and move forward in supporting the Al-Jazeera and Euphrates Committee to support our people living in the areas held by the PYD militia. It also stressed the importance of providing all forms of support to the Syrian Interim Government in order to enable it to carry out its various duties as a SOC’s executive arm.
Tabled for discussion was the issue of detainees and missing persons in the prisons of the Assad regime and its allied militias. The Assembly reviewed a report by the National Commission for the Affairs of Detainees and Missing Persons, which highlighted the tragic conditions of about a quarter of a million detainees and missing persons, and the movements of the Commission at the level of international organizations and the United Nations to increase international attention to this issue and to make the voice of the free detainees heard. It also discussed the situation of detainees in the prisons of the terrorist PYD militia and the killing of detainees under torture in its prisons, a crime which began to expand and be exposed to the public, and the need to put an end to the support for these terrorist militias, force them out of the east of the Euphrates region, and force their foreign elements from Syria.
Furthermore, the General Assembly stressed that the political process is stalled as a result of the Assad regime and Russia’s obstructionism on the one hand, and the inaction of the international community, the absence of practical mechanisms, and the lack of a clear timeframe for this process on the other. It stressed the need for a serious action by the international actors to ensure bringing about political transition in Syria and ridding it of the criminal regime, its militias and sponsors in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolutions. It stressed that the Syrian people should not be forced to live in prison cells, camps and the diaspora, a tragedy that has been unfolding for the past ten years.
Furthermore, the General Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to the goals of the Syrian Revolution and the aspirations of the Syrian people for getting rid of the criminal regime, regaining freedom and independence, and building a modern, democratic civil state for all its citizens, away from sectarian and family rule and the brutal security apparatuses by which the criminal regime ruled the Syrian people for over 50 years.
May our wounded recover, our detainees be free, and our fallen heroes rest in peace.
May the Syrian Revolution emerge victorious.