Syrian Opposition Coalition
October 18, 2022
The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) General Assembly held its 64th session in Istanbul on October 17-18. SOC’s President Salem Al-Meslet gave the opening speech after he presented the work reports for the past two months, including the reports of the presidency, vice-presidents and the General Secretariat.
The General Assembly discussed the field situation in rural Aleppo as it expressed its rejection of the continued infighting and called for an end to the incursion of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group into the freed territories. The Assembly clarified the serious repercussions for the Syrian Revolution should the infighting continue or should Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham’s take control of rural Aleppo.
The General Assembly stresses its rejection of the presence of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch areas as it supports the Syrian people in the freed territories to freely express their views in this regard.
President al-Meslet spoke about the recent political activities, including the SOC’s visit to New York and Washington and the meetings it held to discuss the latest developments in Syria. He also briefed the Assembly on the overall situation in the freed territories after the visit he made to these territories upon his return from the United States.
President al-Meslet indicated that the SOC’s delegation felt positive international and Arab interaction in the meetings it held in the United States, adding that the major state players reaffirmed their commitment to UN resolution 2254 and rejection to normalize relations with the Assad regime.
SOC’s Vice-Presidents and the Secretary-General presented their briefings in which they presented their work reports for the past two months.
The General Assembly reviewed the reports of the Syrian Interim Government, the Syrian Negotiations Commission, the Constitutional Committee and the Assistance Coordination Unit, in addition to the reports of the SOC’s departments, offices and foreign missions.
President of the Syrian Negotiations Commission gave an overview on the major developments in the political process, and the results of the Commission’s meetings with the major state actors in Syria during its visit to New York.
Moreover, the Assembly discussed the humanitarian, military, and field situations in the freed territories, including the continued Russian aggression and bombardment by the Assad regime and its allied militias on civilians, in addition to the security situation and recent tensions in the freed territories.
The Assembly stressed the necessity of continuing the internal reform process, especially of the Syrian National Army (SNA). It also emphasized the need to develop a vision for restructuring the SNA, the civil and military police corps, and judicial institutions under the umbrella of a revolutionary national project supervised by the Syrian Interim Government and that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom, dignity, justice and democracy.
The SOC praised the awareness that the Syrian people are showing and their steadfastness in the freed territories through staging popular demonstrations that corrected the path and proved the Syrian people’s revolutionary spirit despite the challenges and pressures they are facing.
With regard to the humanitarian file, the Assembly discussed the importance of stepping up humanitarian aid to enable the displaced people to cope with the winter conditions, especially in the IDP camps. It also stressed the need for continued cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid, and the importance of finding a mechanism to bring in aid away from the political blackmail being practiced by Russia.
With regard to the political file, the Assembly discussed the importance of stepping up efforts to benefit from the crises that Russia, Iran and the Assad regime are going through, in addition to ratcheting up pressure on the major state actors to proceed with the political transition process according to a clear timeframe.
Tabled for discussions were also the latest report published by the UN Human Rights Council at its 51st session, which considered Syria unsafe for the refugees return. The report also held the Assad regime responsible for tens of thousands of forcibly disappeared, missing and detained persons in Syria. The Assembly discussed ways to press for more condemnations of the Assad regime and to advance the issue of accountability.
The Assembly also discussed the positive Arab position rejecting normalization of relations with the Assad regime, praising the supportive stances being expressed by the sisterly and friendly states.
Furthermore, the Assembly discussed the importance of stepping up efforts to reach a political transition in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015). It stressed the need to build an international position that deters the Assad regime and ensures the progress of the political process within specific timeframes.
It also stressed the necessity of continuing pressure on the UN organizations to prevent the deportation of Syrian refugees from Lebanon in light of the Lebanese government’s recent plans to deport refugees to areas held by those who were the cause of their displacement through killings, arrest and bombing.
The Assembly discussed the Iranian people’s revolution against the mullahs’ regime as it expressed its total support for the popular uprising in order to rid the Iranian people of the repressive regime, and to rid the Arab people and the peoples of the region from Iran’s terrorism, sabotage, and the militias it supports.
The Assembly concluded the session by making it clear that the SOC will always be guided by the demands of the Syrian people, and will not give up any of the revolution’s goals.
May our wounded recover, our detainees be free, and our heroes rest in peace.
May the great Syrian Revolution emerge victorious.