The Syrian Coalition’s presidential body and political committee met with representatives of the Friends of Syria countries at the headquarters of the Coalition’s General Secretariat in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday.
The meeting discussed the latest field developments in Syria, especially the situation in Idlib, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces as well as the latest political developments with regards to the revival of the Geneva process and preparations for the upcoming Riyadh II Conference.
Coalition President Riad Seif called on representatives of the Friends of Syria countries to step up support for the Coalition, the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), and the Coalition-affiliated rebel groups to fill the vacuum and administer the liberated areas.
Seif pointed out that the Coalition, SIG, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups are already engaged in the administrative work, the decision-making process and administration of the country. He rejected attempts by some parties to exclude the Coalition and its institutions.
“While the Coalition institutions have become alienated from some areas of Syria, the PYD militias were empowered to recapture Raqqa. Other forces are storming Deir Ezzor and signing off on regional and international agreements without having any kind of legitimacy to do so,” Seif said.
Seif pointed out that Russia is the biggest beneficiary of these policies. “This behavior towards the opposition institutions risks helps Russia directly and indirectly implement its plans to save Bashar al-Assad, dilute the process of political transition and empty it of any meaning.”
Seif warned of the continuation of the current situation, stressing that this “may lead to very serious repercussions on the future of Syria and its unity.” He also stressed that the current strategy to fight ISIS and Al-Qaeda is limited to fighting the results without paying attention to the need to eliminate the reasons behind the emergence of these terrorist groups.
In addition to the power vacuum in the liberated areas, the Assad regime played a pivotal role in allowing such extremist organizations to grow and fester by ignoring these groups for a long time while deliberately and brutally targeting civilian areas and the FSA groups, Seif added.
(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 19.10.2017)