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Syrian Coalition Calls on Int’l Community to Hold Russia & Assad Regime Accountable for their Crimes

The Syrian Coalition called upon the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly and all other international organizations and bodies take the necessary measures to protect civilians, put an end to Russia, Iran, and Assad regime’s crimes and holding them accountable.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the Coalition condemned the brutal massacre warplanes of the Russian occupation committed in rural Idlib on Wednesday. The massacre claimed the lives of at least 22 civilians, including 16 children and three women who were killed when Russian jets deliberately bombed an underground shelter in the village of Kafar Batikh where civilians sought protection from bombardment. The victims suffocated to death after a large part of the shelter collapsed on their heads, while only a woman survived.

Airstrikes also targeted an IDPs camp near the town of Haas on Wednesday, killing and injuring dozens of civilians, including women, children and elderly people who fled their homes to escape the bombings.

“These are the ‘achievements’ Russian President Vladimir Putin is making in Syria using blood of children, women and elderly people,” the Coalition said. “The international community, which has long stood idly by, has a responsibility to find a way to stop these barbaric massacres especially as the UN Security Council has a responsibility to maintain international peace and security.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 22.03.2018)

Syrians Around the World Commemorate 7th Anniversary of Syrian Revolution

Syrians at home and abroad commemorated the seventh anniversary of the Syrian revolution which began in March 2011, vowing they would carry on with the struggle against the Assad regime until they fully regain their rights to freedom and dignity.

Syrian activists held sit-ins in the liberated areas as well as in neighboring countries and some European capitals. The celebrations will continue until Sunday, March 18.

The Syrian Coalition said that “the Syrian revolution enters its eighth year with greater determination to carry on with the revolution until victory and the establishment of a civil democratic, pluralistic state as well as to combat terrorism and rid the homeland of the foreign forces and militias.”

The Coalition called upon forces of the revolution “to undertake comprehensive review of their course and identify the shortcomings to overcome them in a practical plan responding to the challenges. Such a plan is needed to rally together forces of the revolution in a broad front to beat off the challenges of the current phase and meet the requirements of the next phase.”

The Coalition stressed that the Syrian people do not accept humiliation and enslavement. “Just like all other human beings, we detest war, murder, oppression, slavery and tyranny. Every new day and year brings with them new hope and increase our determination to rise up, fight on, show creativity and carry on with the struggle without despair.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 16.03.2018)

Appalling Death Toll in Eastern Ghouta as Syrian Coalition Renews Calls for Use of Force Against Assad

The Syrian Interim Government’s health directorate in Rural Damascus has published appalling figures of the death toll in the suburb of eastern Ghouta as a Syrian Coalition official stressed that the international community’s lukewarm response towards the Assad regime led to the occurrence of war crimes on a large scale in Syria.

Member of the Coalition’s political committee Yasser Farhan said that the humanitarian tragedy affecting the people of eastern Ghouta has become the last appeal to the United Nations to carry out its moral and legal duties to protect civilians.

In press release issue on Tuesday, the Directorate of Health said that 1,201 civilians have been killed and 8,804 others injured in eastern Ghouta over the last three weeks of the ferocious military campaign being launched by the Assad regime forces with Russian support. It indicated that the victims included at least 209 children and 213 women.

The Directorate said that two doctors, four nurses, and two paramedics were killed in attacks on hospitals and medical centers in the besieged Damascus suburb.

The figures showed that the humanitarian suffering in eastern Ghouta had reached an unprecedented level since the siege and bombardment began in 2013.

Farhan stressed that war crimes being committed against Syrian civilians make it incumbent on the Syrian people’s friendly countries to take action outside the UN Security Council and launch a military strike against the Assad regime to force it to abide by UN Security Council resolution 2401 demanding a ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Member of the political committee and the Syrian Negotiations Commission Hadi al-Bahra stressed the need for the UN Security Council’s member states to take measures to force the Assad regime to abide by Resolution 2401. He said that such measures are likely to push ahead the political process and negotiations.

“It is feasible. It is necessary. And it is overdue,” Bahra told a meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday. He slammed Russia’s continued disabling of the UN Security Council through its repeated use of its veto power to shield the Assad regime.

(Source: Syrian’s Coalition Media Department / 14.03.2018)

Bahra Urges UNSC Measures Ensuring Implementation of Resolution 2401

Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Hadi al-Bahra stressed the need for the UN Security Council’s member states to take measures to ensure the implementation of Resolution 2401. The Council is set to convene later on Monday to assess the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.

“Allowing the Assad regime to continue to commit crimes against the Syrian people without any consequences will not restore stability in the region or put an end to the terrible cycle of terrorism,” Bahra said. He stressed that the actions of the Assad regime are “the root cause of extremism and the trigger for the endless cycle of terrorism.”

Bahra underscored that the international community is to blame for the current situation in Syria “as it has left the Syrian people alone for seven consecutive years in its struggle against the crimes of the tyrannical regime.”

Bahra pointed out that Iran’s continued pursuit of destructive policies in Syria and the region leading to further spread of terrorism as well as the fueling of sectarian strife and conflicts throughout the region will make it impossible to achieve peace or restore security and stability to the region.

The Iranian regime is the main supporter and partner with the Assad regime, Bahra said, stressing the need to hold it accountable for the crimes the Iranian militias and forces are committing in Syria.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 12.03.2018)

Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly Calls on United Nations to Fully Enforce UNSC Resolution 2401

The 38th ordinary session of the Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly began Saturday morning. Members of the Assembly will discuss the ongoing genocide in eastern Ghouta and ways to ensure full implementation of Security Council resolution 2401.

Tabled for discussions is also the Assad regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons amid continued failure of the international community’s to enforce UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.

Moreover, the meeting will discuss the latest political developments and the negotiations process and will review the constitutional process in accordance with UN resolution 2254.

Members of the General Assembly reiterated that Russia is a partner of the Assad regime in its crimes. They added that Russia does not meet its international pledges which contravenes with its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Salwa Aqsoy on Friday said that Russia’s continued military attacks against Syrian civilians in support of the Assad regime will not dissuade the Syrian people from continuing to demand their rights to freedom, dignity and the overthrow of the regime.

“The Syrian people will not make a single step back,” Aksoy said. “Attempts to re-produce the Assad regime will be doomed to failure.” She stressed that insistence on the regaining of freedom and dignity as well as the establishment of a democratic state is the only way out of the conflict in Syria.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 10.03.2018)

Civilian Suffering ‘Worse than Ever’ in Syria War

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi (L) speaks to a refugee during a visit to an unofficial refugee camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley on March 8, 2018

The living conditions of civilians inside Syria are worse than ever, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday, with the conflict set to enter its eighth year.

“The conditions faced by civilians inside Syria are worse than ever, with 69 percent languishing in extreme poverty,” Grandi said during a visit to Lebanon.

The war in Syria started in March 2011 when protests against the regime of Bashar al-Assad sparked a brutal crackdown that led to one of the deadliest conflicts of our time.

“This seven-year war has left a colossal human tragedy in its wake. For the sake of the living, it is high time to end this devastating conflict,” Grandi was quoted as saying in a statement.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, more than 340,000 people have been killed since then in a conflict the UN says caused the worst displacement since World War II.

“The share of families spending more than half of their annual income on food has risen to 90 percent, while food prices are on average eight times higher than pre-crisis levels,” he said.

The regime, with decisive military backing from Russia, is steadily reconquering areas it lost in the earlier stages of the conflict.

Grandi said: “There are no clear winners in this senseless pursuit of a military solution. But the losers are plain to see – they are the people of Syria.”

(Source / 10.03.2018)

Repeated Use of Chlorine Gas Against Civilians in Eastern Ghouta: Who Stops Assad?

Assad regime forces have once again used chlorine poison against civilians in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta despite the strong international warnings to stop the use of this banned type of weapon as well as calls for commitment to UN Security Council resolution 2401. The resolution called for at least 30-day ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.

The Syrian Civil Defense in Rural Damascus said that 124 civilians, mostly women and children, suffered from asphyxiation after Assad forces targeted the area located between the towns of Saqba and Hammouriya with a barrel bomb containing poisonous chlorine gas.

As many as 92 civilians were killed on Wednesday in aerial and artillery bombardment on eastern Ghouta. The Syrian Coalition said that the onslaught on the Damascus suburb constituted genocide which is being carried out with direct support from Russia.

The United Nations has stepped up its rhetoric against the practices of the Assad regime and its backers over the past few days. Chairman of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry, Paulo Pinheiro, confirmed that the Assad regime committed war crimes by using chemical weapons against civilians.

United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that “recent attempts to justify indiscriminate, brutal attacks on hundreds of thousands of civilians by the need to combat a few hundred fighters – as in Eastern Ghouta – are legally, and morally, unsustainable.”

“Also, when you are prepared to kill your own people so easily, lying is easy too. Claims by the Government of Syria that it is taking every measure to protect its civilian population are frankly ridiculous,” Hussein told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

The Syrian Coalition on Wednesday said that stopping the genocide in eastern Ghouta requires measures bypassing Russia’s attempts to disrupt the Security Council and prevent the achievement of international justice, including military measures.

These measures should include deterrent military action to put an end to the onslaught by the Assad regime and the Iranian terrorist militias against our people trapped in eastern Ghouta; punish war criminals and perpetrators of the crime of using chemical weapons and toxic gases; and protect millions of Syrians whose cities and homes are being destroyed,” the Coalition added.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 08.03.2018)

Syrian Coalition: Assad Regime Blocks Aid to Civilians to Force Them to Leave Their Homes

Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Rahman Mustafa said that the Assad regime’s disruption of the entry of a UN aid convoy to eastern Ghouta on Monday has shown that it is unwilling to allow much-needed relief aid to reach civilians with the aim of putting more pressure on them and ultimately forcing them to surrender.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday said that the convoy of more than 40 trucks pulled out of Douma in darkness after shelling on the town, without fully unloading supplies during a nine-hour stay.

Reuters quoted a World Health Organization (WHO) official as saying that regime forces had ordered 70 percent of medical supplies to be stripped out of the convoy, preventing trauma kits, surgical kits, insulin and other vital material from reaching the area.

Vice-president Mustafa said that these incidents have been repeated in many areas under siege by regime forces and have cruelly exposed the Assad regime’s real intentions. He underscored that the Assad regime will continue to refuse to implement the recently adopted UN Security Council resolution 2401, adding that the regime’s blocking of relief aid is aimed at circumventing the UN resolution and put increasing pressure on residents of eastern Ghouta and forcing them to submit to its conditions.

“The continued violations of UN resolutions have clearly exposed the international community’s inaction in Syria, which is being exploited by the Assad regime and its backers to the full,” Mustafa said. He expressed hope that the UN Security Council will take action and defend its resolutions and save hundreds of thousands of civilians.

“The Assad’s violations of international resolutions risk encouraging everyone to rebel against the entire international system. Ten days have passed since resolution 2401 was adopted but is has not been enforced yet, which encourages international chaos.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 06.03.2018)

Children in E.Ghouta use social media to highlight woes

Pictures of children posted under #Iamstillalive campaign

Activists in besieged Eastern Ghouta have begun a social media campaign to highlight the plight of children trapped in the region as regime attacks continue.

Under #Iamstillalive activists are posting their own pictures and their children with one arm raised.

The attacks carried out by the Assad regime and its supporters in Eastern Ghouta have killed 127 children in the past 12 days, according to the White Helmets civil defense group’s report.

The attacks continue despite a cease-fire in the region.

READ: UN points to likely war crimes in Syria’s Ghouta

On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding a 30-day humanitarian cease-fire in Eastern Ghouta.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a daily pause to airstrikes in the besieged area from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (0600GMT to 1100GMT) to allow civilian and medical evacuation.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Eymen, a child in Eastern Ghouta, said he was grateful to be alive.

“They say there is a cease-fire between 09 a.m. – 2 p.m. but they are lying. They are shooting in the middle of the cease-fire. Everyone is lying to us, we are starving to death, we sleep with distress and wake up with it,” he said.

“We are tired, we are trying to live under starvation,” said Isam, another child from the region.

READ: An open letter to Syria’s First Lady 

“The airstrikes hit us but thank God I survived,” said Abdul Qayyum, another child who was injured in a regime attack.

Eastern Ghouta, which is home to 400,000 people, has been under siege for the last five years and humanitarian access to the area has been completely cut off.

In the past eight months, Assad regime forces have intensified their siege of Eastern Ghouta, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.

Syria: 560 killed, 2,000 injured in Ghouta in 9 days 

(Source / 04.03.2018)

Syrian Coalition Urges Washington to Stop Russia’s Monopoly of Decision-making in Syria

The Syrian Coalition urged the United States to take action in order to enforce a ceasefire in Syria and a halt to the Assad regime and Russia’s onslaught on eastern Ghouta as well as to put an end to Russia’s monopoly of the decision-making in Syria.

The calls were made during a meeting between the Syrian Coalition’s Foreign Affairs Department and Karen Decker, Director of the US’s Syria Transition Assistance and Response Team (START) on Friday. Both sides discussed the latest political and field developments as they emphasized the need for allowing the Raqqa province to be administered by the local population as well as the withdrawal of all militant groups from the city.

Head of the Foreign Affairs Department Abdel-Ahad Steifo stressed the need for a ceasefire in Syria and the prevention of any new mass forced displacement operations as the only way to reach a political settlement in Syria.

Steifo noted that the Russians are not committed to the implementation of the recently adopted UN resolution, but are trying to circumvent the resolution to make military gains and use them in the political process and impose their own vision of a political solution.

For her part, Decker said the United States is working tirelessly to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to residents of eastern Ghouta and is continuing its advocacy work with international actors to put an end to the killings and ensure the introduction of humanitarian assistance.

Decker added that the US administration is closely following on the Assad regime’s reported use of chemical weapons in Syria, noting that there is a “lack of confidence in the ability of the Russians to exercise more pressure on the Assad regime.”

Steifo said that the latest reports about cooperation between the Assad regime and North Korea in the manufacture of chemical weapons is not a cause of concern to the Syrian people only as it poses a threat to the international community as a whole.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the bombing campaign in eastern Ghouta. The heavy bombings did not stop despite the UN Security Council’s adoption of a resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire on Saturday.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 02.03.2018)