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Syrian Coalition: Iran Seeking to Consolidate its Occupation of Syria Through Cultural Hegemony

An official in the Syrian Coalition said that Iran has committed new violations against children in Syria, adding that it is added to the long litany of war crimes the Iranian terrorist militias are committing against Syrian civilians, most notably mass killings, destruction, and demographic change.

Secretary of the Coalition’s political committee Riad al-Hassan said that Tehran has most recently sought to teach Persian language children to children in the towns and villages of Deir Ezzor. He added that the move represented an attempt by Iran to “impose its sectarian culture in Syria.”

Hassan said that the new move is an attempt by Iran to find another means to consolidate its occupation of Syria after sensing that its military presence in the country is under growing threat. He noted that Tehran uses cultural hegemony as a new way to achieve its goals.

Local media outlets said that 250 children from Deir Ezzor has recently began attending Iranian schools to learn Persian, adding that the children are aged between 8 and 15 years old.

Iran has recently opened three schools in the town of Albu Kamal and one another in the town of Mayadin with an Iranian educational staff, according to the media outlets.

The schools will give each child 10,000 Syrian pounds a month to entice more children to attend these schools, which have also promised a large financial prize for children who achieve fluency in Persian language in a short period of time.

Hassan underscored that resorting to the sectarian brainwashing of children and preparing them to be fighters in the future are new war crimes. He called on the international community, human rights organizations, and UNICEF to protect children and stop Iran’s crimes against them.

Iran is exploiting the dire living conditions and impoverishment in the towns and villages of Deir Ezzor after years of suffering as a result of the tyranny of the Assad regime and the brutality of the ISIS extremist group. Iran also opened offices to recruit locals into the Al-Quds Brigade.

Similar moves have already been reported in Lattakia and the Syrian coast as well as in Damascus, which provided yet another proof that Iran is seeking to impose its cultural hegemony in Syria. Moreover, the Assad regime approved the opening of a branch of the Iranian Islamic Azad University in Syrian cities back in January.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 21.06.2018)

Moussa: EU Has ‘Important Role’ in Stabilizing Liberated Areas

Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition, Dima Moussa, emphasized the important role the European Union can play in the rehabilitation of services institutions and organizations in the liberated areas as well as in supporting the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), local councils and civil society organizations to fill the vacuum in those areas.

Moussa said that people in liberated areas are in need for active, solid support given that the majority of health, educational, services and judicial institutions have been destroyed by the Assad regime and its allies. She underscored that the reactivation of these institutions would ease the suffering of the Syrian people and contribute to the establishment of the groundwork for civil, democratic work.

Moussa made these remarks ahead of a meeting that the European Union will hold in the Belgian capital Brussels on Wednesday. Moussa, Head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Abdul Ahad Steifo, SIG”s head Jawad Abu Hatab, and other SIG representatives and civil society organizations will participate in the meeting.

Moussa stressed that the Syrian Coalition is keen to strengthen the partnership and establish permanent relations with the EU countries, adding that tomorrow’s meeting will discuss the development of a number of projects in the liberated areas.

Moreover, Moussa stressed the need to fill the vacuum in these areas and establish the nucleus of government institutions acting as an alternative to the Assad regime. “The SIG’s staff, local councils and civil society organizations have sufficient experience to play this important role at this time,” she said.

Moussa made it clear that the offering of assistance for the civilian population in the liberated areas is consistent with the EU strategy to restore stability, provide livelihoods for civilians, and enable them to administer their areas and stay in them.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 20.06.2018)

Coalition President Welcomes Start of Implementation of Turkish-US Agreement on Manbij

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa welcomed the entry of Turkish troops into the town of Manbij in Aleppo province under an agreement with the United States.

President Mustafa described the move as an ‘important step’ to achieve stability in all liberated areas across Syria, allow the return of the displaced people to their areas of origin, and defeat all terrorist organizations that are seeking to break the will of the Syrians people.

Ten days ago, Ankara and Washington finalized an agreement about a roadmap for Manbij that included the withdrawal of militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from the town as well as the restoration of security and stability to the region and the rehabilitation of service institutions.

President Mustafa earlier said that the Coalition would contribute to the election of a local council in Manbij as it previously did in the Afrin region. He noted that “the local councils in Afrin are working under the supervision of the Coalition, and we are seeking to do the same thing in Manbij.”

Mustafa pointed out that the Coalition is seeking to play a greater role in the administration of the liberated areas through the Syrian Interim Government and Assistance Coordination Unit whose task will be to provide services for the local population.

Mustafa said that the Coalition is working diligently to establish offices in various towns and villages in the liberated areas. He noted that these efforts are part of the Coalition’s strategy to move closer to “the revolution’s social base and rekindle the spirit of the revolution until freedom and dignity are regained and the Assad regime is deposed.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 18.06.2018)

Assad & Russia Commit Dozens of Massacres in Idlib One Year Since ‘De-escalations Zones’ Agreement Took Effect

A monitoring group said that it had recorded hundreds of violations and dozens of massacres claiming the lives of over a thousand people, including children and women, in Idlib province since the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement took effect nearly a year ago.

In a report detailing violations of the agreement which was concluded by Russia, Iran, and Turkey in the Kazakh capital Astana in June 2017, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime and Russian forces have committed no fewer than 30 massacres in Idlib province since that date. The massacres claimed the lives of at least 1,109 civilians, including 255 children and 209 women.

The Network recorded at least 233 attacks on vital civilian centers, including 50 schools, 34 healthcare facilities, and 16 public markets in the reporting period.

The report indicated that the Assad regime and Russian forces have not stopped the use of internationally prohibited weapons in the bombing of Idlib province, citing the sarin attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April 4, 2017. These forces also used cluster munitions 19 times and incendiary munitions 16 times as well as dropped over 700 barrel bombs on the province.

The Network accused Russia, Iran and the Assad regime of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, demanding that those crimes be referred to the International Criminal Court to hold the perpetrators to account. It also called for expanding the international sanctions to include the Russian and Iranian regimes as they were directly involved in those crimes.

The Assad regime and Russian forces have considerably intensified bombardment of Idlib and its countryside in recent weeks, with rebel-held towns and villages being subjected to daily bombardment by warplanes, helicopters, heavy artillery and rockets. Scores of civilians have been killed in several massacres and several health centers have been destroyed.

The Syrian Coalition stressed the need to ensure full protection for civilians in Idlib and its countryside as it is now home to nearly three million people, half of whom were forcibly displaced from other areas across Syria.

The Coalition called on humanitarian organizations to provide urgent support for the displaced people who suffer lack of appropriate shelter and basic necessities of life.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 13.06.2018)

Saudi-led coalition strikes MSF hospital in Yemen

People gather around a heavily damaged building after Saudi-led coalition's air strikes over Arhab District of Sanaa, Yemen on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

People gather around a heavily damaged building after Saudi-led coalition’s air strikes over Arhab District of Sanaa, Yemen on 23 August, 2017

The international NGO Doctors Without Borders warned in a statement yesterday that one of its cholera treatment clinics was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike.

The centre was based in Abs, and attacked at approximately 5:40am local time, although no staff or patients were killed or injured. The clinic was based one kilometre from the MSF-backed Abd Rural Hospital, which serves a population of more than one million people.

The air strike “by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition (SELC) shows complete disrespect for medical facilities and patients. Whether intentional or a result of negligence, it is totally unacceptable. The compound was clearly marked as a health facility and its coordinates were shared with the SELC,” João Martins, MSF’s head of mission in Yemen, said in a statement.

“With only half of health facilities in Yemen fully functional, nearly 10 million people in acute need, and an anticipated outbreak of cholera, the CTC had been built to save lives. MSF has temporarily frozen its activities in Abs until the safety of its staff and patients is guaranteed”, Martins continued.

MSF Yemen

@msf_yemen

has temporarily frozen its activities in until we guarantee the safety of our staff and patients.”¨João Martins, MSF’s Head of Mission

The Yemen war intensified when the Saudi-led coalition was invited to launch a military air campaign in March 2015. Since then, Yemen has remained in a stalemate with the Houthi group controlling large swathes of territory from Sana’a to Saada governorate.

Read: Saudi-led coalition assault on Yemen port would be disaster

Last Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) pulled out 71 employeesfrom Yemen over security concerns amid the pending assault on the port city of Hudaydah. Some 450 ICRC employees remain in Yemen, engaging in humanitarian aid work. In addition, the United Nations has evacuated its staff fearing a brutal attack led by the United Arab Emirates.

The UN Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths has been holding talks with the Houthis in an effort to have the port placed in the UN’s hands. To add pressure, the UAE provided a timeframe of 48 hours to allow the negotiations to occur, which lapses by end of play today.

The Saudi-led coalition continues to accuse the Houthis of smuggling weapons via the Hudaydah port, despite the coalition continually monitoring the Bab Al Mandeb strait leading to the port. There has been no empirical evidence to suggest that the Houthis are receiving arms via the Hudaydah port.

GregorydJohnsen

@gregorydjohnsen

The UN Panel on which I served for two years saw no evidence of this –> “The Arab-led coalition and the American military say the rebels have been smuggling arms through Al Hudaydah” 

Fighters loyal to the government of Yemen carrying explosives thought to have been dropped by Houthi rebels around Al Hudaydah on Friday.

U.N. Pulls Out of City in Yemen, Fearing Bloody Assault by Arab Coalition

Diplomats say the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will lead an attack on Al Hudaydah, a rebel-held port that is an entry point for humanitarian aid.

nytimes.com

Three years after the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict, Yemen has witnessed more than 10,000 deaths according to the United Nations and civilians remain trapped in the middle of the cross fire, with dwindling supplies of basic amenities and a lack of access to sufficient water, sanitation and food.

UN: Assault on Yemen’s Hudaydah port could cost 250,000 lives

(Source / 12.06.2018)

27 journalists killed in Yemen since 2014: NGO

The NGO says hundreds of news portals have been blocked in Yemen

A total of 27 journalists have been killed since the outbreak of Yemen’s civil war in 2014, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, an NGO, said Saturday.

“The press freedom [in Yemen] is going through very difficult conditions and has been subject to a systematic war since 2014,” the syndicate said in a statement marking the Yemeni Press Day, which was observed yesterday, 9 June.

According to the statement, a total of 27 journalists “have lost their lives for the sake of fulfilling the right of the society to obtain information”.

The syndicate said media outlets in Yemen have been looted, journalists and photographers chased and hundreds of news portals blocked.

It called for the release of 12 journalists held by Houthi rebels and another journalist taken hostage by al-Qaeda militants.

“They are living in poor conditions and are subject to brutal torture,” the statement said, going on to call for piling pressure on warring rivals in Yemen to “create an appropriate and safe environment for journalists and respect the right to obtain information”.

Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab its allies — who accuse the Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies — launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The violence has devastated the country’s basic infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

(Source / 10.06.2018)

Syrian Coalition Says Russia Deliberately Committed a Massacre in Rural Idlib on Thursday

Russian air force committed a horrible massacre in rural Idlib on Thursday, in an area that is covered by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement as the Syrian Coalition described the attack as a “deliberate crime.”

The Syrian Civil Defense said that the attack killed at least 44 civilians and wounded more than 100 others in the town of Zardana in rural Idlib. It pointed out that the Russian jets carried out a double-tap attack, killing a rescue worker while he was trying to help the victims.

In a press release issued on Friday, the Syrian Coalition accused Russia of deliberately bombing an area that is covered by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement It underscored that “the perpetrator of this act is a vengeful, seasoned criminal.”

“Despite the shock that such massacres and crimes cause to the world, they have continued unabated since 2011, which makes one wonder as to why the international community is still showing this complete inaction and total indifference,” the Coalition said.

“The international community continues to watch idly by as the most heinous massacres, crimes, mass forced displacement, destruction and detention are taking place without shouldering its duties to maintain international peace and security.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 09.06.2018)

Tamo Says PYD Militia Violates Int’l Norms & Conventions Following his Release from Detention

Following his release from the prisons of the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), member of the Syrian Coalition Abdelhamid Tamo described his detention as a war crime and crime against humanity as per international norms and conventions. He said that he was subjected to “enforced disappearance and arbitrary arrest.”

The PYD militia detained Tamo in the town of Darbasiya in Hasaka on Sunday, an act which the Syrian Coalition condemned and described as a replica of the Assad regime’s crimes.

After his release on Wednesday, Tamo said that the PYD militia had subjected him to solitary confinement. “These practices fall under the law of the jungle which is prevalent in the PYD-held areas,” Tamo said. He noted that there were no clearly set laws or standards safeguarding the personal and political rights of those seeking a role in public affairs.

Tamo said that the arrests being conducted by the PYD terrorist militia “are motivated by personal decisions without being based on any judicial or legal justifications. They are also being conducted according to intelligence and security mechanisms and are based on false accusations and unsubstantiated allegations.

Abdulhamid is also member of the Kurdish National Council as well as the Foreign Relations Officer in the Kurdish Future Movement. He is also brother of late dissident Mashaal Tamo.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Smart News Network / 07.06.2018)

Assad Forces Execute Palestinian Refugee in Yarmouk Camp

Assad regime forces executed a Palestinian refugee in the Yarmouk refugee camp south of the capital Damascus after he tried to prevent them from looting his house in the ravaged district.

Local activists said that Assad’s militiamen cold bloodily shot Palestinian refugee Saleh Alloh after he entered the camp to check on his house in the Oroba Street. Alloh was shot dead when resisted Assad militias’ who were looting his house.

Videos and photos that activists published on social media showed Assad militiamen looting shops and civilian homes in Yarmouk camp as well as in the neighborhoods of Tadamon and al-Hajar al-Aswad after they forcibly displaced residents of the camp.

In a similar incident, Assad regime forces executed Palestinian child Mahmoud al-Bakr two weeks ago when he tried to prevent them from looting his house in the Orouba Street in the Yarmouk refugee camp. Regime forces also shot dead two Palestinian young men while they were trying to enter the camp to check on their houses.

Meanwhile, the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) said Monday that at least 32 Palestinian refugees have been killed in the onslaught the Assad regime launched on the Yarmouk camp in mid-April as more bodies are being discovered under the rubble of bombed buildings in the southern Damascus suburb.

The figure has brought to 3,766, the number of Palestinian-Syrians who have been killed in Syria since March 2011, including 477 women, AGPS said.

The London-based monitoring group said that the victims were killed in bombings, clashes, and under torture in the prions of the Assad regime. A few days after the end of the military campaign on eastern Ghouta, the Assad regime and Russian forces launched a similar offensive to recapture the Yarmouk camp, which had been subjected to years of siege and heavy bombardment with the aim of emptying the area of its local population.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 06.06.2018)

Assad Regime Confiscates Farmers’ Crops in Hama Province Under Law 10

Assad regime forces are confiscating agricultural crops in several villages in Hama province in the framework of the implementation of the recently adopted Law No. 10. The Syrian Coalition has earlier warned of the grave implications should the Assad regime puts the controversial legalization into force.

According to Smart News Network, members of the Assad regime’s military security branch and paramilitary troops, who are known as shabiha, brought harvesters and began harvesting agricultural crops in several towns and villages northwest of Hama, especially in the towns of Safsafiya and Tureimsa.

The Network quoted local sources as saying that Assad’s shabiha told residents of these towns that Law No. 10 allows them to confiscate all farmlands whose owners are absent, especially those living outside Syria.

The Coalition has earlier warned European countries and human rights organizations about the implications of Law No. 10, stressing that the Assad regime issued the law with the aim of consolidating the mass forced displacement and demographic change by seizing the properties of all those absent from the country.

The Coalition said that reconstruction of Syria must take place only after all the displaced people have returned and a comprehensive political transition has been reached. It called on everyone to stand against the new law which will cause Syrian civilians terrible injustice should the Assad regime puts in into force.

In late May, Human Rights Watch said that Assad regime has passed Law No.10 to allow itself to seize private property, displace residents, and discourage refugees from returning.

The New York-based group said that Law 10 empowers authorities to confiscate property without compensating the owners or giving them an opportunity to appeal. The law, which the Assad regime is promoting as an urban planning measure, will create a major obstacle to returning home for displaced residents

“Law 10 is a worrisome addition to the Syrian government’s arsenal of ‘urban planning laws’ that it has used to confiscate property without due process or compensation,” said HRW’s deputy Middle East director Lama Fakih.

“Countries and donors supporting reconstruction in Syria have a responsibility to consider the obstacles this law poses to returning for millions of displaced Syrians,” Fakih said.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 04.06.2018)