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Syrian Coalition Officials: No political Solution in Syria Without Ceasefire

Officials in the Syrian Coalition warned that the ceasefire agreements in Syria are at risk of total collapse as they stressed that Russia bears full responsibility for the consequences.

The remarks were made during a teleconference between members of the Coalition’s political committee and civil and military leaders in rural Hama and rural Homs. Both sides discussed the latest field developments and the intensifying onslaught on Syrian civilians by the Assad regime forces and their allied Iranian militias.

Representatives of northern rural Homs expressed concern about possible military action against civilians in the area. They pointed out that the Assad regime did not abide by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement as it continued to impose siege on the area. Participants also discussed the dire humanitarian conditions in the towns of Houla and Talbeesah.

A Representative of rural Hama said that the regime’s shelling was affecting the displaced people and civilians who were already suffering lack of the most basic necessities. He pointed out that the area straddling northern rural Homs and southern rural Hama is home to around 50,000 people who have been trapped for four years and suffer from poor living conditions.

Members of the political committee said that reaching a ceasefire is the first step on the road to political solution, warning of the total collapse of the political process should bombings and violations continued.

Members of the committee held Russia fully responsible as it claims to play the role of guarantor of the regime, calling on the international community and the United Nations to assume their full responsibilities towards civilians.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 14.02.2018)

Over 3,000 Civilians Killed & Injured in Assad Regime’s Onslaught on Eastern Ghouta Since Mid-November

As many as 3,000 civilians have been killed and injured in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta over the past three months as the assault on the area by the Assad regime and the Iranian-backed militias, backed by Russian aerial support, continues unabated. The relentless bombardment has also destroyed large parts of residential areas in besieged eastern Ghouta.

Local activists said that the Assad regime’s onslaught on eastern Ghouta has killed at least 1,123 civilians since November 14, 2017, adding that the Assad regime and its allies have conducted no fewer than 1,414 airstrikes on the rebel held- suburb, deliberately targeting residential neighborhoods.

According to figures local activists published on Sunday, the Assad regime forces and their allied foreign militias have targeted eastern Ghouta with more than 10,825 artillery and mortar shells as well as 1,935 surface-to-surface rockets since November 14. Activist said that the suburb was hit with over 47 rockets loaded with internationally banned cluster munitions, 39 explosive hoses, 15 which were stuffed with chlorine gas, and 13 napalm-filled bombs.

The Syrian Coalition earlier warned that any further military escalation by the Assad regime would inevitably result in the collapse of the political process. It called on the international community to urgently intervene to stop these barbaric attacks on Syrian civilians through reining in the Assad regime and its backers.

The Coalition stressed that “the utter silence by the international community and sponsors of the political solution over these barbaric attacks and the massacres resulted from them is tantamount to giving a green light to the perpetrators to carry on with their crimes. This silence also represents, in the eyes of the Syrian people, complicity in the aggression against them.”

Activists in Douma said that five civilians were killed in Assad regime airstrikes on the district on Sunday. They added that two civilians were killed in rocket and artillery shelling by regime forces on the district of Hammouriya, while a farmer was killed by regime forces’ sniper fire in the outskirts of the district of Kafarbatna.

The International Humanitarian Relief (IHR) aid group on Saturday said that up to 10,400 families in eastern Ghouta are in urgent need for humanitarian intervention. It warned that about 12.6 percent of the total population of the Damascus suburb have been affected at all levels by the intensified bombing campaign the Assad regime and its allies have unleashed in eastern Ghouta over the past three months.

The NGO said that more than 4,100 families currently live in underequipped cellars with poor hygiene causing the spread of many diseases, especially among children.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 12.02.2018)

Syrians Disappointed as UN Security Council Fails to Agree on Temporary Truce in Syria

Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee, Salah al-Din al-Hamawi, said the Syrian people have been disappointed by the failure of the UN Security Council to agree on a temporary truce in Syria that is needed to put an end to the killings and crimes being committed by Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. He noted that that these crimes have sharply increased following the failure of the Sochi Conference.

The UN Security Council once again failed to agree on declaration of a humanitarian truce in Syria. Sweden and Kuwait on Friday presented a draft resolution in light of the rapidly deteriorating situation in several areas across Syria, most notably in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta and rural Idlib.

Al-Hamwi stressed that the UN Security Council’s repeated failure to rein in the Assad and Iranian militias as well as the Russian aggression as well as some Council members’ limiting of their response to mere expressions of sympathy and dissatisfaction have emptied this international organization of its primary purpose which is maintaining international peace and security. He stressed this failure requires a reconsideration of the structure and composition of the UN Security Council as well as the cause of its continued inaction.

The ongoing bombing campaign by the Russian and Assad regime forces has killed over 500 civilians and wounded thousand more as the last week in eastern Ghouta has been described as the deadliest since 2015.

Al-Hamwi noted that the cessation of murder and crimes in Syria could be achieved without the need for a resolution by the UN Security Council which has been disabled by the same side who is committing crimes in Syria provided that there is a will to carry out this noble act, especially on the part of the United States.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 10.02.2018)

Syria shoots down Israeli F-16 after Israeli strikes reportedly cause Syrian casualties

F16 shot down

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli F-16 jet was shot down on Saturday morning by the Syrian military as Israeli forces were carrying out what they claimed was a “retaliatory strike” in the Israeli-occupied Syrian territory of the Golan Height.The Israeli military said in a statement that “a combat helicopter successfully intercepted an Iranian UAV that was launched from Syria and infiltrated Israel,” referring to the occupied Golan Heights.”IDF [Israel Defence Forces] has targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the #UAV into Israeli airspace. Massive Syrian Anti-Air fire, one F16 crashed in Israel, pilots safe,” Israeli Military Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said on Twitter.Israeli media reported that the Israeli jet crashed in northern Israel.Al Jazeera reported that while Israel has carried out dozens of attacks over the past year in Syrian territory, Saturday’s events marked the first time the Syrian military shot down an Israeli plane.Israeli news website Ynet quoted the Israeli army spokesperson’s office as saying “the Syrians and Iranians are playing with fire.”Reuters said in a report later on Saturday that an unnamed army spokesperson said “We are willing, prepared and capable to exact a heavy price from anyone that attacks us, however we are not looking to escalate the situation. This was a defensive effort triggered by an Iranian act of aggression and we are defending our airspace our sovereignty and civilians.”Meanwhile, Syrian state television reported casualties among Syrian forces in the areas that were struck by israeli air forces, and in response, the Syrian forces fired at the Israeli jets.According to Al Jazeera, “pro-government military alliance in Syria said in a statement later on Saturday that Israel would see a severe and serious response to its ‘terrorism’ from now on.”

(Source / 10.02.2018)

Syrian Coalition Warns of Collapse of Political Process if Assad Regime’s Military Escalation Continues

The Syrian Coalition warned that the any further military escalation by the Assad regime would inevitably result in the collapse of the political process. It pointed out that international warnings of the repeated use of chemical weapons had exposed the international community’s inaction and failure amounting to complicity in the crimes being committed against the Syrian people.

The Coalition quoted activists in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta as saying that massacres are being committed against civilians forcing thousands to flee towards relatively safer areas. Local activists said that highly destructive munitions are being used in the bombings which are flatting whole buildings. The relentless bombings have also caused further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Coalition called on the international community to intervene immediately to stop this terrorist campaign and rein in the Assad regime and its backers.

“The US administration has recently warned of the use of chemical weapons, apparently unware of the fact that the Assad regime has been using these weapons on an almost daily basis in blatant violation of all international resolutions and the so-called red lines,” the Coalition said.

“Such attacks have also exposed the international community’s inaction and failure amounting to complicity in the crimes being committed against the Syrian people.”

The Coalition went on: “The ongoing onslaught on eastern Ghouta represents a serious escalation of violence as the Assad regime clearly seeks to undermine all chances of political solution at all levels through the relentless bombardment and the trampling of all so-called red lines.”

The Coalition underscored that “these grave developments must not go unnoticed by sponsors of the political solution. Massacres and terrorist attacks on civilians cannot continue side by side with any kind of talks about political solution which itself faces many challenges and obstacles as well as complete absence of seriousness and commitment on the part of the Assad regime.”

The Coalition stressed that “the utter silence by the international community and sponsors of the political solution over these barbaric attacks and the massacres resulted from them is tantamount to giving a green light to the perpetrators to carry on with their crimes. This silence also represents, in the eyes of the Syrian people, complicity in the aggression against them.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 07.02.2018)

Onslaught on Civilians Continues as UN Security Council Fails to Rein in Assad & Allies

Ferocious onslaught by the Assad regime forces and Iranian militias backed by the Russian air force continues to target civilians in many parts across Syria as the UN Security Council failed to adapt a resolution to stop such attacks or to adopt a draft resolution on the use of chemical weapons.

In a press release issued on Monday, the Syrian Coalition called on the UN Security Council to take urgent action to stop the “war crimes and genocide” the Assad regime and Russian forces are committing against the Syrian people.”

“The international community is obliged to condemn this criminal campaign and to work at all levels to stop it and protect civilians in Idlib, the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, and all parts of Syria,” the Coalition added.

Activists in besieged eastern Ghouta said that 40 civilians were killed in airstrikes by the Assad regime and the Russian air forces on Tuesday. Local activist said that the Assad regime and Russian air forces committed four massacres in eastern Ghouta on Monday claiming the lives of about 30 civilians and leaving dozens wounded.

Activists in Douma said that life nearly stopped in the rebel-held district for fear of the Assad regime’s repeated use of toxic chlorine.

According to Agence France-Presse, a Western-backed draft resolution was submitted to the UN Security Council to condemn chlorine gas attacks by the Assad regime on eastern Ghouta. The Council failed again to reach agreement on a draft resolution establishing a new mechanism to condemn those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria and to hold them accountable.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 06.02.2018)

Operation ‘Olive Branch’ Gains Ground as 100 Square Kilometers are Freed from PYD Terrorist Militias

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters and Turkish army captured a number of mountains and villages in Afrin from terrorist militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as part of Operation ‘Olive Branch’ aimed at liberating Afrin from the separatist terrorist militias.

The FSA groups on Friday captured Dharmik Mountain in the Bulbul sub-district as well as the villages of Balal Kuy and Beko in the Rajo sub-district north of Afrin after clashes with the terrorist PYD militias.

The terrorist PYD militia responded by targeting a popular market and residential areas in the town of Azaz in rural Aleppo with mortars and artillery, causing number of civilian casualties.

The terrorist PYD militias also continued to target civilians in the Turkish provinces of Kilis and Hatay. The shelling by the PYD militia on border towns and villages inside Turkish territory have so far resulted in the death of seven civilians, including two Syrian refugees, and injured 107 others, including children since the start of Operation ‘Olive Branch’ on January 20.

The FSA groups and the Turkish army have launched Operation Olive Branch against positions of the terrorist groups in Afrin while taking all necessary measures to protect civilians in the area.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Anadolu Agency / 04.02.2018)

Assad Regime & Russia Continue Relentless Bombing Campaign Against Civilians

Russia and the Assad regime air forces have expanded their bombing campaign on civilian areas, targeting new areas in Aleppo and Hama provinces. The bombings claimed the lives of dozens of civilians, including many children and women.

Local activists said that 20 civilians were killed and 30 others wounded in airstrikes by the Russian forces and artillery shelling by regime forces on the villages and towns of southern rural Aleppo on Thursday. The most violent shelling targeted the villages of Musheirfa and Jizraya in southern rural Aleppo.

Russian forces used cluster bombs in the airstrikes on the villages of Umm al-Karamil, Ziyara, Tal Alloush, and Zamar in southern rural Aleppo.

Activists in Idlib province pointed out that the airstrikes and barrel bomb attacks continued unabated on the town of Sarqib, forcing the majority of the town’s residents to flee their homes. At least six civilians, including two volunteers with the Syrian Civil Defense, were killed in the airstrikes on Saraqib.

Similar attacks targeted the town of Kfranbouda in rural Hama, killing eight civilians and wounding many others.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the Syrian Coalition said that the Russian occupation and regime forces continue pursue policies aimed at killing and the displacement of the Syrian people.

“In addition to the continued killing and escalation, the bombing campaign is also causing massive destruction, chaos, and forced displacement of civilians. These atrocious crimes have time and again demonstrated that the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies know only how to kill and commit crimes and that every initiative on the political level is nothing but a media hype aimed at gaining more time,” the Coalition added.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 02.02.2018)

Syrian Coalition Official: Russia Seeking to Hijack Will of Syrians & Prevent Establishment of Democratic State

An official in the Syrian Coalition said that the manner in which Moscow organized the Sochi Conference reflected its vision of the future Syrian state, which is based on the continuation of dictatorial rule, the empowerment of criminals, and the hijacking of the will of the Syrian people.

“We cannot describe what happened during the Sochi conference but as a charade as it did not meet the minimum standards set by the United Nations for democracy and the people’s right to freely express themselves,” said Mohamed Yahya Maktabi, Secretary of the Coalition’s political committee.

Maktabi pointed out that the way Moscow organized the conference demonstrated its vision for the future Syria, stressing that Moscow wants Syria to be “subject to Russia and robbed of its will.”

Maktabi condemned the existence of such a large number of invitees who he described as puppets similar to those comprising the so-called People’s Assembly of the Assad regime. He also denounced the invitation of criminals who are responsible for war crimes in Syria, most notably Miraç Ora who is on the wanted list in Turkey and the mastermind of massacres against civilians in the Syrian town of Baniyas.

Maktabi also rejected Moscow’s attempts to undermine the will of the Syrian people and to impose conditions on them as well to monopolize efforts to reach a political solution in Syria. He called on the United Nations to enforce the resolutions it passed on Syria, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254 calling for full political transition in Syria.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 31.01.2018)

Bombings by Russia & Assad Regime Intensify as Syrian Negotiations Commission Boycotts Sochi Conference

Intensified airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russian air forces killed at least nine people in the town of Saraqib and six others in the town of Ma’arat al-Nu’man in rural Idlib on Sunday a day before the start of the Sochi conference which Moscow claimed was aimed at finding a solution in Syria.

Activists said that Assad regime forces, backed by Russian air force and Iranian militias, have expanded their military operations across all Syrian territory after the Syrian Negotiations Commission announced it would not participate in the Sochi conference.

Activists from the district of Douma in eastern Ghouta published videos showing the aftermath of artillery bombardment by regime forces on the district in which five civilians were killed.

The local council in Saraqib on Sunday declared the rebel-held town a disaster area as a result of the massive destruction resulting from the relentless bombing campaign by the Assad regime and Russian warplanes.

The Council said in a statement that the town has been hit with dozens of airstrikes and barrel bombs attacks, adding that the Assad regime and Russian forces used all types of weapons in the bombings, including the internationally banned cluster munitions, vacuum bombs, bunker-buster bombs, napalm, and the white phosphorus.

The council noted that the heavy aerial bombardment destroyed the majority of vital civilian centers in the town, especially medical centers, hospitals, bakeries, and public markets. The bombings also caused massive damage to civilian homes and internally displaced people camps on the outskirts of the town.

The local council in Rural Damascus said that Russia bears the consequences of the crimes of the Assad regime in eastern Ghouta “because it claims to play the role of mediator for peace without exerting pressure on the Assad regime.” It pointed out “the Assad regime responded to the cease-fire announced by Russia in the area by more procrastination and total indifference.”

Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, on Sunday said that the Commission decided not to participate in the Sochi conference as he reaffirmed commitment to the UN-led political process.

Hariri pointed out that the Commission’s delegation held dialogue with the Russian side, the United Nations, Turkey and the United States to take advantage of any initiative aimed at pushing for a political solution in Geneva. He stressed that the Assad regime does not believe in a political solution as it continues to obstruct the political process.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 29.01.2018)