Dozens of Civilians Killed in Barrel Bombings by Assad in Dara’a Friday

Dozens of civilians, including women and children, were killed and dozens more were wounded in barrel bomb attacks by the Assad regime in Dara’a province on Friday. The Syrian Coalition warned that the war crimes the Assad regime is committing in southern Syria undermine all chances of a political solution.

Office for the Documentation of Victims in Dara’a province said that about 20 civilians, including a child and two women, were killed in airstrikes and artillery shelling on western rural Dara’a.

Local activists said that the Assad regime stepped up barrel bombing of the rebel-held areas in the past 48 hours. The attacks targeted Dara’a city as well as the towns of Nawa, Tafas, Quheil, Al-Musaifra, and Umm Al-Mayathin. The town of Naiema was hit with a land-to-land missile.

President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, said that “Dara’a was under fire,” pointing out that “a large part of the people of Dara’a fled their homes to escape the bombardment.”

“Russian jets are burning people and stone, while the Iranian and Assad militias are committing war crimes,” Mustafa said. He questioned the commitment of the friends of the Syrian people to support the FSA groups and stand on the side of the Syrian people in their struggle to regain freedom and dignity.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 01.07.2018)

Syrian Coalition Holds Several Meetings at UN & Human Rights Council to Expose Assad Regime’s Atrocities in Dara’a

A member of the Syrian Coalition said that the ongoing onslaught against civilians in Dara’a is part of a litany of war crimes being committed by the Assad regime with the help of Russia and Iran. He stressed that the Assad regime’s capture of new territory will not change the reality of the political process aimed at achieving full political transition in Syria in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.

At a meeting with members of the team of the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura and officials of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, member of the Coalition’s political committee, Yasser al-Farhan called for serious intervention by the United Nations to stop the Assad regime’s onslaught on Dara’a. He also called for the UN to shoulder its responsibilities and prevent the mass forced displacement of residents of Dara’a province.

Al-Farhan stressed that the Assad regime and its allies have never been serious about the political process as they insisted on pursuing a bloody military solution in Syria. “We made this point clear in all our meetings with the United Nations officials and our friends, but our calls and warnings have all fallen on deaf ears.”

Al-Farhan urged the UN officials to put an end to the ongoing violations by the PYD militia against civilians, stressing that the wholesale violations in Syria “must not be tolerated.”

Moreover, Al-Farhan highlighted the dangers of Law No. 10 which has been recently issued by the Assad regime. He called for preventing the implementation of the law as it represented “encroachment on the rights and property of the people who have been forcibly displaced from their areas of origin. He also strongly condemned all decrees and legislations issued by the Assad regime under request from Iran which seeks to serve its expansionist project in Syria.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 29.06.2018)

Farhan in UN Human Rights Council: We Must Work to Release Detainees in Assad’s Prisons

Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Yasser al-Farhan said that the Assad regime is responsible for committing thousands of crimes against Syrian civilians through arbitrary detention, kidnapping, and torturing them to death.

Al-Farhan was speaking at a special session on arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances in Syria that was organized by the Euro-Syrian Democratic Forum and the No Peace Without Justice organization on the sidelines of the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

Al-Farhan, who is also Head the Syrian National Commission on Detainees and Missing Persons (SNCDMP), recently formed by the Syrian Coalition, stressed that detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime are subjected to systematic, brutal torture claiming the lives of tens of thousands of political Syrian dissidents.

The Assad regime did not comply with international resolutions or international conventions calling for the prevention of arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment, al-Farhan said. He added that the Assad regime continued the mass arrests and kidnappings despite the fact that almost all UN Security Council resolutions condemned arbitrary detention, torture, physical liquidation and enforced disappearance against civilians in Syria. They also called for the immediate cessation of such practices and the release of all arbitrarily detained persons.

Al-Farhan said that the formation of the SNCDMP aims to help independent human rights organizations and international organizations to take tangible, practical measures to ensure the release of detainees.

“The issue of detainees is one of the most essential issues. We will not accept that it is used as a bargaining chip. We must not forget this issue nor will we accept that it is postponed until after a political solution is reached.” Al-Farhan also stressed the need to ensure accountability and not to link it to obstacles to the political solution.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 28.06.2018)

Coalition Meets With Representatives of Syria Friends to Discuss Assad & Russia’s Onslaught in Syria’s South

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa and Head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Jawad Abu Hatab met with representatives of a group of friendly countries of the Syrian people. Both sides discussed the latest developments on the ground in Syria and the fresh military attacks being launched by the Assad regime and Iranian terrorist militias against civilians in southern Syria.

Participants in the meeting, which was also attended by members of the Coalition’s political committee, discussed the mass forced displacement operations being carried out by the Assad regime against civilians in different areas across Syria. They also discussed Law No. 10 and its possible implications for countries hosting Syrian refugees. The discussions also included ways to support the Syrian Interim Government and its projects to provide basic service for the civilian population in the liberated areas.

President Mustafa said that the regime’s escalating attacks have caused mass displacement of civilians in southern Syria, stressing that attacks against civilians constituted war crimes requiring urgent international action to stop them.

President Mustafa pointed out that the Coalition utterly rejects the implementation of Law No. 10 as it is aimed at the consolidation of mass forced displacement and demographic change.

The Coalition is continuing to implement its plan to strengthen its presence in the liberated areas and activate the work of the institutions of the Syrian Interim Government to provide services to the civilian population, President Mustafa said. The Coalition is also seeking to form local councils of the local population to manage the affairs of people in the liberated towns and villages.

For his part, Jawad Abu Hatab said that after two years of work in the liberated areas, the Syrian Interim Government has become a reality. “Our top priority was to provide services in the areas of education, health and local councils. We also sought to achieve stability and prepare the population for a political process.”

The Syrian Interim Government is now focusing on seven key issues, namely the police, the judiciary and the adoption of a Syrian law, the Free Syrian Army, the civil prison administration, the national statistical office, the expansion of vocational and higher education, and the provision of essential services, especially in construction and the rehabilitation of roads, Abu Hatab said.

Bashar al-Zoabi, representative of the Southern Front in the Syrian Coalition, stressed that the Assad regime and Russia are committing widespread war crimes in the province of Dara’a. “The situation in Dara’a province is dangerous. We contacted most of the friendly countries and sent them letters via the Coalition and the Syrian Negotiations Commission, but unfortunately the regime continues with its military campaign against civilians in the region. There is a large wave of mass displacement of civilians, with numbers that may reach unprecedented levels in the coming few days should violations of the regime continue.”

For her part, Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition, Dima Moussa, warned that the mass forced displacement and demographic change operations as well as the regime’s issuance of Law No. 10 will have a direct impact on the political process and political transition, especially with the regime’s confiscation of civilian property. She underscored that Law No. 10 risks discouraging the return of displaced persons and refugees to their homes, adding that the issuance of the law “proved that the Assad regime is not serious about engaging in the political process.”

Hadi al-Bahra, member of the political committee, said: “We are focusing not only on forming the Constitutional Committee, but also on its work. This Committee should be part of the Geneva process and under the auspices of the United Nations.”

Bahra stressed that the Constitutional Committee “must be a step towards the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254 and not an attempt to circumvent the resolution. The Committee must also be a step towards real political transition.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 25.06.2018)

Syrian Coalition Praises Work of Supreme Hajj Committee; Stresses it Continues to Serve Syrian Pilgrims

The Syrian Coalition said that thousands of Syrians have performed hajj and umrah over the past six years. It adsded that they all made use of the services Saudi Arabia offers to pilgrims without any discrimination.

It is expected that 18,000 Syrians will perform hajj this year, up from more than 15,000 last year, the Coalition said.

The Coalition commended the successful, fruitful and continuous cooperation between the Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

The Coalition, on behalf of the Syrian people, extended its thanks and appreciation for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Saudi Government for their efforts to provide care and services for pilgrims as well as cater for their needs in order to perform the hajj rituals smoothly and with ease.

The Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee continues to exercises its tasks with utmost integrity and transparency, the Coalition said. The Committee coordinates efforts at the highest levels with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, assumes its responsibilities away from any political considerations, and provides services to all pilgrims without any restrictions or conditions.

The Coalition highly appreciated the enormous efforts the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is making to cater for pilgrims as it emphasizes continued coordination with the Ministry to ensure that Syrian pilgrims are offered the best services.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 24.06.2018)

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)

Dutch company gave Syria chemicals used to make deadly weapons

Image of a Syrian child receiving treatment in hospital after a chemical attack carried out by the Assad Regime in Idlib, Syria [file photo]

A Syrian child receives medical treatment after a chemical attack was carried out by the Assad Regime in Idlib, Syria

A Dutch company exported 38 tonnes of chemical materials to the Syrian regime which were used to manufacture chemical weapons without obtaining the necessary licenses, Netherlands’ Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) reported yesterday,

“A Rotterdam-based company has exported 38 tonnes of banned acetone, which is being used in the production of chemical weapons, to Syria without obtaining the necessary permits,” NOSsaid.

The acetone, which was exported two years ago, travelled through the port of Antwerp in Belgium.

The Dutch customs authorities, NOS reported, began an investigation into the matter two months ago, stressing that the company would be prosecuted “for not obtaining the necessary export licenses”.

Authorities in Belgium recently informed Netherlands that the same company was believed to have exported 200 tonnes of acetone to Syria via Russia.

In April, three Belgian companies were prosecuted for exporting chemicals to Syria, one of which could be used in the production of banned sarin gas which the Syrian regime is thought to have used against civilians in the country.

READ: Faking it for Assad 

(Source / 14.06.2018)

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)