The Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly on Thursday held its 31st regular meeting with the participation of new female members and members of the Syrian Turkmen Council.
The situation in Aleppo will be on top of the agenda of the meeting. Aleppo has been subjected to a ferocious onslaught by the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies. More than 1,000 civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed and nearly 6,000 injured as a result of aerial bombardment on the city. All hospitals and schools in the rebel-held parts of the city were put out of service. The Russian and Assad regime airstrikes also destroyed two civil defense centers.
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Ahad Steifo said: “The situation in Aleppo is on top of the agenda of the meeting. Today we are faced with crucial decisions on the internal and external levels.” He stressed that “there are brothers and friends who want good for Syria and its people” in the face of aggression and barbarism they are being subjected to.
A joint statement from the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States on Wednesday hit out at the Assad regime and its “foreign backers, especially Russia,” accusing them of blocking emergency help to civilians trapped in eastern Aleppo.
“The urgent need now is for an immediate ceasefire to allow the United Nations to get humanitarian assistance to people in eastern Aleppo,” the statement said. The six countries said 200,000 civilians in Aleppo, including many children, were “cut off from food and medicine supplies.”
A humanitarian disaster is “taking place before our very eyes,” the statement said. It added: “We condemn the actions of the Syrian regime and its foreign backers, especially Russia, for their obstruction of humanitarian aid, and strongly condemn the Syrian regime’s attacks that have devastated civilians and medical facilities and use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons.”
The six countries also called on Iran and Russia to “use their influence” to ensure the Assad regime agrees the UN’s four-point plan for Aleppo. The plan aims at allowing humanitarian aid into the shattered east of the city and for sick and injured to be evacuated.
Member of the Syrian Coalition of the Turkmen bloc Yussef Manla slammed the international community’s failure to protect Syrian civilians. “The whole world is standing idly by as the Assad regime, Russia, and the Iranian-backed militias are committing the most horrible massacres against Syria’s civilians.” He stressed the need for “immediate, concrete action to put an end to the bloodbath in Aleppo and ensure the delivery of aid to civilians trapped inside.”
Member of the Coalition Salwa ktaw called on Syrians in the diaspora to organize popular demonstrations in all parts of the world to demand an end to the brutal bombing of Aleppo and other Syrian cities and towns.
On Monday, Russia and China vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for the imposition of a 7-day cease-fire in Aleppo so that humanitarian aid could reach the city’s besieged eastern neighborhoods. The draft resolution was proposed by New Zealand, Spain and Egypt.
A source in the Syrian Coalition said that first day of the 31st General Assembly meeting will assess the stages the Syrian revolution has gone through, adding that the second day will see an assessment of the general current situation. The source pointed out that the third and final day of the meeting will be dedicated to laying out a new strategy for the next phase based on four main tracks: military, political, revolutionary and civilian.
(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office / 08.12.2016)