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Syria coalition calls for pressure on Russia to stop Idlib attacks

Civil defence members conduct a search and rescue operation after the Syrian regime carried out air strikes in Syria on 22 March 2019 [Hasan Muhtar/Anadolu Agency]
Civil defence members conduct a search and rescue operation after the Syrian regime carried out air strikes in Idlib, Syria on 22 March 2019 [Hasan Muhtar/Anadolu Agency]

The head of the Syrian opposition coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, has called on the international community to “exert all pressure on Russia” to stop the attacks on Syria’s Idlib governorate and curb its support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Mustafa sent this call via video, a version of which Anadolu Agency acquired yesterday. “The enemies of the Syrian people took advantage of the month of Ramadan to escalate their crimes,” Mustafa argued, adding that they “committed 30 massacres killing at least 250 martyrs”.

He pointed out that “medical aid stations and hospitals have been key targets for the regime’s killing ever since it declared war on the Syrian people, turning these facilities into some of the most dangerous places”.

“The regime’s barrel bombs, white phosphorus bombs, chemical weapons, artillery shelling of cities and towns, all these practices are prohibited by international law, but are now being used against the Syrian people,” he added.

Mustafa also pointed out that “since the beginning of Russian aggression on Syrian territory, Russia has become an immediate crime partner. It has deliberately bombed cities and towns and blocked any political solution, while supporting only the one advocating killing and displacement”.

“The persistence of blatant crimes committed against Syrian women and children is a direct result of your failure and your soft, inadequate policies and positions,” he said, addressing the international community directly. “You cannot succeed in overcoming crises and solving problems through the policy of waiting, monitoring, and issuing statements of denunciation and reprehension.”

“You are required to make practical decisions to stop the killing, destruction, and displacement completely.”

Watch: Balloons filled with explosive gas dropped on Idlib

“Even international resolutions are not enough because they need to be adopted and implemented, and will not come into effect on their own,” Mustafa went on. “Your current positions will only bring more destruction, more murder and crimes, the double cost of which the whole world will have to pay.”

“Our political duty requires us to show the world its responsibilities and stress the state actors’ ability to stop this barbaric attack, and impose a political solution in accordance with international resolutions.”

Mustafa therefore called for “alternative mechanisms to stop this ongoing disaster by overcoming obstacles to curb the regime and exert all kinds of pressure on Russia to stop its aggression and support for Al-Assad”.

“We are supporting the efforts of the Free Syrian Army and the Turkish army, which have been able to wage decisive strikes against terrorism. The Turkish brothers are still working hard to stop the killings, support the political solution, save the lives of civilians, and prevent their displacement from their homes,” he said.

Turkey’s armed forces have conducted a number of military operations in Syria, namely the “Euphrates Shield” carried out in March 2017 and “the Olive Branch” in March 2018, in cooperation with the “Syrian Free Army”.

Read: Turkish Red Crescent worried over violence in Idlib

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