SNC: US undermining revolution

Updated 03 November 2012
0

SNC: US undermining revolution

BEIRUT: Syrian main exiled opposition group yesterday accused Washington of undermining the country’s revolution by seeking to overhaul how regime opponents are organized.
Two days ahead of key opposition talks due in Qatar, the Syrian National Council lashed out at US criticism of the group for not being fully representative of Syria’s diverse dissident groups.
“Any discussions aimed at passing over the Syrian National Council or at creating new bodies to replace it are an attempt to undermine the Syrian revolution by sowing the seeds of division,” the SNC said in a statement.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced frustration with the SNC this week, calling for a new more expansive opposition that would include more activists from inside Syria.
“There has to be a representation of those who are on the front line fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom,” Clinton said during a tour of the Balkans, insisting the SNC “can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition.”
Talk of an overhaul “is a sign of a lack of seriousness of the forces meant to support the Syrian people who are facing the murderous regime” of President Bashar Assad, the SNC said.
Reacting to accusations it is not inclusive, the group said it had grown from 280 to 420 members, that a third of its members are on-the-ground activists and that 15 percent of its members are women.
The SNC said on Thursday it had received $ 40.4 million (31.1 million euros) in international aid since it was set up a year ago, half of which came from Libya and the rest mainly from Qatar and the UAE.
Syrian fighters have taken full control of a strategic crossroads in the northwest that further limits the government’s ability to reinforce its troops in second city Aleppo, a watchdog said yesterday.
Rebel fighters forced troops to pull back from their last position in the Saraqeb area where the main highways to Aleppo from Damascus and from the Mediterranean coast meet, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The rebels now control an area extending 25 km in all directions from the town, the Britain-based watchdog said.
“The army has withdrawn from its last checkpoint in the Saraqeb area,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The family of a freelance journalist who disappeared while covering the war in Syria plans to travel to Beirut to work for his release.
Austin Tice’s father, Marc Tice, said in a statement the family plans to travel to Beirut “soon.”
The 31-year-old former Marine went missing in August. He had been one of a few journalists to report from Damascus. Marc Tice says his last contact with his son was on Aug. 12.
A video clip posted online in early October showed Tice alive and being held by gunmen. It has been the only sign of Tice since his disappearance.
Meanwhile, a Turkish village lives in constant fear of Syrian war. Sixteen-year-old Nazire was out in the fields, sitting under a tree when the shooting started. Bullets whizzed past her face and she was terrified. “If I had moved my head, I would have been shot and then nothing would have happened because they’re Syrian soldiers and I’m just a villager,” said the teenager in her pink trousers and flowered head scarf, in Turkey’s southwestern village of Ovecci Koyu.
“We were so afraid. There were very little children and even babies with us. We rushed back so quickly, we left our shoes behind,” she said, standing in her mother’s sitting room with a view straight across the border to Syria.
Residents say they live in fear from airstrikes, shooting and shelling as rebels step up their nearly two-year battle against the regime of President Bashar Assad in northern Syria.
Turkey has systematically retaliated against shelling and fallen out with Assad, sparking fears in the village that things can only get worse.
When the bombardment starts, soldiers and the mosque advise residents to flee their homes, which could become targets, and shelter underground or behind walls.
Nazire’s mother, Ilhan Doyman, says that the entire family lives in fear.
“It’s very bad. Day and night we think about the fighting and we don’t feel secure here. We can hear bombing and we can hear the sound of the planes so we can’t sleep,” she said in the street outside her home.


Assad accused of ‘using urban development law to carry out ethnic cleansing’

Pro-government forces stand in the destroyed Thalateen Street in the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus on May 24, 2018, as civilians return to see their homes after the regime seized the camp and adjacent neighborhoods of Tadamun and Hajar al-Aswad earlier in the week from the Daesh group. (AFP / LOUAI BESHARA)
Updated 27 May 2018
0

Assad accused of ‘using urban development law to carry out ethnic cleansing’

  • he so-called “Law 10” allows the regime to acquire previously private property in which to create zoned developments, and to compensate the owners with shares in the new projects.
  • Many of the displaced have lost the necessary paperwork, are struggling financially or may not learn of the legal requirements in time.

JEDDAH: The Assad regime in Syria was accused on Saturday of using a new law on urban development to carry out and rid the country of all political opposition.

The so-called “Law 10” allows the regime to acquire previously private property in which to create zoned developments, and to compensate the owners with shares in the new projects.

However, after a seven-year war that has created more than 5 million refugees and 6 million internally displaced people, property rights are in a state of confusion. Many of the displaced have lost the necessary paperwork, are struggling financially or may not learn of the legal requirements in time.

The Assad regime is using the confusion to create a suitable environment for demographic change, Syrian opposition spokesman Yahya Al-Aridi told Arab News. 

“The regime has a two-fold goal,” he said. “First, terrorize the opposition and supporters of the Syrian revolution so that they lose the right to their properties.

“Second, there is talk of reconstruction in Syria now. This law sends out a message to investors that their interests lie with the regime. It is an attempt to tempt companies and business people to support the regime, because the regime is the only party that approves bids and gives grants and contracts. All this merely adds to the Syrians’ plight and misery.”

Al-Aridi said the attempted land grab was being resisted by European countries, especially France and Germany. “The Syrian Negotiating Committee is also exerting a very important effort so that such an evil act will not happen,” he said. 

Also on Saturday, the US warned Damascus it would take “firm action” if the regime violates a cease-fire deal, after Syrian aircraft dropped leaflets on a southern province in advance of an expected offensive.

Al-Aridi said any such offensive would be a breach of agreements between Russia and the US on de-escalation zones, and he warned the regime and Iran against “playing games” with the US. “Such threats are part of a response to the two unanswered Israeli attacks on Iran’s military positions in Syria,” he said.

“They area also meant to divert attention from the American-Israeli intent to kick Iranian militias and forces out of Syria.”

He said the regime and Iran could do nothing without Russian support. “We don’t think the Russians are willing to provide such support, or to mess with the US or Israel. Parallel to such threats, Assad is trying to make certain reconciliation agreements with what they call ‘Syrians in liberated areas.’ We believe that they cannot do anything of the sort.”