Syria opposition slams inaction over slaughter

Updated 24 February 2013
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Syria opposition slams inaction over slaughter

BEIRUT: The umbrella opposition National Coalition yesterday condemned world powers for failing to act to stop the slaughter in Syria, as missiles killed at least 29 in second city Aleppo.
The remarks by spokesman Walid al-Bunni came after the Coalition had said it would form a government to run “liberated areas” of Syria and was pulling out of several international meetings in protest against world “silence”.
“We cannot continue listening to statements that are not accompanied by action,” Bunni said it remarks to France 24’s Arabic-language channel. “The world has a responsibility to protect (the Syrian people) from a butcher who has been slaughtering them for two years,” a reference to Bashar Assad.
Referring to a meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Rome next Thursday, Bunni said: “We want to say... if you are our real friends, help us to stop the massacres that are being committed against our people”. Late on Friday, the group had said it would not attend meetings in Italy, Russia and the United States to protest against the “shameful” lack of global condemnation of “crimes committed against the Syrian people”.
It had been due to attend the Friends of Syria, and Coalition chief Ahmed Moaz Al-Khatib had also been invited to Moscow.
“The international silence on the crimes committed every day against our people amounts to participating in two years of killings,” a statement said. “We hold the Russian leaders in particular ethically and politically responsible because they continue to support the (Damascus) regime with weapons.”
Bunni also challenged the United States to honour what he said were promises of support for democracy in Syria. “Our visit to Washington is on hold until Washington takes a stance that is in accordance with US statements on its support for democracy.”
Meanwhile around 150 Kurdish women in the war-wracked northern Syrian province of Aleppo have set up a fighting battalion, a monitoring group said yesterday.
“The Kurdish popular committees have set up the first women’s battalion, comprising some 150 women fighters. The battalion is named the Martyr Rokan Battalion,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“While women are now fighting alongside the fighters, pro-regime forces and Kurdish militia, this is the first women’s battalion as such,” said Observatory Director Rami Abdel Rahman.
The Observatory circulated an amateur photograph of the battalion, showing scores of members in military fatigues, standing in rows before their female leadership.
“Women are now playing a major role in the fighting in Syria,” Abdel Rahman said. The women’s battalion was announced in Ifrin, the scene in late 2012 of violence pitting Kurdish fighters against Arab fighters battling the regime.


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
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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.”