In response to the British Foreign Secretary's 16 October statement to Parliament on Syria and Iraq, the Syrian National Coalition issued the following statement:
“The Syrian National Coalition welcomes UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond's statement to the British Parliament on 16 October and the UK's support for moderate voices in Syria as they seek to defeat the dual extremist and repressive forces of ISIS and the Assad regime.
During his recent meeting in New York with Philip Hammond in the margins of the UN General Assembly, President Hadi al Bahra reiterated the Syrian National Coalition's full cooperation with the UK and other key international partners to defeat ISIS. It is clear that only a comprehensive and coordinated strategy will defeat the threat posed by ISIS. At the forefront of the effort are moderate Syrian forces, fighting for a pluralistic and inclusive future for Syria. This is the long-term solution to extremism.
We welcome Philip Hammond's strong reiteration that the Assad regime is the root cause of extremism in the region and has no role to play. Assad’s brutality and repression have been an incubator for extremism. And his actions – releasing extremist leaders from jails, opening up the border with Iraq and funding ISIS by buying its stolen oil – have strengthened ISIS. While ISIS attacks civilians in Kobane, the Assad regime does nothing to defend the town but instead inflicts death and destruction in Aleppo with its barbaric barrel bombing campaign.
We urge the international community to intensify its support for the moderate Syrian opposition who are the first line of defence against the extremist threat. The vast majority of Syrians want neither the terrorists nor the tyrant. We want nothing more than the fundamental freedom and dignity to which all human beings are entitled.”