Ahead of today’s debate in the UN Security Council on the Middle East, the Syrian National Coalition’s President, Khaled Khoja, alerted world leaders to the dangerous regional escalation of the Syrian conflict, and called on the Security Council to condemn the growing involvement of Hezbollah in Zabadani, where regime aerial forces have pounded civilians with more than 600 barrel bombs, at a rate of more than 30 per day. After delivering his letter to the Security Council, President Khoja stated:
“After three weeks of calculated assaults by Hezbollah and Syrian regime forces, the town of Zabadani has been reduced to rubble, with thousands of innocent civilians denied access to food, water and medical care. Zabadani is now the centrepiece of Assad’s collusion with Hezbollah terrorists and Iran. Just as foreign fighters are fuelling extremist groups in Syria, now foreign fighters like Hezbollah are propping up Assad and killing on his behalf. It is critical that the Security Council adopt the following measures to stop Assad’s killing machine, and deter his foreign backers from acting on his behalf:
I. Condemn the atrocities perpetrated by Hezbollah inside Syria, and demand Hezbollah withdraw from Syrian territory;
ii. Ensure utmost vigilance in the monitoring of the Iranian nuclear deal and Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), which, when implemented, will potentially release billions of dollars to the Iranian regime, which the Security Council must ensure is not used to fuel and arm the Syrian regime’s killing machine;
iii. Stop the Syrian regime’s indiscriminate aerial bombardment of Syria, which is responsible for more than 60 percent of all civilian deaths in Syria and the vast majority of deaths in Zabadani by authorizing a safe zone.
“Hezbollah’s meddling in Zabadani and elsewhere can and must stopped, which is why the Syrian National Coalition today welcomes the 21 July decision by the US Treasury Department to impose sanctions against Mustafa Badr Al Din, Fu’ad Shukr, Ibrahim Aqil and Abd Al Nur Shalan. All four men have Syrian blood on their hands. So do countless other Hezbollah members and backers. It is imperative that any and every individual who aids and abets this murderous terrorist group face sanctions. The Syrian National Coalition therefore calls on the EU to follow the lead of the United states and aggressively pursue all of Hezbollah’s revenue sources, including charitable fundraising, criminal proceeds and state sponsorship. By exerting further pressure on Assad and his enablers, such sanctions have the capacity both to save lives and to create the conditions needed for a viable political process.”
For a link to the full letter press here.