Syrian Opposition Coalition Condemns Assad Regime Violation of UNSCR 2139

Office of the President - National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces

March 24th 2014

The Syrian Opposition Coalition calls upon the United Nations Security Council to take immediate action to hold the Assad regime accountable for its clear violations of UN Security Council Resolution 2139 on Humanitarian Access.  The Assad regime’s proven non-compliance with the Security Council, and its unequivocal objection to a political solution through its recent rejection of the Geneva process, makes clear to the international community that all recourses for negotiations have been exhausted.  Punitive measures must be taken to hold the regime accountable.

The report to the UN on compliance and non-compliance with Resolution 2139 shows that the Assad regime has not only continued to block aid into civilian areas, but has even intensified its war on the Syrian people, as has been widely documented.  Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, including aerial bombing, barrel bombs, shelling and mortars in populated areas, have increased since January.

We also stress the distinction between Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters and the foreign extremists exploiting the situation for agendas which are alien to the Syrian revolution.  The Free Syrian Army alone has been fighting these extremist groups in Syria, and the Coalition has repeatedly condemned all violations of human rights and international law, regardless of the perpetrators’ affiliation.

The Syrian Opposition Coalition and the Free Syrian Army are fully committed to upholding the letter and the spirit of Resolution 2139.  Despite perpetual regime violence, the FSA has:

-    protected NGOs and facilitated their work in liberated areas;

-    established relief offices to deliver supplies to civilians;

-    provided protection to minority communities during the Assad regime’s siege of Homs.

In contrast, the Assad regime has responded with full contempt for this Security Council resolution.  The regime’s response to the concerted, international demand for humanitarian access has been to interfere, delay and obstruct supplies by:

-    continuing and even escalating attacks against civilian populated areas, using barrel bombs and shelling;

-    failing to achieve any real progress in implementing the provisions of the October 2 Presidential Statement;

-    continuing to besiege civilian populations as part of its “submission through starvation” policy;

-    continuing to detain men evacuated from Homs;

-    removing medical supplies from convoys.

Specific examples of continuing regime obstruction and delay to humanitarian relief include:

-    February 24: a World Health Organisation shipment of medicines was stopped at a regime-run checkpoint and only released on March 5, finally arriving in Al Raqqa on March 8.

-    March 7: a range of medical items, including antibiotics and anti-bacterial medicines, were removed from an aid convoy to Al Houla by regime security authorities.

-    March 12: medicines and medical supplies were removed by regime authorities from a convoy destined for Adraa Al Umaliyeh and Adraa Albalad.

The regime’s actions are proof that it continues to use humanitarian aid as a political and a war tool.

Monzer Akbik, spokesman for Ahmad Jarba, President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, said: “The Assad regime has shown the world that it cares neither for the Syrian people nor for international opinion.  Its inhuman strategy of starvation is unchanged, its denial of medicines to the sick goes on, unmoved by the whole international community calling for humanitarian access.

“The conclusion must be clear to all the world: there will be no relief for the Syrian people until this ruthless dictatorship is ended.

“We call on all the countries who voted for this Resolution to hold the regime to account for its cynical refusal to comply.  Russia has a special responsibility to make clear to Assad that it will not tolerate his defiance of this global demand to allow food to the starving, medicines to the sick, and to end the reign of terror on our people.”

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National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces
Committed to a free, democratic, and pluralistic Syria.