Media Statement – Syrian Coalition – Istanbul, Turkey – July 17, 2013
Bashar Assad continues to implement a strategy deliberately forcing mediators to negotiate a ceasefire or evacuating citizens from besieged areas only to lead them to their deaths.
Mediators often risk their lives to stop the bloodshed and prevent massacres against innocent civilians.Assad’s forces have also allowed civilians access to besieged areas in order to evacuate the wounded but later opening fire and killing and injuring dozens.
On Monday, Assad’s militiamen shot and killed seven mediators near a security checkpoint in Hajar Al Abyad, Homs, infringing on international conventions and humanitarian norms. The mediators were from the National Reconciliation Committee and were heading towards Qameira to negotiate access to Al Zara, where there is food and aid. Those still living in Qameira have been living in deplorable conditions for months.
Assad’s continued rejection of initiatives aimed at stopping the bloodshed proves he does not want to find a solution to the crisis. His egregious behavior demonstrates that he will thwart any solution to prevent civilian casualties. Furthermore, he is only buying time to create more destruction and continues to plunge the country into utter chaos.
We ask for mercy for our martyrs, health for our wounded, and freedom for our detainees. Long live Syria and its people, free and with honor.