MESOP EXTRA : President Khoja’s Press Conference Regarding Recent Developments in Syria

Khaled Khoja – President of the Syrian Coalition – Media Office – 1 June 2015

Syrians – my brothers and sisters: As our heroic rebel fighters achieve decisive victories and inflict heavy losses on regime forces, and as they liberated Bosra al-Sham, Naseeb border crossing, Idlib, Jisr al-Shugour and Ariha, and as they rout regime forces that lost control of more than 75% of Syria’s territory, with photos of regime forces fleeing en masse, at this critical juncture, ISIS came to act on behalf of the Assad regime after they surrendered Palmyra together with the biggest weapon depots in Syria. ISIS militants have set upon fighting on behalf of the regime in Homs, and are now coordinate with Hezbollah’s terrorists in Qalamoun in southern Syria. ISIS has more recently come to the rescue of the defeated regime in Aleppo, the economic capital of Syria, and the huge human reservoir, after rebels’ attention was turned to complete the liberation of this city from the Assad regime, thus coming closer to achieving the dream of liberating all of Syria following the victories in Idlib and Ariha.

In this moment of glory, dignity and victory, the regime’s brutality increases, killing 100 civilians in one of Aleppo’s bloodiest mornings. Indeed, Syrians lose a hundred or more of their loved ones every day, without the world lifting a finger, and without the international coalition’s fighter aircrafts which fly over Syria seeing in the barrel bombing of children a terrorist act.

With terror attacks and mass murdering, the Assad regime retaliates to its defeats, and also with forming undeclared alliances with the forces of black terrorism.

Today Syria is stuck between two savage terrorisms. ISIS is progressing along the eastern region of the country towards Suwaidaa’, Damascus, Homs and Aleppo, thus thus putting our people and our rebel fighters between a rock and a hard place while the world watches motionless over the past four years.But today silence has another meaning. It means relinquishing Syria altogether to become a hotbed for two of the most horrible terrorism forces.

We urgently appeal to neighboring countries to coordinate amongst themselves in light of the inaction of the international community, and to act as one hand and intervene immediately to prevent their neighbor Syria from turning into a hotbed for the worst kinds of terrorism. We appeal to them to relieve the free people of Syria through establishing safe areas so Assad’s warplanes do not serve as an air force for ISIS. This is already taking place in Aleppo, as the regime’s warplanes are bombing rebels in the areas ISIS are preparing to attack. The regime’s air force is openly serving ISIS; it bombs rebels while ISIS advances.

It is no longer reasonable nor acceptable to leave the Syrian people a victim to multi-faceted terrorism, starting with the terrorism of the regime and its allied Iranian militias and ending with the terrorism of ISIS.

Nor is acceptable that Syrians see the international coalition’s aircraft flying over their heads without bothering about ISIS slaughtering them.

These instead fly to other areas to strike ISIS in less vulnerable areas. It is no secret that abandoning Syria in this current situation will have serious consequences that will spillover to the whole region.

Aleppo alone has received 63% of the Assad regime’s barrel bombs, and thousands of barrels stuffed with explosives were dropped on it, and is also bombed with ballistic missiles, artillery and aircraft. Leaving the Syrian cities without any kind of protection, and failing to support them militarily coupled with insufficient humanitarian and civil assistance, is unacceptable whatsoever.

We call upon all brotherly and friendly countries to accelerate the provision of civil and military support to vulnerable areas where the regime conspires with ISIS and the allied Iranian militias, namely in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs, and Dara’a, Qalamoun and Suwaidaa’. We call upon them to make the liberated areas safe and to support the steadfast residents of Aleppo and also the Qalamoun rebel fighters who are countering an invasion by Iran’s proxies in evident coordination with ISIS.

What has fallen on Aleppo to date is equivalent to an atomic bomb without even troubling the conscience of the world, and without the international coalition aircrafts spotting them as they fly by every day. While the Syrian Coalition continues its meetings with rebel factions to restructure the FSA’s Supreme Military Command, we call upon all factions to unite, close their ranks and to provide all possible support for the Qalamoun and Aleppo battlefronts. We also call upon them to deny the Assad regime the opportunity to survive the series of defeats suffered by its forces, and also to support the interim government which is making every effort to assist the liberated areas by all means and at all levels. Moreover, we call upon rebel factions to support civil self-administration in these areas.

Despite the great challenges facing our people, despite the enormous risks facing the Syrian people, the dawn of freedom will one day come up. The people who dropped the mask off the face of the most notorious bloody dictatorships in the region, and who humiliated it, are undoubtedly able to get rid of all kinds of terrorism befalling them.

Long live Syria, free, proud and independent.