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Opposition to Regime: Truce Ends if Forced Displacement Continues

Coalition says any attempt by the regime to terrorize and psychologically pressure civilians into leaving besieged areas would signal an end to any proposed ceasefire in “a glaring fashion”
Opposition to Regime: Truce Ends if Forced Displacement Continues

The military and political forces of the Syrian revolution announced their total rejection of the Assad regime’s continued attempts to forcefully displace the residents of the Waer district in Homs, Moadamiya and Madaya in rural Damascus, warning the United Nations against mediating or supervising any evacuation deals similar to the one that was reached in the Damascus suburb of Daraya.

In a joint statement released on Sunday, the Syrian National Coalition, Free Syrian Army and rebel groups stressed that “all besieged areas are red lines for the Syrian people and that we would not allow any ceasefire or political negotiations to be used by the Assad regime to slowly carve up and conquer these areas.”

The statement warned that any attempts by the regime to “terrorize and psychologically pressure civilians into leaving Waer district or any other besieged area, or if a single individual is expelled from Waer or any other besieged area,” would signal the regime’s decision to end its adherence to any proposed ceasefire in “a glaring fashion.” It also stressed that all revolutionary armed groups will resume exercising their legitimate rights to defend civilians against regime aggressions.

“If the international community persists in its failure to protect besieged civilians and lift the sieges imposed against them, then both the political and military wings of the opposition will reconsider their stances on the entire political process,” the statement added.

The statement called upon the International Syria Support Group “to transform the besieged areas into protected areas that can be neither targeted militarily nor besieged to deny them humanitarian access, in accordance with international law and United Nations resolutions agreed upon by all ISSG states.”

The statement went on: “The Assad regime and its allies have transformed forced sectarian cleansing into a clear and systematic policy that deprives civilians of their livelihoods, starves them to death, and then pushes them into 'agreeing' to leave their homes and neighborhoods.”

“This ‘kneel or starve’ policy, which is unlawful and amounts to a crime against humanity, has been enacted in over 14 regime-besieged areas that also saw widespread killings with forbidden weapons such as cluster munitions, white phosphorus, napalm, barrel bombs, and chemical weapons.”

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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