SAC Calls for Protecting Civilians, Establishing No-Fly Zone

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Syrians Seek Concrete Action Following ‘Friends of the Syrian People’ meeting

The ‘Friends of the Syrian People’ group met Friday in Paris to seek ways to help the Syrian people’s struggle against the Assad regime and stop its atrocities committed over sixteen months. While the outcome of the meeting did not meet the expectations of Syrian-Americans and the activists on the ground, SAC welcomes the group’s commitment to the sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the call for the protection of civilians under chapter 7 of the U.N. charter. SAC also calls for the immediate establishment of a ‘no-fly’ zone to protect the people from the regime’s use of its air force to crush the revolution.

The meeting’s effectiveness was met with skepticism from Syrian National Council (SNC) members as well as activists on the ground, including Khaled Abu Salah, a key activist from Homs who attended the Paris meeting. Abu Salah said the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has already created its own ‘safe zones’ inside Syria but a ‘no-fly’ zone is now critical to help the Syrian people topple the regime. Additionally, SNC member Hassan Hachimi called for an intervention starting with a ‘no-fly’ zone to encourage defections. “Even going to the U.N. to try to push for a new resolution without the support of Russia and China is just a waste of more time that we don’t have,” said Hachimi.

SEE: Syrian dissidents doubtful as world leaders meet in Paris – Los Angeles Times

“Although we welcome the call for protection of civilians under chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, we need to see less summits and meetings and more concrete action to support the Syrian people,” said SAC President Dr. Talal Sunbulli. “We urge the ‘Friends of the Syrian People’ to fulfill the people’s request of establishing ‘no-fly’ zones on designated areas in order to protect Syrian civilians and protesters from Assad’s forces,” added Sunbulli.Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, more than 18,000 people have been killed including more than 1,400 children. The Assad regime should be held accountable for widespread, systematic, and gross human rights violations, including violations that may amount to crimes against humanity.

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Rashad Al-Dabbagh
Syrian American Council
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