Washington, D.C., October 3-5, 2018: The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) held a number of meetings at the United States Department of States headquarters with senior officials from various US government departments, including the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (SCFR), the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), the Office of Global Criminal Justice (GCJ), the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance (AVC), and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). The meetings were also attended by a representative from the office of the US ambassador to the Security Council, and the director for Syria at the White House.
In the meetings, SNHR chairman Fadel Abdul Ghany touched upon a wide range of topics. He first talked about the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons and the US’s response in the wake of the recent chemical attack on Douma, before focusing on the subject of the Syrian regime’s and Russia’s control over southern Syria.
Abdul Ghany also shed light on the Iranian regime’s large-scale encroachment into the institutions and organs of the Syrian state and community, as well as stressing the need for Syria’s detailed political roadmap to return to its normal path in accordance with Resolution 2245 – establishing a transitional governance body and formulating a constitution, followed by holding elections. Lastly, Abdul Ghany emphasized that a more inclusive form of governance should be realized in the areas under the control of international coalition force, in tandem with the implementation of a process to compensate the victims and the reconstruction of the infrastructure and buildings which were destroyed by the aerial and land bombardment by international coalition forces; he stressed that this has become a pressing priority in the wake of defeating ISIS in order to bring about a greater sense of security and stability.
Meanwhile, the White House director for Syria emphasized that the US will not allow the relegitimization of a Syrian government under the Assad family’s rule, adding that the US Coalition will play an integral role, along with their allies and friends, to prevent any such eventuality from coming to pass. He stressed that the Syrian regime and its allies will be unable to reconstruct what they have destroyed in the areas under their control, and no progress will be made in this regard without the implementation of a political solution that ensures a democratic political transition.