January 27, 2017
The fall of Aleppo to the Assad regime in late 2016 has had serious repercussions on the Syrian revolution, leading to growing dissension among revolutionary forces that were supposed to form the backbone of a national army as well as serious incursions into the revolution by organizations having trans-border terrorist agendas. Such unfortunate events proved detrimental to the revolution as they were used by hostile forces as a pretext to intervene in Syria; they risked tarnish the image of the revolution and its noble goals of freedom, dignity, justice, and equality.
When the Syrian people rose up six years ago against injustice and tyranny, including all components of the Syrian society, they did not do so to serve narrow-minded, sectarian, depraved agendas. Nor did they rise up to serve cross-border bloody terrorist groups which proved no different from the despotic, murderous Assad regime which attracts foreign militia and mercenaries to fight on its side either through tempting them with money or the nourishing of hatred-filled, abhorrent, sectarian drives.
Since it was formed in 2012, the Syrian Coalition has repeatedly emphasized its firm commitment to building a civil, democratic state based on equal rights for all its citizens. It also repeatedly expressed absolute rejection of terrorism in all its forms, calling on Syrians to denounce and eradicate it given the grave danger it poses to values of tolerance and coexistence that have long been part of the Syrian identity and which the tyrannical Assad regime has sought vehemently to undermine.
The Syrian Coalition has explicitly rejected the presence of Al-Qaeda because it adopts a deviant, extreme ideology and practices and uses terrorism as a means to achieve certain goals. The fact remains that the Assad regime and Iran helped Al-Qaeda to grow and fester in Syria by opening their borders to Al-Qaeda militants. Equally responsible for the rise of Al-Qaeda in Syria are those who failed to find an early political solution to the crisis thus turning Syria into a ground for scores settling.
The Coalition reaffirmed its rejection of Al-Qaeda even after its adoption of a new name in Syria. It called on all revolutionary forces to remain committed to the objectives of the Syrian revolution and to work under the national umbrella. The Coalition also urged all the revolution forces to unite into a single military entity that enjoys legitimacy and support as well as shows discipline and respect for human rights and international law and reject terrorist ideologies and behavior.
The Syrian revolution is now going through the most critical phase with growing external interference and aggression and now that the external aggressors revealed their real intentions to put Syria under their direct mandate. However, the Syrian revolution will remain firmly committed to the goals and fundamental principles it has long advocated. The Syrian people will continue to decisively reject terrorism and terrorist organizations whatever their origin or ideology, including ISIS, the Nusra Front, Fatah al-Sham Front as well as the Iranian-backed foreign militias including the Hezbollah militias, militias of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Abu Al-Fadl Al-Abbas, Zainabiyoun, Fatimiyoun brigades, the mercenaries of the so-called National Defense Forces, the 5th Corps, and other terrorist, sectarian, and separatist organizations.
As the Syrian Coalition follows closely the latest developments in northern Syria, it emphasizes the following:
- The Coalition reiterates its absolute condemnation of acts of aggression in Syria and encroachment upon civilians’ rights as well as violations of civil liberties and human rights by Fatah Al-Sham Front and its supporters. These terrorist acts serve the Assad regime and its allies, and they risk undermining the ability of the Syrian people to respond to external attacks on Syrian territory.
- The Coalition calls upon all revolutionary and rebel groups to adopt a national project that endorses the values and principles of the revolution. It also calls for the formation of a Syrian national army to serve the revolution and its objectives working under its legitimate political umbrella in order to achieve the Syrian people’s aspirations through coordinated, professional, and disciplined work.
- The Syrian people will continue the struggle against the murderous Assad regime, the Iranian occupiers, and all forces of terror. We call upon the international community to work seriously and diligently to achieve a political transition in Syria in line with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. In parallel, action must be taken against state-sponsored and cross-border terrorism.
- We call for the formation of an international coalition to oust all terrorist organizations from Syria as we reject giving those groups a safe haven in Syria. The preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity and the unity of its people as well as the establishment of a democratic system of government is the only way to eradicate the threat of terrorism in the region; protect the people from terrorism, dry up terror’s sources; and prevent individuals, organizations and states from sponsoring or supporting it.