Salem Al-Meslet, President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), participated in the annual ceremony organized by the Global Justice organization in Gaziantep, Türkiye. The event was graced by the presence of three Republican congressmen, namely French Hill, Ben Klein, and Scott Fitzgerald.
Also present were Badr Jamous, President of the Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC), Abdul Rahman Mustafa, Head of the Syrian Interim Government, and Ambassador Çağrı Sakar representing the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Alongside them, numerous Syrian and Turkish activists, politicians, businessmen, and heads of humanitarian organizations operating in Türkiye contributed to the ceremony.
During the event, the organization bestowed its 2023 honorary award—the shield of the Syrian trailblazer Adela Beyhum Al-Jazaery—upon Jerry Adams, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Syrian Emergency Task Force.
President Al-Meslet addressed the gathering, extending a warm welcome and highlighting the significance of such gatherings for fostering coordination among Syrian components, benefiting both those within liberated regions and those abroad.
He touched upon the burgeoning popular movement against the Assad regime in Suwayda and Daraa provinces, and the extensive support these provinces receive from across the country. Al-Meslet emphasized that the resounding chants and demands echo the early days of the Syrian Revolution.
The unfolding developments underscore that the Assad regime’s presence is undesirable throughout Syria, reflecting Syrians’ profound desire for a liberated state—a harmonious amalgamation of all Syrian people, safeguarding its social fabric. He urged for governance grounded in justice, encompassing values of freedom, dignity, democracy, and secure living—ensuring fundamental rights for all components of Syria.
Al-Meslet stressed that the Assad regime’s relentless approach of violence, arrests, forced disappearances, bombings, and mass displacement will not alter Syrians’ resolute call for change; instead, it bolsters their determination to claim their freedom.
The President further spotlighted the regime’s strategy of starving civilians, obstructing humanitarian aid, and redirecting international assistance to Iranian militias, which aids in the oppression of Syrians and fuels the death squads managed by the regime. He referred to the instance of tons of humanitarian aid found rotting in warehouses in Tartous, following Assad’s obstruction.
Emphasizing that the Assad regime’s continued reign presents the principal barrier to refugee return, Al-Meslet asserted that Syria cannot regain its safety under such a regime, one that vilifies refugees as criminals for escaping its killing machine.
He elucidated that refugee return necessitates progress in the political process, backing change in Syria, and supporting the Syrian people’s endeavor to forge a new, democratic, and liberated Syria. This, he highlighted, demands the collaborative efforts of friends of the Syrian people and the international community.
Al-Meslet urged Arab countries and friendly nations to acknowledge the regional threat posed by the Assad regime and its supporters, calling for the implementation of UN Resolution 2254. He underscored that Assad’s illicit drugs still plague the region and are facilitated by Iranian militias, with international assistance, to proliferate across the world.
He commemorated the recent tenth anniversary of the Ghouta massacre as a well-documented war crime, criticizing the international community’s indecisiveness and inadequate commitment to punitive action against the perpetrators.
Al-Meslet praised the resilience of Syrians across all regions, particularly those in liberated areas, who persevere despite challenges. He pressed for increased international support through executive institutions and civil society organizations, encouraging projects and investments that fortify these areas in the face of dire humanitarian conditions.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)