Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
September 15, 2023
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) condemns the dangerous escalation by the Assad regime, which targeted peaceful demonstrators in the city of Suwayda with live bullets, resulting in numerous injuries. These reprehensible actions serve as a chilling reminder of the enduring violence and crimes committed by the Assad regime against peaceful demonstrators since 2011.
The Assad regime’s approach in its dealings with the Syrian people remains unchanged, as it persists in employing the same military and security apparatus to target civilians with weapons. It employs all available means to intimidate Syrians, including the indiscriminate bombing of residential areas, the arbitrary arrest of political opponents and civil society activists, and the relentless practice of various forms of repression within the areas under its control. The recent attack on peaceful civilian demonstrators in Suwayda serves as a stark reminder of the regime’s unyielding brutality.
This regrettable incident underscores the futility of several countries’ attempts to engage with the Assad regime in the hope of inducing a change in its behavior or nudging it towards a desired political solution aligned with the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution No. 2254 (2015).
The SOC expresses unwavering support for the peaceful anti-regime movement in southern Syria and urgently calls upon the United Nations Security Council to devise effective mechanisms compelling the Assad regime to cease its use of violence and ensure the protection of vulnerable civilians. Additionally, the SOC appeals to both Arab and international media outlets to illuminate the protest movement in southern Syria and the legitimate demands it represents, which resonate with the aspirations of all Syrian women and men.
The SOC emphasizes that the continued survival of the Assad regime will only lead to further and deeper crises on all fronts. It underscores that fulfilling the aspirations of the Syrian people hinges upon the attainment of a political transition through the comprehensive implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. This transition will empower Syrians to determine their destiny and lay the foundation for a future Syria rooted in the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.