Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
May 25, 2023
Today, we solemnly mark the eleventh anniversary of the Houla Massacre, an abhorrent war crime that claimed the lives of 107 innocent civilians, including 49 children and 32 women. This brutal incident occurred in 2012 in the Houla Plains of rural Homs, coinciding with the presence of UN observers in Syria who witnessed the burial of the victims.
During that fateful day, Assad’s forces subjected the area to relentless shelling for 14 consecutive hours. Subsequently, sectarian militias, security forces, and shabiha militants stormed the homes of civilians, engaging in field executions. Heartbreaking testimonies from survivors, along with reports from human rights organizations, reveal the horrific manner in which children were handcuffed, women and men were rounded up, and then mercilessly slaughtered with bayonets and knives, followed by additional shooting after their lives had been taken.
The Houla Massacre represents just one among the numerous war crimes committed by the Assad regime against the Syrian people. It is incumbent upon the international community not to forget the extensive catalogue of such heinous acts, nor to turn a blind eye to the plight of a population that has made immense sacrifices in the pursuit of freedom, justice, and a dignified life.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) urgently calls upon the international community to prevent the criminal Assad regime from evading punishment and escaping the consequences of its actions. The SOC emphasizes the imperative of maintaining the regime’s isolation and insists on the implementation of a time-specific plan to hold it accountable for its crimes. Furthermore, the SOC reiterates the pressing need for a political transition in Syria in accordance with UN resolutions, particularly Resolution 2254.