Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
May 3, 2023
This week marks the tenth anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes committed by the Assad regime. Over three days, starting from May 2, the Bayda and Baniyas Massacres were carried out against unarmed civilians who were peacefully protesting and demanding freedom.
Human rights organizations have documented the deaths of 459 civilians, including dozens of children and women, who were brutally killed in attacks by Assad’s paramilitary forces, known as “shabiha,” and the Hezbollah militia. They were subjected to barbaric acts such as being killed with knives and machine guns, beaten to death with stones, burned, and their corpses mutilated. The massacre took place after Assad’s forces surrounded the area and cut off electricity and communications in preparation for the atrocity.
The Al-Bayda and Baniyas Massacre is just one of many heinous crimes committed by the Assad regime and its allies. These crimes cannot be forgotten, and they serve as a stark reminder of the danger of forcibly deporting refugees to areas under the control of the Assad regime. Those who are forcibly returned will face a similar fate because the perpetrators of these crimes remain in power.
The SOC stresses that the Assad regime, which is responsible for the Al-Bayda and Baniyas Massacre, the Al-Tadamun Massacre, and crimes involving the use of chemical weapons, poses the gravest danger to Syria, its people, and neighboring countries.
The SOC calls on the United States and the international community to take concerted action and work within a specific time frame to hold the Assad regime accountable and work towards achieving a political transition. The SOC warns that mere statements and tweets are insufficient when dealing with a barbaric regime like the Assad regime.