Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
June 20, 2023
On World Refugee Day, June 20, the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) emphasizes the urgent need for collective international action to address the refugee crisis. This requires a commitment to implement crucial UN resolutions, foremost among them Resolution 2254, and adherence to international norms and agreements that safeguard the rights of refugees, including access to education and care. The SOC highlights the staggering number of Syrian refugees, estimated at around 6.5 million, dispersed across various countries.
The SOC firmly asserts that the Assad regime bears primary responsibility for the waves of Syrian refugees. Through its genocidal tactics, supported by allies, the regime has perpetrated atrocities against the Syrian people since 2011. These include killings, arrests, torture, displacement, bombings of cities and towns, and war crimes. The lack of accountability for the perpetrators and the absence of a genuine political transition in Syria further exacerbate the crisis.
The regime’s claims of providing a safe environment for Syrians are false and contradicted by the realities on the ground. Arrests persist, and people are forcibly deported to areas under regime control. The incessant waves of migration illustrate the ongoing search for a secure and dignified life, despite the perils faced by asylum seekers, as demonstrated tragically by the recent boat sinking near Greece, which claimed the lives of hundreds of Syrians fleeing the regime’s brutality.
The SOC reiterates that Syria cannot achieve safety and stability as long as the Assad regime and its allies remain in power. This belief is widely held among the Syrian people. Therefore, any voluntary and dignified return of refugees must be preceded by the realization of a political transition in accordance with UN Resolution 2254. Additionally, the regime and its allies must face justice, ensuring the aspirations of the Syrian people are met within a secure country characterized by freedom, justice, and peace.