September 05, 2013
A video obtained by the New York Times shows what are reported to be rebel fighters summarily executing seven regime soldiers. The Syrian Coalition and the Supreme Military Council (SMC) want to make it absolutely clear that they, and all mainstream opposition groups, condemn in the strongest possible terms any actions that contravene international law.
Additionally, killing or mistreating captured soldiers, or those who have surrendered, is an affront to the hopes and principles that fuelled the initial popular uprising against the Assad regime.
The Syrian Coalition and the SMC are committed to upholding the stipulations of the Geneva Conventions on warfare. In the vast majority of cases, Free Syrian Army units operating under the auspices of the SMC have, amongst other actions, protected civilians, places of worship and treated prisoners humanely. When violations have occurred the SMC has been unequivocal in its condemnation and resolute in its intention to hold perpetrators to account.
The Assad regime’s scorched-earth policy has resulted in an explosion of banditry, extremism and lawlessness. The SMC and its FSA units have done their upmost to limit the damage the regime’s actions are inflicting on Syrian society. However, the escalation of the conflict and the fact they are the least well-equipped military actor on the ground, limits the FSA’s ability to establish full control over the situation.
The mainstream opposition, which represents the moderate majority in Syria, has attempted for two-and-a-half years to convince the international community to allow the FSA to procure arms. Supporting the mainstream, moderate opposition is the only way to prevent extremists from exploiting the conflict, and to help Syrians realise their demands for peace, justice and freedom from Assad’s kingdom of fear.
We ask for mercy for our martyrs, health for our wounded, and freedom for our detainees.
Long live Syria and its people, free and with honor