March 15, 2014
Today marks the passing of three years since young people first came out onto the streets of Damascus, Aleppo and Deraa to protest against the arrest and beating of young students who had dared to write graffiti criticizing the regime on the walls of their school.
Much has changed since those first demonstrations; the regime attempted to sectarianize the conflict, unleashed its entire military arsenal against civilians and called in militias and foreign help to put down a civilian uprising. Despite the regime’s efforts to mutate the conflict, our dream has not changed.
Even though our struggle has been long, our success is not in doubt. For four decades, the Assad regime promised immense suffering to all those that opposed it. Our fear of the regime was its most powerful asset. Over the past three years, we have lost that fear. We have faced its worst, and we have survived.
The coalition went to Geneva to negotiate a political settlement. The regime rejected our efforts and those of the international community. It is imperative now to get assistance to the millions who are suffering and to find ways to pressure the regime to stop targeting civilians and to agree to a transitional process.
The challenges remain daunting. We in the coalition realize what we need to do. We are focused on providing for the millions of Syrians suffering under siege and in camps, removing the regime – the source of Syria’s suffering – and building the foundations of a state that respects the rights and dignity of all citizens and treats everybody equally under the law.
We ask the world to trust the Syrian people. Three years ago, the raw courage of our unarmed activists inspired the world. Our duty now is to honor the sacrifice of the fallen by building the country they dreamed of creating for all our children.
Over the coming days, Syrians will be taking part in events across the globe. We call on all those who want to see a free Syria to take part and support our struggle for freedom, justice and dignity for all Syrians.