In March 2011, the people of Syria initiated a peaceful revolution in an attempt to bring to an end more than 40 years of oppression and tyranny at the hands of the Assad family of dictators and their regime. Since the beginning, the regime’s response to the peaceful protesters has been one of ever increasing violence and the killing of innocent unarmed civilians. The brutal Assad regime does not differentiate between its victims and many of Syria’s martyrs for freedom have been children under the age of 18.
Currently there are no law enforcement agencies within the country that are protecting the civil rights of all Syrian citizens. By government designation, all divisions of the country’s security forces, as well as the army, are being used against the people in an attempt to intimidate them and bring an end to the revolution. Syrians are now being massacred on a daily basis from every direction; by security forces and shabiha; the secret groups of undercover snipers who are paid by the government, air assaults by the Syrian Air Force as well as bombings and artillery shelling of private homes, cities and towns by the Syrian Army.
After being tortured, tormented and silenced for 40 years, the Syrian people have found their collective voice and are determined to continue to stand up and demand their basic rights and to rebel against corruption, injustice and the deprivation of their freedoms and the strangling of their wills. The number of martyrs who have already given their lives fighting for Syria’s freedom since last March exceeds 3,000, and the number of those being held captive by the army is also in the thousands.
Although the greater majority of the protesters continue with their commitment to being peaceful, it is now apparent that some of the freedom- seeking people of Syria have decided that the regime’s course of action leaves them with no choice but to act upon one of the most basic laws of humanity, which is the right to defend themselves and their families. Because they believe the government’s continued use of violent force against peaceful civilians leaves them with no other option, a relatively small group of Syrian freedom fighters, along with the free Syrian Army, have begun to arm themselves in order to more effectively deter the brutal assaults and murders being committed by Bashar Al Assad and those soldiers and security forces that remain loyal to the regime.
In light of these developments, we , the members of CUSA, the Council of United Syrian Americans, strongly support the people of Syria who have made the difficult decision to defend themselves, and we hold the Assad regime solely responsible for the evolution from ‘peaceful revolution’ to ‘armed resistance’. Likewise, we hold the regime accountable for every life lost on either side of this conflict.
We also strongly support and commend all soldiers and commanding officers who rebel against the regime and take a stand in the defense of the Syrian people. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to those who support, either financially or logistically, the brave heroes who risk their lives in the pursuit of Syria’s freedom and the defense of her people. They have earned our respect and will be honored and remembered for many years to come by every decent Syrian who desires freedom and nothing less.
Long live free Syria!