In the middle of March 2011, the youth of Syria started a peaceful revolution. All classes of society participated in it. In the streets, protesters called for freedom, democracy and human dignity. These goals hit the nerve of society, the dreams and aspirations of the Syrian citizens. People had a great desire to finally shake off the system of tyranny and corruption, which had been in place for half a century. Before the revolution, the Assad regime was only able to control and silence the society by means of oppression and terror. The Syrian people was stripped of its wealth and became impoverished. Therefore, the Syrian revolution, which was to quench the people’s thirst for freedom, democracy and justice, had a historic dimension.
Despite the killing, destruction, displacement, massacre and genocide committed by the regime and its allies (the Russian and Iranian occupying forces and their sectarian militias) against the people, the demands of the revolution for freedom and justice remain appropriate.
The international community and the United Nations have failed the Syrian people. Protecting civilians and saving lives is a legal, humanitarian and moral obligation of all members of the UN. By merely observing the situation and failing to act they tacitly tolerated the massacres of the people. How else can we interpret the shameful silence regarding the war crimes and the crimes against humanity committed before the eyes of the entire world?
Assad’s clinging to power and the continuation of his policy of scorched earth at all cost opened the door to extremism and terrorism. Iran and Russia’s military intervention, which saved Assad from his downfall, pursued their own hegemonic objectives in the region.
The interference of international powers has not only divided the country but also makes a political solution extremely difficult and lengthy. Particularly Iran and Russia, which have provided military support to Assad, try to gain as much control and influence as possible.
Today, Syria is an arena for global and regional powers. The conflict of interests between these states has recently led to political and military clashes. The Syrian people is paying the price with their children’s lives.
In all regions of their country, Syrians are suffering from an economic and social crisis. Millions of Syrians are threatened by hunger. The collapse of the Syrian pound has led to a further deterioration of most Syrian’s living conditions. The breakdown of the economy has severe consequences on people’s every-day life. Grocery prices have soared. There are many factors indicating a severe economic crisis. Poverty and increasing unemployment are spreading, foreign reserves have almost been completely spent. Especially the district of Idlib and its surroundings are suffering from an acute lack of food and clean drinking water. In As-Suwayda Governorate in southern Syria on the Jordanian border, several hundred people are already demonstrating against the deteriorated living conditions.
The Assad regime, which is to a great extent responsible for death, displacement and destruction and which sabotages the efforts to find a political solution in compliance with Resolution 2254 of the Security Council, has long lost its legitimacy.
Despite the tragedy suffered by the Syrian people, the Syrian revolution of March 2011 remains important and right.
The recent uprisings of the peoples in Sudan, Iraq and Algeria confirm that the Arab spring has not ended yet.
This development shows that the Arab peoples are determined to get their way, sooner or later, and obtain the freedom they strive for and achieve justice.
Syrian Democratic People’s Party