Thousands of people demonstrated this Monday in the last opposition stronghold in northwestern Syria to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the revolution against the Government of Bashar al Assad, which has not made a public statement on this date that also marks the entry of the conflict into his eleventh year.
Amid shouts of “Syria is for us and it is not for Bashar al Assad”, “We want Syria and for Bashar al Assad to fall” or “The people want the overthrow of the regime”, a large number of men, women and children waved flags of the so-called Free Syria in the city of Idlib, capital of the homonymous province.
The participants, segregated by sex, also carried banners in which they could read slogans such as “The dream was born on March 15, ten years of martyrdom , blood and destruction is a price that freedom deserves” or “It does not matter to go hungry, bleed or die for the sake of our dignity and freedom. ”
“I have come to renew the passion for the Syrian revolution and call for the fall of the regime until the last breath we have, we want the regime to fall and that each of us return to our country,” said protester Alaa Al Maary.
Al Maary, a native of Idlib, where the Levant Liberation Organization predominates , of which the former Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda is a part, and where Islamist and opposition groups rule, carried a sign with the words “Ten years and we still trust that It is a true revolution and the truth is the highest. ”
Silence of some and commemorations of others
In Damascus, the Syrian Executive remained silent all day in relation to the tenth anniversary of the revolution, although at the last minute it ended up speaking through its representative to the United Nations, Bassam Sabbagh, who did not make direct reference to the revolt.
“Some countries, led by the US, the UK and France, started a hostile war against Syria ten years ago to undermine their national options and to target their legitimate government through terrorist means,” denounced Sabbagh, from agreement with the official Syrian news agency SANA.
For its part, the Syrian National Coalition (CNFROS), the main opposition alliance in exile, recalled this date with a general assembly in the northwestern province of Aleppo, to discuss the latest developments, the situation of refugees and displaced persons, or the “Accountability for the regime’s war criminals.”
“For the second day the meetings of the general assembly of the Coalition continue in the city of Azaz and for the second day we continue with the participation of our people in the celebrations of the anniversary of our glorious revolution,” said the president of the CNFROS, Nasr al Hariri.
Also commemorating the anniversary was the Syrian Democratic Council, the political arm of the Forces of Syria Democratic (FSD), a Kurdish-led alliance fighting the jihadist Islamic State and which gained ground in the northeast during the conflict.
The president of its executive committee, Ilham Ahmed, affirmed that this date represents “a turning point in the modern history of Syria” and highlighted how ten years ago the population courageously raised its voice “for the first time” against “one of the regimes. most authoritarian in the world, “according to a statement.
While some world capitals hosted small protests to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of popular protests, certain institutions, research centers and NGOs organized virtual or live events for the ten years of the conflict.
In this context, the British Government announced on Monday new sanctions against six allies of Al Asad, including his Foreign Minister, which include a travel ban and the freezing of assets in the United Kingdom for their role in “the assault on citizens they should protect. ”
For his part, the UN envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, intervened by videoconference before the United Nations Security Council, where he stressed that the talks between the sides of the Arab country will not progress without constructive international diplomacy.
The Constitutional Committee, constituted at the end of 2019 to draft a new Magna Carta with the participation of the regime, the opposition and civil society, has so far not achieved any progress in its meetings in Geneva and the opposition considers the imminent elections in the government areas.
“At a time with so many urgent challenges, do not lose sight of the fundamental importance of a peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict. A political solution is the only way out and I am convinced that it is possible,” concluded Pedersen.