The Syrian National Coalition and the presidency of the Chief of Staff of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have issued a joint statement emphasizing that the regime seeks to send a desperate message to the world, using the blood of Syrians in Maaloula.
The statement said the regime seeks to intimidate Syrians and the World by giving the impression that the revolutionaries seeking freedom are in fact fierce monsters.
They said the "sectarian dictatorial regime" wants to be seen to protect minorities, warning of potential criminality in Maaloula, noting that the regime commits massacres through its Shabbiha ("Thug") militia groups, while the FSA works to protect all Syrians and instructs members about the need to protect minorities.
The statement said that the leadership of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had commissioned special forces from the FSA to secure and protect the people of Maaloula, its monasteries and holy sites.
The statement added that the Coalition and the FSA "pledge to the World that we seek to protect all Syria and each Syrian with all our strength and that we are working on excluding any hand that may hurt our people, especially minorities."
"We renew our pledge to confront the crimes of this regime in all its forms until it is toppled and its leaders are taken to fair trial."
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer