11 years ago, the people in Syria revolted against the tyranny of the Regime of the Assad family. Little did they know Bashar al-Assad would choose to unleash fire and blood on the country in order to remain in power.
A report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights has documented the horrors of the war, according to an article by Baladi News. The report recorded the deaths of at least 228,647 civilians, including 29,741 children and 16,228 women (adult females) at the hands of parties to the conflict between March 2011 and March 2022. Most were killed by the Syrian regime and its allies. The French NGO Action Against Hunger also published a statement, warning that the number of Syrians at risk of hunger has reached record-high levels. “An estimated 12.4 million people – about 60% of Syria’s population – suffer from food insecurity. This represents a 57% increase since 2019 and is the “highest number ever recorded in the history of Syria,” according to the World Food Program”, it said.
Nevertheless, and despite the hardship, Syrians displaced from all around the country were celebrating the 11th anniversary of the revolution in Northwest Syria, the opposition website Zaman al-Wasl reports. The publication’s correspondent said the demonstrators gathered in the main squares in the city of Idleb and the cities of al-Bab, Azaz, and Darat Izza in the western part of the Aleppo province.
In the Northeast, the Autonomous Administration (AANES) leader Ilham Ahmed seized the occasion to call for the national opposition to unify for the transition of Syria to a better future, according to Kurdish agency North Press. “11 years of the popular movement in Syria that began in March 2011 against tyranny & centralization,” she tweeted. Saleh Muslim, a member of the presidency of the Democratic Union Party (PYD, which dominates the AANES), pointed out that what is happening in northeastern Syria represents the essence of the “Syrian revolution”, which demanded freedom, democracy, and the people’s participation in the political decision, also according to North Press. He claimed that as long as the Syrian regime remains attached to centralization, there can be no way out of the crisis.
Russia and the U.S.
Meanwhile, Russia has resumed its strikes on Idleb, according to the pro-government newspaper al-Watan. The publication claims these strikes are a warning from Russia to Turkey, which might be tempted to provoke Moscow in either Ukraine (where it is supplying Kyiv with drones, editor’s note) or Syria. For the Kremlin, Turkey should not take advantage of the war in Ukraine to change the front lines in Syria. On the other hand, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America published a statement on the occasion of the 11-year anniversary of the uprising in Syria. “We do not support efforts to normalize relations with the Assad regime and will not normalize relations ourselves, nor lift sanctions or fund reconstruction until there is irreversible progress towards a political solution. We encourage all parties, especially the Syrian regime, to participate in the March 21st meeting of the Constitutional Committee in good faith and call for the Committee to deliver on its mandate”, they said.
Similarly, Republican Senator Jim Risch said the strategic partners of the U.S. should not rehabilitate Assad, according to the pan-Arab website Asharq al-Awsat. “After 11 years of barrel bombs, chemical weapons attacks, and countless airstrikes on civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, key U.S. partners now appear intent on bringing Assad back into the international fold,” Rich said.