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Thursday 10 September 2015

To help Syrian refugees, stop Assad

Tonight’s Stop The War meeting has been cancelled. Below is the leaflet we had prepared to offer to those attending.

PDF version.

To help Syrian refugees, stop Assad

Having risen up en masse against the brutal Assad regime, the Syrian people have been subjected to mass murder, torture, rape, starvation, and enforced exile.

Now their struggle has again captured the world’s attention as the flight of tens of thousands of Syrians into Europe has finally  forced governments to discuss a solution to the crisis.

This is not just a refugee crisis, it is a crisis of Syria, of the whole country experiencing brutal oppression. There can be no solution to the refugee crisis without the removal of the regime responsible.

Some Syrians are fleeing ISIS, but most flee the Assad regime’s violence. The family of Aylan Kurdi’s, whose tragic death caught the world media’s attention, originally fled their home in Damascus after their father Abdullah was detained and tortured by the regime. The same is true for millions of others: this year alone the Assad regime has killed seven times more civilians compared to ISIS.

The only people who can remove the regime and resolve the crisis in Syria are the Syrian people. But they cannot do it alone. They need our support and solidarity.

We call on Stop The War to vocally oppose Assad’s violence, to demand the end of the barrel bombing, the lifting of the starvation sieges, and the end of Russian and Iranian intervention in Syria. It is this intervention which has preserved the regime, and allowed it to keep killing.

Above all we call on Stop The War to listen to Syrians.

Syria Solidarity Movement opposes the bombing of civilians, and opposes extra-judicial killings, be they by the Assad regime, or by ISIS, or by the US or UK. But it is Assad’s bombs which must be stopped if his regime is to be defeated, and Syrians to be allowed to return home.

Anti-war activists have a duty of solidarity to the Syrian people. To automatically oppose US/UK intervention, while remaining silent about the governments of Iran and Russia intervening on the side of Assad, is to abandon the Syrian people. Refusing to support activists on the ground who continue to organise and fight for the the original goals of the revolution is a terrible betrayal.