Hope Remains: Commemorating the Eighth Anniversary of the Syrian Uprising

Syrian People Still Strive for a Free and Democratic Future

March 15, 2019

Washington, DC — Today, Americans for a Free Syria (AFS) observed eight years since the Syrian people peacefully demonstrated in the streets for freedom and democracy.

“For Syrian Americans, the anniversary of the uprising is a somber one. We remember watching as peaceful demonstrators demanding democracy and an end to corruption were quickly met with gunfire, detention, torture and execution by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The world knows what came next—eight years of shelling, poison gas, starvation, barrel bombs and the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war by the regime and its Russian and Iranian allies,” said Lina Murad, President of AFS. “The industrial scale of misery caused by the regime on the Syrian people is unprecedented. Enough is enough. The United States must take the lead to stop the violence, protect civilians and bring Assad and his allies to their knees and the negotiating table.”

Americans for a Free Syria asked policymakers and the Administration to redouble their efforts toward:

  • Protecting civilians and ending violence by Bashar al-Assad and his allies, including staving off a catastrophic regime offensive against Idlib province, in which as many as three million civilians are sheltered.
  • Securing the release of all political detainees that face torture and death in Assad’s dungeons, including American citizens.
  • Reinforcing international standards on the use of chemical agents as weapons of war, and ensuring that further use of chemical weapons will be met with a swift and severe U.S. response.
  • Passing the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act and the No Assistance for Assad Act to deny Assad and his backers the tools for committing further atrocities against civilians.
  • Providing accountability and justice for perpetrators of war crimes.
  • Maneuvering the Syrian conflict toward a peaceful and comprehensive conclusion, including the drafting of a new constitution that enshrines the dignity and right to self-determination of the Syrian people.

Americans for a Free Syria (AFS) is a non-partisan, non-profit that advocates for human rights, the rule of law and U.S. national security interests in Syria.