As the Syrian people’s endeavor for freedom and dignity continues, their hopes for freedom and a better country for themselves and their children continue to be high. On August 17, protests re-erupted in southern Syria over frustration with rising fuel and food prices, and quickly grew into a popular movement against the long-lived grievances committed by the Assad regime.
Protests have spread to other parts of the country, including those under regime control in Dara’a, Homs, Latakia, Tartus, Aleppo, and Damascus signaling increasing defiance voices among the Alawite community in Western Syria. Gatherings supporting the protest movement in southern Syria occurred across areas outside the control of the Assad regime in northern Syria. With scenes reminiscent of the early days of the Syrian Revolution in 2011, protestors are demanding the regime's downfall and waving Syria’s independence flags in a hope for what Syrians wish to be Syria’s 2nd independence.
The American Coalition for Syria fully supports the Syrian people's right to express their grievances and demand change peacefully. As we continue to be in contact with activists in al-Suwayda, the American Coalition for Syria is committed to amplifying their voices, shedding light on their aspirations, and providing a platform for their stories. Although Assad has long portrayed himself as a defender of minority rights in Syria, the Druze rebellion in al-Suwayda and its expansion into the regime’s heartland underscores Syrian’s desire for broad reform in Syria and the need for countries in the region and the United States to reconsider options to further exert pressure on the Assad regime to deliver the political transition that Syria and the region requires today.