Al-Suwaidaa ongoing protests | SOHR condemns regime government’s attempts to starve south Syria
Popular uprising in Al-Suwaidaa has continued for over a week, amid expectation of escalating protests, as the residents call for improvement of living conditions in light of the chronic crises which have plagued the area since the Syrian regime and their allies regained control of south Syria region after reconciliation deals.
The protestors called for decreasing prices of basic essentials which reached levels unaffordable by many, especially after lifting governmental subsidy provided to hundreds of thousands of Syrian families, depriving them from tens of commodities, including bread and fuel, they had got at state-subsidized prices. The demonstrators have demanded urgent enforcement of the international resolutions, particularly Resolution No. 2254, in order to put an end to the chronic crises and starvation which have been battering all Syrian areas. The situation deteriorated further after the Syrian regime had captured most of the crossings through which humanitarian aid and assistance had entered Syria, where regime forces have looted this assistance and sold them in black markets.
It is worth noting that Al-Suwaidaa, has witnessed violent conflicts and devastating military battles for years, is now struggling with alarming lack of food, inflation and poor salaries, where an employee gets no more than 20 USD a month. These battles were led by regime forces and their allies, Russian and Iranian forces, where the Iranians aimed to impose their influence on the region by purchasing real estate and start for-profit business, as a part of their plan of demographic change, exploiting the disastrous situation.
We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), stress exerting all possible efforts to defend the rights of Syrian people, so that they will enjoy decent standards of living and stay safe away from all practices and agendas aiming only to destroy and divide Syria. We also call upon the international community to intensify its efforts to put an end to violations against Syria people 80 percent of whom live below the poverty line, while most of people rely on their relatives living abroad for financial support and on aid and supplies provided by some humanitarian organisations.
In an exclusive SOHR interview with a leader in Amarjy Movement, Sameha Nader says “it is common knowledge that the sever economic hardship has worsened further with the repression and hegemony exercised by regime security services, as well as the prevalence of terrorist gangs throughout Syria. The current popular uprising in Al-Suwaidaa is an expected reaction, despite all attempts by the Syrian regime to intimidate and terrorise the residents, using the activities by ISIS as a ‘scarecrow,’ where ISIS had stationed on the outskirts of Al-Suwaidaa and committed various crimes and atrocities against the province’s people, including kidnappings and killing. However, this uprising terrorises the Syrian regime which claims that it ‘protect minor communities.’ The Syrian regime is scared of peaceful protests in areas hosting minor communities. One example, among many, was on February 5 when the body of the leader of the democratic and human rights movement and the political and legal coordinator of Amarjy Movement -the Syrian democratic committees- Dr. Aktham Naisse, was transferred from France, where he died on that day, to his heartland ‘Basnada’ village in Latakia. On that day, the Syrian regime prevented all hospitals from receiving the body and prohibited posting any death notices, fearing gatherings during his funeral. This tyrant regime feared of even the dead body of an opponent whose words have been the most effective weapon against repression.”
“There are many factors behind the escalating uprising by Al-Suwaidaa residents who call for dignity and securing basic essentials in light of the stifling economic hardship. Since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution, the Syrians have been calling for providing decent standards of living, as hungry people can never enjoy welfare. The Syrian regime is attempting to force people to bow to its will by starving and impoverishing them, and this explains its rejection of fulfiling people’s demands. A settlement of Syria’s crisis cannot be reached without a political and comprehensive settlement which will definitely lead to improvement of the economic situation. After 11 years of killing, displacement, arbitrary arrests and destruction, Syrian people have reached a high level of political maturity, so the situation on the ground cannot exacerbate further.”
“The people of Al-Suwaidaa call for a civil democratic state and the overthrow of the head of the Syrian regime, so that they can choose their president and a government representing and service them through democratic and genuine elections,” added the leader in Amarjy Movement.