Violence and bloodshed must end

16 February 2012

The Socialist International once more urgently calls for an immediate end to the violence and bloodshed that continues to escalate across Syria. The repression and killings by government forces grow more brutal by the day and are utterly deplorable.

Among the many thousands that have been killed are hundreds of women and children, including those shockingly murdered in cold blood by sniper fire. Soldiers who have refused to follow orders and fire on their fellow citizens have also been ruthlessly executed.

A stark example of the brutality of the regime in recent days has been the indiscriminate bombardment of the city of Homs, including shelling of residential areas with no regard for the human cost. Government forces have also continued their crackdown in other cities including Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, Deraa and Idlib, adding the tragic loss of life in these attacks to the thousands of victims of the bloodshed, a horrendous consequence of the last 11 months.

The United Nations organisation has a responsibility to the innocent victims of the murderous violence of the Syrian regime and must urgently take measures to protect the civilian population, deliver aid and bring an end to the violence. To achieve these ends, a UN resolution is urgently needed now, also in line with the request of the Arab League and their call for the deployment of peacekeepers to bring a halt to the violence and safeguard civilian lives. Each delay or failure to act on the part of the international community increases the suffering of the Syrian people and the number of casualties.

President Bashar al-Assad long ago lost his legitimacy to govern in Syria and the Socialist International reiterates its call for his immediate departure. Only through fundamental change, beginning with a transition to democratic rule and the holding to account of those responsible for the thousands of deaths, will Syria be able to start the process of rebuilding.

The Socialist International reiterates its total condemnation of the violence perpetrated by the Assad regime, and expresses its full solidarity with all those who continue to risk their lives striving in pursuit of democracy and for a life free of oppression.