Thirteen years pass since start of Syrian revolution

On Friday March 15, protesters filled the streets across Syrian towns and around the globe to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the Syrian Revolution.

The protests were mainly congregated across northern Syria and the more recently raging as-Suweyda governorate, and largely represented the vast public refusal of the Assad regime’s rule.

In the middle of Idleb city, chants targeted the Assad family and vowed commitment to their quest of achieving freedom and dignity. Protesters also made sure to address the issue of those detained by the Syrian regime, through chants demanding their release.

A number of manifestations also called for the overthrow of Hay-at Tahrir al-Sham chief Abu Muhammad al-Julani, refusing a list of reforms he presented and labelling them as merely “symbolic.”

Unrest Continues in as-Suweyda

In as-Suweyda, hundreds took to the streets to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the revolution with their fellow Syrians. The gatherings mostly centered in the Dignity Square in the center of as-Suweyda city, with the Free Syria Army flag prominent amongst the crowds.

Notably, as-Suweyda was one of the few cities across Syria that hosted a renewal of anti-regime demonstrations. In the last few months, protests have taken the governorate by storm as the economic situation continued its downward trend.

Last month, regime forces attacked protesters in as-Suwayda, killing one protester and injuring another. The incident marked the first time that a protester was killed in the recent renewal of public mobilization.

A Call not to Forget Syrians

The commemoration of the revolution was not limited to Syrians, however, as a plethora of Syrian influencers, Arab organizers and international pro-freedom marches celebrated the anniversary, raising both Palestinian and Free Syria Army flags.

In the midst of the ongoing Israeli genocidal campaign in Gaza, organizers have called for people not to forget about the condition of Syrians, who continually constitute one of the biggest refugee crises in the last century.

“I learned everything I knew about my life and the world during this revolution,” expresses Syrian dissident and media director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Celine Kassem in a video published on her Instagram page.

In another video, Kassem, alongside Iranian dissident Bahar Ghandehari, asserted their stance against dictatorships and occupation across the Middle East region, reminding viewers that the regimes in Syria and Iran are also one of the biggest “human rights abusers” in the region, killing and torturing fellow nationals and abusing the rights of others in nearby countries.

Ghandehari and Kassem, echoing the calls of many other progressive Arabs, have sought to remind viewers that “standing against the genocidal occupation in Palestine should not fog our perception of other dictatorships and human rights abusers in the region”, asserting that “only solidarity will help us reach our liberation and freedom”, ending the video with a call to “free Iran, free Syria and free Palestine.”