Women in Black are very worried about the dimensions that the war in Syria is developing, more than half a million dead, the majority of whom are civilians, and the destruction of cities like Ghouta at the hands of the regime, which, in contrast to the rebels, possesses and uses its air force indiscriminately, including the infamous explosive barrel bombs (IEDs) fired from helicopters.
Repression by the dictator Al Assad against the civil population, which arose non-violently against the corruption of his government in the spring of 2011, was followed by an increase in violence, spurred on by the intervention of external factors which, instead of seeking a peaceful solution, provoked a civil war with many actors of international dimension.
In previous communiqués*, we reported that the supposed guardians of democracy might arise as saviors of this country supporting the insurgents militarily, when in reality they only aspired to defend their interests in the area. We also denounced the macabre business of arms sales by various countries, Spain among them, with the approval of their respective governments, despite knowing that these weapons are used against the civil population.
With the pretext of the struggle against terrorism, the international community continues to permit the destruction of Syria and further entrenchment of the conflict at the same time that many voices considered to be progressive continue justifying the slaughter, convinced that the regime is fighting against Al Qaeda in Eastern Ghouta. In an effort to exonerate it for the innumerable deaths that ravage the country, they prefer not to see how the government of Syria is using civilians like human shields. According to Amnesty International 3 of every 4 Syrians have had to flee from their homes, 1.7 million children cannot go to school. In the seven years the war has lasted, the number of dead and wounded exceeds two million.
Despite the propaganda of the Bashar al Asad regime that it has had no part in the mass killings of civilians and that is was being demonized by the imperial West, no one can doubt the responsibility of his government for using chemical weapons in various attacks on civilians. After several years of war and suffering, the conflict instead of decreasing, tends to be widening in an unpredictable manner. This is the reason for the urgency to find a peaceful solution NOW.
As Europeans, we denounce the European Union, which disregards those who oppose this war, without wanting to welcome the thousands of refugees, the majority of whom are deserters who flee with their families to save their lives and escape the armed conflict. The supply of armaments to the various belligerents continues but the quota for admission of refugees in the various countries is restricted. They also do nothing to protect the civilian population trapped between the opposing military forces.
Women in Black ask for:
♀ A negotiated solution in Syria, NOW, one that will include all the civilian voices involved.
♀ That the countries that permit the sale of weapons be denounced, Spain among others.
♀ That the civilian population be protected from military aggression, hunger, poverty and forced emigration, etc.
♀ That there be no impunity and that those responsible be held accountable in courts of justice for their crimes against the people.
♀ That the national heritage be protected and rebuilt.
♀ That the government of Spain fulfill its commitments to welcome Syrian refugees, a commitment with which it has systematically failed to comply.
Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain
* Previous communiqués about this subject:
September-29-2013: Against military intervention in Syria
February-23-2014: Against the war in Syria
September-24-2017: For a negotiated solution in Syria – NOW