Washington, DC (STL.News) The following statement was released by United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on the occasion of the 10-year anniversary of the Syrian uprising:
Today marks ten years since the Syrian people peacefully took to the streets calling for reform. The Assad regime’s response has been one of appalling violence. President Assad and his backers bear responsibility for the years of war and human suffering that followed. We praise the brave individuals and organisations who over the last ten years have exposed the truth from Syria, documented and pursued abuses, mass atrocities, and grave violations of international law to hold the perpetrators accountable and delivered vital assistance to communities. That work remains essential.
After years of conflict, widespread corruption, and economic mismanagement, the Syrian economy is broken. More than half of the population, nearly 13 million Syrians, depend upon humanitarian assistance. The millions of Syrian refugees, hosted generously by Syria’s neighbours, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt as well as those internally displaced cannot yet return home without fear of violence, arbitrary arrest, and torture.