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SAF Calls on President Obama to Work for a PEACEFUL End to the Crisis in Syria

Dec 19, 2012

Washington, D.C.

The Syrian American Forum (SAF) once calls on President Obama to continue to work with Russia and other major powers to implement the Geneva Declaration on Syria of June 2012 by working with all Syrian parties to find a Syrian solution to this crisis. SAF expresses its concern with the decision to recognize the “National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces” as “The legitimate representative of the Syrian people”, ignoring many other factions of the Syrian political society. A large number of Syrians declared, in social media and other fora, “I am Syrian; the “Coalition” does not represent me”. Meanwhile, the leadership of the “Coalition” sympathized with organizations labeled terrorist by the US government. We would like to bring the following to your attention:

  • The day after your announcement, on December 12, 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria, a major group within the “Coalition”, issued a statement considering the decision regarding AlNusra as a “hurried, wrong move that should be condemned”.
  • On that same day, in his statement at the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Marakesh, the leader of the “Coalition” Sheikh Ahmad Muaz AlKhatib criticized the decision regarding “AlNusra” calling for it to be “reconsidered”. He went on defending religious extremism as justified in their militarized campaign.
  • At least nine different militarized groups in Syria, which have some ties with members of the “Coalition”, establishing an alliance with AlNusra Front calling themselves the “Mujahideen Shura Council”, unequivocally rejecting the US decision.
  • Friday December 14, 2012, merely three days after your statement, different opposition groups declared that day as the “Friday of ‘We Are All AlNusra Front’”. Many of the demonstrators chanted that slogan while claiming “in Syria there is no terrorism, Obama”.


The events on the ground are full of activities that should be considered in any policy decision regarding the situation in Syria; Daily car bombings in civilian areas, grade schools, and religious sites. Assassinations and kidnappings have become a norm. Killing civilians is going relentless. Numerous war crimes have been recently condemned by Human Rights Watch. Are we turning a blind eye to these realities? Our community is watching with dismay the continued and unabated violence and destruction taking place in Syria, and if only due to humanitarian considerations, we urge President Obama to help put an end to this vicious cycle of violence by working through the UN Special Envoy and other powers to find a solution based on the Geneva Declaration of June 2012.

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