Thursday, 18 December 2014
In the past year, press attention on Syria largely shifted from Assad’s campaign of terror to the terror of ISIS as they first expanded their reach from eastern Syria into northern Iraq, and then went on to lay siege to the largely Kurdish town of Kobane in north Syria, a battle that ranged within sight of Western media across the border in Turkey.
The TV crews have mostly moved on, but the battle for Kobane continues, with Kurdish and Free Syrian Army forces still fighting together to beat back ISIS. And Kobane is not alone: Across Syria towns and villages are fighting for their lives – against ISIS, against the Assad regime, and in some cases against both at the same time.
And while ISIS adopts the Assad regime’s methods of torture and oppression*, the regime goes on killing Syrians on a scale that ISIS still only dreams of**.
In the past few weeks, the Syria’s Forgotten Cities campaign has aimed to raise awareness of the many other Kobanes: focusing on Aleppo, Homs, Raqqa, and remembering the many more, Daraa, Daraya, Deir Ez-Zour, Douma, Hama, Jobar, Idlib, Yarmouk, Zamalka – places battered but not beaten, cities and towns where the fight for freedom and dignity goes on.
As Syrians face another winter of bombing, siege, starvation, and terror, we must resist the temptation to turn away in despair, so we are holding vigils in London and Manchester this Saturday, and we invite you to join us.
Saturday 20th December, 6 to 8:00 pm in Trafalgar Square.
Facebook event page.
Saturday 20th December, 5 to 6:00 pm in Piccadilly Gardens.
Facebook event page.
Press release PDF.
For anyone unable to be present in either of these two cities, we are also holding an online vigil. Please help show solidarity with Syrians in this fourth winter of war by lighting a candle wherever you are and posting a picture of it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, with the hashtag #SyriasForgottenCities. More details here.
* See: Islamic State adopts Assad’s methods of torture, Richard Spencer, The Telegraph, 13 December 2014.
** See: Syrian Network for Human Rights on civilian deaths since the start of the US-led intervention against ISIS in Syria.