Assyrian Democratic Organization: al-Assad’s speech puts the Syriac-Assyrian component in danger

ZALIN (QAMISHLI), Syria – The Executive Office of the Syriac Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO) issued a statement denouncing the Arab nationalist statements by de facto leader of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Assyrian Democratic Organization, a Syriac political organization headquartered in Zalin (Qamishli), calls Assad’s recent statements a continuation of the infamous approach aimed at inciting and stirring up strife among Syria’s indigenous components.

The ADO statement reads; “At a time when Syrians are suffering from the effects of the devastating war waged by the regime, a war in which the regime has resisted the Syrian people’s demand for freedom, dignity, justice, and democracy, … , the regime continues to run from its responsibilities through a forward escape to cover up its failed rule and national and international isolation. By manipulation of national and religious feelings, it is stirring up discord among the components of Syrian society and inciting division through the use of official religious institutions to remain in power against the will of the people.”

ADO states that al-Assad’s remarks about Syrian history being Arab history, are dangerous and put minorities at risk. By denying the role of Syriac-Assyrians (Arameans-Chaldeans) in Syria’s history, culture and civilization, Assad makes them a target and puts at risk the future existence in Syria of the remaining Assyrian-Syriac component and Christians in general, “which already diminished to its lowest level under the rule of this regime.”

The Assyrian Democratic Organization “strongly rejects and condemns this approach aimed to incite and continue to stir up discord among the original Syrian components. And we are certain that the majority of Arabs and Muslims in Syria will not be deceived by this foul game.”

The Syriac Assyrian Democratic Organization has since its establishment in 1957 worked intensively and uninterrupted for the recognition of the rights of Syriacs-Assyrians (Arameans-Chaldeans) in Syria. After the 2011 popular uprising the ADO joined the Turkey-based opposition Syrian National Council. In July 2020, the ADO officially joined the KDP-led Peace and Freedom Front.

Since several years, the Syriac Union Party and ADO have a memorandum of understanding in which they agree on common goals for the Syriac people and the need for democratic change and decentralization in Syria. Both parties in their respective alliances and platforms demand official recognition of the Syriac people and language.