Syrian coast and Golan join the “Three Regions Document”

Protesters raise slogans of the Three Regions Initiative in front of the Mausoleum of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash in the town of al-Qurayya in As-Suwayda - March 8, 2023 (Moudar al-Debis/Facebook)

Protesters raise slogans of the Three Regions Initiative in front of the Mausoleum of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash in the town of al-Qurayya in As-Suwayda - March 8, 2023 (Moudar al-Debis/Facebook)


Enab Baladi – Hani al-Abdullah

A group of people from the Syrian coast, both inside and outside Syria, announced the formation of the National Action Assembly and their joining of the Three Regions Document.

The establishment statement of the assembly was published by several Syrian opposition figures on their social media accounts on April 7, affirming that the assembly includes a wide spectrum of Syrian men and women who belong to the coastal region inside and outside Syria, who have worked together before this announcement for a long time, and discussed how to contribute to building trust and promoting methodologies of national democratic action.

The assembly affirmed in its statement the aspirations of the people of the coast must meet the aspirations of the Syrians, most notably freedom, dignity, peace, transitional justice, and achieving political transition, and rejecting the systematic “sectarianization” and fragmentation of Syria that the regime has been working on.

University professor Mohammad al-Ahmad, one of the founders of the coastal assembly, told Enab Baladi that the formation of this assembly is a real response to the “Assad regime,” and a message to it that the people of the coast are not with it despite the repressive machine, and that the coast is present within the national opposition state. He added that the establishment of the assembly is another message to all Syrians that the coast is one of the most important geographical areas which, if it plays its true role, will change the equation towards building a state of citizenship, freedom, and justice.

Al-Ahmad pointed out that the timing of the announcement of the founding of the National Action Assembly for the Syrian Coast on April 7 was purely coincidental and did not have any symbolic significance or connection with the founding anniversary of the Baath Party.

In turn, Syrian lawyer Mohammad Sabra considered the founding of the National Action Assembly a good attempt at this time to unify the activities of the opposition in the coast, and to frame their struggle according to a political method consistent with the Syrian national struggle as a whole, pointing out that the most important obstacle that must be overcome is how to restore the Syrians’ trust in themselves first, and in their ability to reproduce themselves as free citizens in a homeland they strive to own and make decisions for, and “overcome sectarianism and the culture of hatred that the Syrian regime has planted in our society since 1970.”

The coast joins the “Three Regions Document”

The National Action Assembly in the Syrian coast announced its joining the Three Regions Initiative, making the document now include five regions namely the northern countryside of Aleppo, As-Suwayda, Daraa, the Golan, and the Syrian coast.

The coastal assembly mentioned in its statement, “We look forward to completing the ongoing discussions to join other Syrian regions across Syrian territory to the initiative, paving the way to start the second phase of this promising political project that builds its strength through coordination, trust, and joint national rational action, which enhances the return of politics to society, and establishing its ownership in the hands of the people, preventing monopolization of its practice or its limitation to a specific party without others.”

Dr. Mohammad al-Ahmad indicated that “the future importance of the Three Regions Initiative is for all Syrian regions to join, thus completing the geographical identity, and at the end, Syrians come together on a national identity and one cause, which is the struggle against al-Assad and the continuance of a ruling group in the country and its perpetration of killing, preventing the Syrians’ aspirations for a state of freedom, justice, and citizenship.”

In the same context, Mohammad Sabra told Enab Baladi that the coast’s joining the Three Regions Document is the sincerest expression of the restoration of the coast’s struggle against dictatorship and despotism to its national space and Syrian public space, adding, “We hope that the base of support for the Three Regions Document will expand to include all parts of the country, considering it a comprehensive document aiming for the Syrians’ engagement in shaping their future based on cooperativeness, communication, and building trust.”

What is the “Three Regions Document”?

Academics, intellectuals, and activists from the provinces of As-Suwayda, Daraa, and the northern countryside of Aleppo announced on March 8, the launch of the Three Regions Document under the slogan “Long live the homeland” with the aim of unifying the public national discourse opposed to the Syrian regime, and preventing dragging towards “separatism and bigotry”.

The announcement of the Three Regions Document, a joint political document, came during a rally in front of the mausoleum of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash in the town of al-Qurayya in the countryside of As-Suwayda, where participants raised the flag of the Syrian revolution and slogans calling for freedom and dignity.

The Three Regions Initiative is based on five main paths: nationalizing politics, with the goal of not delivering the Syrian public decision to any foreign power; the second path rests on the principle that life, freedom, security, and dignity are inalienable rights for all Syrians, and opposing any discourse that calls for hatred or advocates for the acceptance of liberties and dignity being confiscated in exchange for stability.

The third path in the Three Regions Initiative reaffirms Syria’s unity, stating it is not a state of a sect, ethnicity, party, or political stream, but a state that embraces all its children without exception, and that Syrian nationality cannot be achieved on the basis of local seclusion.

The fourth path is based on coordination, dialogue, and joint action, and building networks of trust between Syrians across regions, sects, and kinships. The fifth path emphasizes that trust is a founding political tool that frames the national gathering, and that the unity of Syrians in their diversity.

Mohammad Sabra, who was one of the supporters of the Three Regions Document, believes that the initiative aims to restore the original radiance of the Syrian revolution, return the Syrian decision to its legitimate owners, which are all Syrians, and revert to the will of free Syrians, considering real political change in Syria is only based on this will, rejecting subjugation of this will to any international, regional, sectarian, or ideological entity.

The Golan is present in the unified political assembly

Days after the launching of the Three Regions Initiative, the Democratic National Movement in the occupied Syrian Golan and the Progressive Socialist Party in Lebanon issued simultaneous statements renewing their support for the Syrian revolution, and expressed their support for the Three Regions Document.

The Democratic National Movement in the Golan said on March 21, that the Three Regions Document came to cut the road to all suspicious projects and to declare loudly and confidently that Syria belongs to the Syrians and they are the decision-makers in their homeland, stressing the rejection of surrendering the Syrian cause to foreign forces, militias, or party groups.

The Progressive Socialist Party in Lebanon emphasized the importance of adhering to the Three Regions Document for what it symbolizes of Syrian national convergence across regions and sects, and holding on to the unity of the Syrian people and Syria, and to the unity of the demands for which the Syrian people have been fighting since 2011 against injustice, killing, detention, and arbitrariness.

Has the initiative gained popular support?

The Three Regions Document includes civil society organizations from the northern countryside of Aleppo, where dignitaries from the cities of Aleppo, Azaz, and al-Bab participated, as well as the Aleppo Revolutionaries Union, the Union of Professional and Scientific Syndicates, and the Free unions.

The initiative was also supported by Sheikh Ahmad al-Sayassneh and dignitaries from Daraa, the General Movement Committee in the town of al-Qurayya in As-Suwayda, the head of the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblatt, and his wife Noura Jumblatt.

Regarding the popular interaction with the Three Regions Document, lawyer Mohammad Sabra said, “We sensed a lot of positive response in all areas of Syria,” and perhaps some areas were able to express their positive reception and interaction with the initiative, while there were other areas that could not openly express this due to the de facto forces ruling large parts of Syria, whether in regime areas or other areas controlled by various de facto powers.

In turn, Dr. Mohammad al-Ahmad indicated that there was great rallying and genuine support for the Three Regions Document, adding, “There are prominent names that joined the initiative, but we do not want to announce the names except at the right time.”

The revolutionary movement continues in the Syrian regions for the 13th consecutive year, despite all regime attempts to kill, arrest, and clamp down to thwart this movement, which gained more momentum after the protests that began in As-Suwayda on August 17, 2023, where various regions of the governorate witnessed the participation of tens of thousands of protesters, who raised the flag of the revolution and called for the fall of the regime.


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