In a newly released statement, leading Syrian activists and others condemn the Russian intervention:
As people and groups from many countries, united by a common commitment to peace, justice and human rights, we condemn the military offensive that began with air strikes launched by Russia in Syria on 30 September 2015 and accelerating subsequently.
While the Russian government has said that these operations were directed against the Islamic State (ISIS), most were on areas with no ISIS presence. The focus of the Russian military offensive appears to have been on opposition communities in the northern Homs region, a continuing center of resistance to the Assad Regime.
The victims of the Russian aggression on 30 September were predominantly civilians, including many children. Humanitarian conditions were dire in the area before Russia launched its offensive because it has long been under siege by the regime for its resistance.
The Assad Regime has wreaked havoc across Syria. The civil war it started by shooting democracy protesters has killed over a quarter-million Syrians, forced half the population from their homes and made millions of refugees. In the course of doing this, it has lost control of half the country. Although peace can never be restored by the regime that destroyed it, it would appear that Russia is now going to directly use its military might to further prop up a regime that would have collapsed years ago without foreign backing. This operation by Russian forces can only deepen the agony of the Syrian people, increase the flow of refugees, and strengthen the hand of extremist forces like ISIS.
To read the complete statement, see the list of signatories, and to lend your support, please visit Pulse Media.