Syria: New Wave of Mass Protests against the Assad Regime

Statement by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 19 August 2023,

1.            Since 16 August, mass protests are spreading across those regions in Syria which are under control of the Assad regime. These demonstrations have been provoked by dramatically worsening living conditions after the regime lifted subsidies on gasoline and fuel oil. As a result, the price of one liter of gasoline rose from 3,000 Syrian pounds to 8,000 pounds and the price of a liter of fuel oil rose from 700 pounds to 2,000. Such developments will have massive consequences for transport costs and hence for all sectors of the economy. These attacks on living conditions take place against the background of already extremely dire situation where, according to the UN, 90% of the population lives in poverty, and more than half the population is food insecure.

2.            While similar demonstrations against worsening living conditions did take place in the south of the country in the past three years, the current protests are remarkable as they are more widespread. Demonstrators gathered in at least 15 towns across Daraa, Rif Dimashq and Suwayda provinces. In the latter province, a general strike was declared. In Deir ez Zor City, butchers went on strike after the governor raised the prices of a kilo of meat. There were protests even in Jaramna, a suburb of the capital city, Damascus. Furthermore, the protests have a distinct political character since demonstrators also chant slogans against the tyranny of Assad like “Bashar … Go! We want to live!” One group of protesters issued a statement declaring its non-recognition of the Syrian regime, calling the regime “usurped by the Russian occupier and Iranian militias.” The protests are supported by various local opposition groups and militias like the 10 August Movement, the Association for Free Men of the Arab Mountain, or the Sheikhs of Dignity.

3.            The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) strongly welcomes this new wave of mass protests and sends it warmest greetings to the heroic people of Syria! This uprising – in addition to the fact that heroic people of Idlib continue to keep their region liberated – is another confirmation that the Syrian Revolution is not dead, contrary to the cynical claims of the cowards and renegades. We reiterate that the Assad regime only appears as strong. But in reality, it is weak and totally depends on the support by Putin and the Mullahs. If these protests continue and deepen, they could help to renew the revolutionary offensive to bring down the Assad tyranny.

4.            It is crucial that the oppressed masses take the struggle in their own hands and don’t let the decisions made by some self-proclaimed but uncontrolled “leaders”. All decisions should be taken by the people organized in councils and militias respective by their elected (and accountable) leaders. It is urgent to appeal to the ordinary soldiers of the Assad militias (who often have been pressed into service) to desert and to join the liberations struggle.

5.            The Syrian Revolution was and remains part of the glorious Arab Revolution which started in 2011. The liberation struggles against the tyrants, against the imperialist Great Powers and against Zionism – from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, to Ahwaz, Iran and Palestine – these are all part of one and the same ongoing revolutionary process in the region. These need to be united to a single Intifada! Furthermore, it is urgent to build an international solidarity movement in support of the Syrian Revolution. We call revolutionary activists to join forces in an authentic revolutionary party – nationally and internationally – which can lead the liberation struggle to victory! Join the RCIT!

Victory to the liberation struggle against the Assad tyranny and its imperialist masters!

For an international solidarity movement with the ongoing Syrian Revolution!

For a free Syria, a socialist Syria – a Syria which respects the national and religious rights of all people!

Long live the Arab Revolution!

Unity – Struggle – Victory!

International Bureau of the RCIT

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The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements and articles on the Syrian Revolution which can be read on a special sub-section on this website:

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