In July 2012, commanders and representatives of various rebel groups inside Syria under the umbrella of the “Free Syrian Army” came together to sign a statement of principles outlining their belief in a plural, democratic, civil state for Syria and their commitment to abiding by international law. An English translation of the FSA statement is below:
We the commanders and representatives of the Military Councils of the Free Syrian Army hereby proclaim these principles:
We believe in a free and democratic Syria where all Syrian citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, creed, religion or class shall enjoy equal rights and live in liberty, justice and peace.
We believe in a pluralistic, multi-ethnic, multi-religious society that honors and upholds freedom of expression, thought and conscience.
We believe in the freedom of association and assembly. No Syrian shall be forced into a political association or denied equal participation in political life.
We believe that the rule of law shall apply equally to all Syrians shall be honored by the governing bodies of Syria and shall reign supreme throughout the nation.
We believe that the governing bodies and public authorities shall protect all citizens from persecution, fear and cruel or unusual punishment.
We reject all forms of terrorism and will fight against the scourge of revenge killing in our land.
We recognize the threat posed by Syria’s chemical and biological weapons stockpiles and pledge to safeguard these dangerous materials.
We welcome peace and security along our regional borders and we look forward to establishing political partnerships and alliances in the Middle East and beyond.
The Free Syrian Army is a military structure responsible to all Syrian citizens and will submit to under the authority of a democratically elected civilian government.
We seek a peaceful end to Syria’s crisis but will fight if necessary to end the tyranny and dictatorship of the Assad regime. Our aim is to protect Syria’s civilians and to guarantee them a brighter future.
We will do our utmost to uphold international humanitarian law and norms, including by treating prisoners humanely, even as the Assad regime engages in crimes against humanity.
We welcome our international allies and partners joining us in this revolution for freedom and dignity.
Signed by the commanders of the Military Councils of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa, Dayr azZawr, Hama, Homs, Idlib and Latakia