Rebel fighters of the Shamya Front walk along orchards
from the frontline against Islamic State fighters

How to stop the violence and groups like ISIS

Dear User,

I'm Salma, head of one of the 85 Syrian groups who've signed this message to you.

Representing 17,000 Syrians - many who've taken serious risks to be part of this statement - this is what we want to say about how to stop the violence and groups like ISIS. Please take 3 minutes to read it:

"To those around the world who want peace and justice,

We are Syrian non-violent activists and we need your solidarity. The extremism that is growing in your cities is rooted in our conflict. We Syrians are its first victims.

This extremism breeds on injustice and violence. It grows from the rubble of our ravaged towns and cities, and will only continue to expand unless we act together. To stop the extremism we have to end the bloodshed in Syria.

Stopping the violence requires two steps which we cannot achieve alone: (1) an end to the Assad regime's barrel bombs and air strikes and (2) negotiations between all Syrian groups and their international backers.

We cannot achieve these alone because Syrians are not in full control. Our struggle that started four years ago as an attempt to establish democracy after four decades of authoritarian rule has now become the world’s war. It’s been turned by the Assad regime into a bloody conflict that has forced half of Syria's families from their homes and killed more than 200,000 of our people. There are now more than 87 countries involved in the killing on all sides. That is why we need friends around the world to stand with us to stop the violence and extremism that is spiralling out of control and spilling into cities around the world.

To do that we need the barrel bombs to stop - even if it takes a ‘no fly zone’ - and meaningful peace talks. They need to happen together.

A year ago the UN Security Council unanimously demanded that the regime stop dropping barrel bombs on the civilian population. These are often old oil barrels packed with rusty scrap metal and explosive and rolled out of helicopters and planes four kilometers up in the sky. They accelerate down on markets, hospitals and schools shattering communities who want no part in the violence. They do not hit military targets, they have no role in the balance of the fighting. They simply terrorise the civilian population.

Barrel bombs have increased since the Security Council demanded they stop. With every home they destroy, more people are radicalised, turning their backs on more moderate paths towards justice. Unless we stop these bombs, there will be no faith in the demands of the international community. We cannot expect an internationally-backed political process to work when founded on broken promises.

And negotiations is what we need. There is no military solution to the conflict nor to the radicalisation that is born from it. We need real peace talks to include all Syrian parties with the strong support of the international community.

No one side can unite Syria. It will require compromises from everyone involved and new leaders to build the future. Slowly, with the support of our real allies, we hope to reconnect with the tolerance and coexistence we have known for millennia and build a Syria better than before.

Stand with us to build peace in Syria. It is your peace too."

Please join us at and together let’s stop the violence and extremism.

In solidarity,



Earth: This is Planet Syria. Send us a signal.

Our peaceful uprising has been violently crushed and now we face threats not only from the regime but also from extremists, including Isis. We feel isolated from the world as if we are on a different planet. On 24th March 2015 we sent out a message to the world that we need solidarity to stop the regime’s ‘barrel bombs’ - with a no-fly zone if necessary - and real peace talks. Some of us risked our lives to get this message through and we want to see if it’s working. On 7th April 2015 (next Tuesday), we want to hear from all those around the world who care about peace and justice that Planet Syria is not alone. Are you out there?


Here’s what we need you to do:

1) Find friends - one at least
2) Find a space, outside is better (If possible, find a place that represents your town or city- a monument, famous site…)
3) Send your signal to Planet Syria - try not to use paper
(Think writing in the sand, using sparklers, balloons, a wall… get creative!:)
4) Send a picture or video of your message

The event page for the day of action is here:

You can write something, you can mime something, you can sing something, you can paint something, you can say something. Get creative. But most importantly, tell us you’re out there.

Please share anything you do to or email to

With love,

PS - Here's a message from Atareb in Syria - they're counting on your support!



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April 2015