Today is the third Thanksgiving since the Syrian people rose up to demand change and freedom. Families in America are coming together to enjoy the blessings of warmth, food and a safe home, and we join them in that celebration. But in Syria, widespread violence and humanitarian disaster continue to affect millions of families, and this Thanksgiving we must both remember them and commit to increasing our support for their future and well-being.
This winter season will be an especially difficult one for Syrians. The Assad regime has laid siege to entire towns and cities in an effort to literally starve inhabitants into submission. In Moadamiya, Daraya, and southern Damascus, Syrian civilians have been cut off from aid for over a year -- the regime has denied the city access to water, food, and medicine. The Syrian Coalition is working tirelessly through the UN and international NGOs to pressure the regime to break these blockades and allow the delivery of aid and medical treatment. In fact, we have specified that lifting these blockades is necessary for effective peace negotiations. We have seen some indications of progress on these efforts, and on the ground as well, but every day that passes makes the need for an immediate resolution more dire.
It is the responsibility of the international community to put an end to this atrocity. Individuals have a valuable role to play as well. There are several humanitarian organizations who have networks that travel deep into Syria and can deliver aid to those in dire need. Our Washington office has compiled a list of brave organizations that are launching winterization campaigns to help Syrians prepare for the coming winter.