Syria: imperialism orchestrates ‘civil war’

Syria: imperialism orchestrates ‘civil war’On 10 January 2012 Syrian President Bashar Al Assad gave his third televised speech since the beginning of ten months of violence. He focused on the ‘unprecedented media attack’ in which ‘over 60 TV channels in the world are devoted to work against Syria’ and the mounting conflict around the borders, funded, armed and organised by foreign forces. Capitalist media condemned Assad as ‘paranoid’, attempting to shift the blame, but on this occasion he is closer to the facts than their reporting. Despite the Syrian Ba’athist government’s history of repression, of betraying the Palestinians and collaborating with the US rendition programme, imperialism views it as insufficiently compliant and has mobilised to destabilise and remove it.

 

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Syria: imperialists manoeuvre for influence

As the political crisis in Syria deepens the response of imperialist countries has been to repeat the political, economic and media campaign which presaged military intervention in Libya. Whilst in Syria the stakes of intervention are much higher, and the situation within the country is different, it is clear that the Syrian people’s struggles are being used by competing imperialist powers.

 

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Imperialists step up interference in Syria

The continuing protests against the Assad regime have now been going for six months despite the brutal response of the state. Human rights groups calculate that over 2,500 people have been killed in the ongoing protests; the state claims that armed terrorists have been involved and that around 500 police and security officers have been killed in the same period. There are clearly different strands to the opposition to Assad and Ba’ath Party rule. One is represented by the large protests that have taken place in many cities calling for political reforms, which have been mostly peaceful, but have been suppressed, at times brutally, by the army and security forces. Another strand is armed and associated with the Muslim Brotherhood; their actions in attacking police and security forces are the basis of Assad’s claims that armed gangs and terrorists backed by foreign interests are attempting to break up the Syrian state.

 

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Syria: brutal repression

On Friday 15 July over one million Syrians took to the streets across the country in continuing protests against the government of President Bashar Al Assad, the biggest protests being in the cities of Hama and Deir Ezzor. The government’s brutal response to these demonstrations left at least 19 people dead as the security forces used live rounds to disperse demonstrators. Human rights groups estimate that over 1,400 people have been killed since the protests began in mid-March. Although 25% of the population of Syria live in poverty, the main demands of the protests remain calls for democratic reform and an end to Ba’ath Party rule. The call for the removal of Bashar Al Assad, now more prevalent on demonstrations, is still not a unanimous opposition demand.

 

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