Syria: continuing the forever war

Protest against US military action in Syria (photo: Code Pink/flickr)

On 26 February 2021, five weeks after the inauguration of Joe Biden as US president, the Democrat government launched airstrikes on the Syrian border region of Deir Ezzor, in an operation described by the Pentagon as a ‘proportionate military response’ to moves of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. British foreign secretary Dominic Raab announced that Britain ‘supports the US response to militias attacking coalition bases in an attempt to destabilise the region,’ in a week that the Labour Party confirmed its ‘unshakeable' commitment to NATO. By contrast, Cuba’s socialist foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez immediately condemned the ‘flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this sister nation and of international law and the UN charter.’ Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, the new US administration has shown it will target Iran, Syria and any other nation it sees as threatening its strategic interests – wherever they may be.


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Kurdistan fights on: the women's village of Jinwar

Women and girls at Jinwar Village

In Baghouz, Northern Syria, Syrian democratic forces (SDF) are fighting the last battles against a now almost completely defeated ISIS.  This is a much different picture from just 5 years ago, when ISIS was on the offensive.  Back then, as now, it was the Kurdish-led forces that were on the front lines of the struggle.  In 2014 when ISIS pushed through from Iraq across the border into Sinjar, KRG Peshmerga forces pulled out and ISIS were permitted to occupy the region, forcing thousands of Yazidis to flee into the mountains. YPG (People’s Protection Units) and YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) along with PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) fighters moved in to push ISIS back and provide an escape route for civilians.  It is estimated that between 2,000 – 4,000 people were killed and 4,000 – 10,000 kidnapped by ISIS gangs.  Without the assistance of the YPG/YPJ and PKK it could have been much worse.


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Syria future in the balance

Syria remains a focus of global and regional tensions as the government of President Bashar Assad, supported by its Russian ally, further asserts its control over the war-torn country. Attention has now turned to Idlib province in the north-west, which is the last significant area of the country occupied by jihadist rebel forces. Many of the armed groups in Idlib have close connections to Turkey, which also has its own military occupying parts of north-western Syria. More than three million people remain in Idlib province and in early September imperialist leaders and their media whipped up a familiar hysteria about an impending massacre of civilians by the Syrian and Russian militaries. The US threatened intervention once again over supposed evidence that Syria was planning to use chemical weapons. However, a deal agreed by Russia and Turkey has averted the threat of an escalation for now, and made clear which countries currently hold the balance of power in Syria.


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Syrian government consolidates control

Syrian security forces raising the government flag

On 22 July 2018 hundreds of members of the ‘White Helmets’ opposition group and their families were evacuated from the south-west of Syria by the Israeli military. This followed guarantees from Britain, Germany and Canada, that they would grant them asylum. A month earlier, Donald Trump’s administration had made it clear to US-supported rebel groups that it would not provide military intervention to support them in their war against the government of Bashar Assad – effectively an instruction to surrender. The Syrian army, with support from Russia, has been rapidly retaking the last rebel-held territory in the south, close to the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Hundreds have been bussed to the last rebel stronghold of the Idlib province, in the north-east on the border with Turkey. For now, at least, the overthrow of the Syrian government is no longer high on the agenda of the US, Britain and France. Toby Harbertson reports.


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Syria: Air strikes fail to prevent government victories

On 14 April the US, Britain and France launched around 100 missiles at Syrian government targets. This was the first overt attack on the state by the two European powers which drew its borders in the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916. The pretext for these strikes was that a chemical weapons attack was carried out by President Bashar Assad’s government in the city of Douma on 7 April. However, the real intention of the strikes was to send a signal to Russia that its continued encroachment into the Middle East would be met with force. Historically, Britain, France and the US have considered the region their sphere of influence, and control of its resources, trade and transport routes have underwritten their global power. However, other regional powers are gaining influence.


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RCG statement on the 14 April 2018 attack on Syria

The Revolutionary Communist Group condemns the 14 April 2018 British, US and French missile attack on Syria. This action was intended to reassert imperialist control over the Middle East at a time when it is being undermined. British Prime Minister Theresa May said that British participation in the assault was ‘to deter chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the UK’. This invocation of the poisonings in Salisbury was targeted at Russia. May continued: ‘This is not about intervening in a civil war. It is not about regime change. It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.’ May attempted to legitimise a war crime and to subdue growing alarm at the prospect of a global conflagration.

Syria was accused of mounting a poison gas attack on the city of Douma, in the region of Ghouta, close to Damascus, on 7 April, which reportedly killed more than 40 people. The Syrian government denied using poison gas and the Russian government claimed the event was faked, and that it involved the British state. British media replayed images of children and other civilians in pain, hosed with water. This repetition was intended to prepare the audience to accept a military assault on Syria. Following reports of a previous chemical weapons attack on the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017, which killed around 80 people, we said: ‘It is not the job of anti-imperialists to decide who launched this chemical attack, but to oppose its use as the pretext for a new imperialist war in the Middle East.’


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Syria: The struggle for the future of the Middle East

british forces syria
British forces in Syria

The declaration by Iraqi military forces of the liberation of Mosul, Iraq, from Islamic State (IS) forces on 9 July marks a major step in the defeat of the organisation’s once powerful caliphate in Iraq and Syria. The organisation now holds only 9% of the territory it held at its height in 2015. IS is not yet defeated, and the battle to remove it from the cities of Raqqa and Deir Ez Zor in Syria continues. However, as gains are made against IS, regional and imperialist actors are shifting their priorities to broader strategic questions. Syria, and the continuing war there, remains at the heart of a power struggle for influence across the region and beyond. The fight to retake important IS territory is central to the struggle between a weakening US imperialism, supported to different extents by other NATO powers, and the rising influence of Iran and Russia. This battle is being played out in a complex web of alliances and conflicts on the ground: from the fight for Kurdish autonomy, to a struggle between US and Iranian influence in south-east Syria, these conflicts look set to fragment the Syrian nation.


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No to imperialist war on Syria! RCG statement on US airstrike on Syrian airbase

On Thursday 6 April, 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from US aircraft carriers and struck a Syrian airbase at Al Shayrat, near Homs, killing at least six people, and destroying six aircraft. This was the first openly acknowledged US military strike against the Syrian government in the course of the long war in Syria. Although the US and other imperialist powers, including Britain and France, have been funding and organising the insurgency against the Syrian government for years, this attack marks a dangerous escalation at a point when the Syrian government was beginning to win the war. This could drive further imperialist slaughter and barbarity in the Middle East and beyond. All progressives must oppose US airstrikes on Syria, and fight to build a real movement against imperialist war.


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Syria: the battle for Raqqa

UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein declared, on the sixth anniversary of the war in Syria, that it is ‘the worst man-made disaster the world has seen since World War II’. Despite the government victory in Aleppo in December 2016, which marked a turning point in the war against imperialist-backed and jihadist groups in Syria, it is clear that the country will remain at the epicentre of a regional and global proxy war for a long time to come. The focus has now shifted to the struggle to retake the eastern city of Raqqa from the Islamic State group (IS), with hundreds of US troops openly building up within Syria’s borders, alongside Turkish, Russian, Syrian, and Kurdish forces – all with competing interests and alliances. The threat of wider war in the region has not receded.


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Syria: Government victory in Aleppo a major setback for NATO imperialists

Syrian army units

On 14 December 2016, in perhaps the most important battle of the war, the Syrian military and its allies won complete control of the major city of Aleppo from jihadist and imperialist-backed rebel groups. As well as a major victory for the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad against a waning insurgency, this was a victory for a whole constellation of powers – notably Russia and Iran – over the NATO imperialist powers and their allies. The changing role of Turkey has proved crucial as the focus of the war in Syria looks set to shift to the struggle between Turkey and Kurdish forces in the north and east. The Syrian government has entered 2017 in a position to begin mopping up the last pockets of rebels in western Syria, before turning its focus to rebuilding its devastated cities and infrastructure, and facing the Islamic State group (IS) threat. The legacy of the NATO imperialists’ attempts at regime change in Syria is hundreds of thousands of corpses, many more maimed and disabled, and a country taken back in time. As reconstruction contracts are handed out, it will be those that stood with Syria against NATO who will benefit and increase their regional influence. Toby Harbertson reports.


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Syria: will Russia and Trump end the war?

On 20 November 2016, outgoing US President Barack Obama admitted that he is ‘not optimistic about the short-term prospects in Syria’. US imperialism has grounds for pessimism. The Syrian military and their Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies continue to make gains against the imperialist-backed armed groups which have plagued Syria with six years of brutal war. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kutznetsov was deployed to the Mediterranean in mid-November, warning NATO off open intervention against the Syrian government. NATO plans for regime change have failed, and with the election of Donald Trump as US President, many commentators insist that a U-turn in US Syria policy is imminent. This may mean a shift in strategy, but US war in the Middle East will continue. However, the military power of Russia, and its growing influence in Syria and the Middle East, is a major challenge to US imperialism and its allies. Toby Harbertson reports.


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Syria: Aleppo becoming epicentre of global war

Aleppo war

On 22 September, the Syrian military announced an assault on the remaining opposition fighters in east Aleppo, with the support of the Russian military. After six years of brutal war, it has judged that it is now in a position to finally retake the entirety of the country’s second city, relegating the imperialist-backed insurgency to mainly rural areas. The major imperialist states and their allies cannot accept such a blow to their longstanding plans to overturn the independent government of President Bashar Assad. Their reaction has been increasingly hysterical. Newspapers have been filled with imperialist politicians hypocritically accusing Russia and Syria of war crimes, whilst ramping up the rhetoric for war against Syria, and even Russia. The stakes in the Middle East are getting ever higher. Toby Harbertson reports.

Claims and counter-claims

A ceasefire was negotiated to begin on 12 September. The Syrian government accused rebel groups of breaking the ceasefire more than 300 times. The agreement was shattered on 17 September by US-led airstrikes on Syrian soldiers fighting the Islamic State group (IS) at Al Tharda mountain near Deir Ez Zor. The attack killed up to 90 Syrian soldiers, injured 100, and allowed a temporary IS advance. The British, Danish, and Australian air forces have all subsequently claimed to have participated in the strike. The US Central Command described it as a targeting error, without offering an apology. Syrian intelligence claimed that it had intercepted communications between the US and IS before the attack. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova explained: ‘We are reaching a really terrifying conclusion for the whole world: that the White House is defending Islamic State.’ (17 September).


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100 years on from Sykes-Picot imperialists push to divide Syria

19 May 2016 marks 100 years since the signing of the Sykes-Picot agreement, when British and French diplomats carved up the Middle East, laying the basis for a century of regional oppression and war. March 2016 marked five years of brutal war in Syria, with the NATO imperialist powers, and their regional allies, fuelling and funding insurgents to overthrow the government of Bashar Assad. They have created one of the most destructive wars in decades, which has sent millions of refugees fleeing the country. NATO’s campaign has disastrously failed. Brutal jihadists including the Islamic State group (IS) and the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat Al Nusra (JN) have dominated the opposition. The Syrian state is still standing with support from Russia and regional allies. Major Syrian victories against the opposition are mounting, with the crucial liberation of Palmyra at the end of March. In recognition of this reality, the major imperialists talk once again of redrawing borders, this time the division of Syria along sectarian lines. Toby Harbertson reports.

Palmyra retaken

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of the majority of Russian military forces from Syria on 14 March. Since intervening in Syria on 30 September 201imp5 on request from the Syrian government, the Russian military has succeeded in tipping the balance of the war against the imperialist-backed rebels. Russia has provided airstrikes to support ground offensives carried out by the Syrian army – with Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Shia militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan – which have cut off the supply lines of rebels operating from Turkey, and recaptured much of Aleppo province. On 25 March, the Syrian army re-entered the important central city of Palmyra – which dominated headlines in May 2015 when IS occupied the city and began to destroy the city’s unique archaeology. The liberation of Palmyra, with the support of Russian airstrikes, marks the biggest defeat for IS forces since Kurdish forces defeated them at Kobane. The US launched just two airstrikes against IS in the battle for Palmyra, demonstrating its reluctance to fight IS when it might lead to Syrian government gains.


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Syria airstrikes: Stop Imperialist War

hands off syria

The British government is using the 13 November Paris attacks as a springboard for open inter vention in Syria. As we go to press, it looks certain that the House of Commons will vote to authorise British airstrikes on the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria. Prime Minister Cameron has been leading the campaign for Britain to join France, the US and other allies in their strikes in Syria. He laid out his seven-point plan on 26 November, confident that he will now win a parliamentary majority in favour of intervention, supported by a significant section of Labour Party MPs. Toby Harbertson reports.

Cameron is desperate for Britain to join the air campaign in Syria, in fear of British imperialism being left out of the new configuration of power and alliances being forged in the wake of the 13 November attacks. France, the US and Britain are finally having to confront the contradictions in their own foreign policies. Fomenting civil war in Syria to destroy the independent government of Bashar Assad has been a complete failure. IS has been the main beneficiary and has launched major attacks in Tunisia, Turkey, Leb a non, Iraq and France. The Syrian state still stands after five years of war. France is now moving to co-operate with Russia in the campaign against IS. Russia's strikes have been successful at beginning to damage IS, working as they are with the Syrian government and army.


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Corbyn and British airstrikes on Syria

On 2 December, the British parliament voted to support airstrikes on Syria by 397 votes to 223. The decision followed the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November and the unanimous agreement of the UN Security Council calling on UN member states to ‘redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts’ committed by Islamic State. Under the guise of fighting Islamic State (ISIS), British imperialism is undertaking its 50th military intervention in the Middle East and North Africa since 1945. The British ruling class has no interest in the fate of the Syrian people: its abominable treatment of Syrian refugees is testimony to its complete inhumanity. It is more than willing to ally itself with fascist Turkey, which is waging war on the Kurdish people, and brushes aside the crimes of the savage monarchy of Saudi Arabia, a leading sponsor of ISIS, in the interests of lucrative defence contracts. The destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in those countries show that imperialism can only offer barbarism as its solution to a deepening world crisis.


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Russian intervention wrong-foots NATO campaign against Syria

Russia bombs Syria

On 30 September Russian planes began airstrikes on the Islamic State group (IS) and other armed groups in north and east Syria. A NATO-led coalition of twelve international powers, including the US, Britain, and the Gulf Coordination Council (GCC), are already bombing Syria, with IS also the stated target. Unlike the NATO-GCC coalition, Russia began airstrikes at the request of the Syrian government. The reaction from the British and US leaders and press has been one of hysteria and hypocrisy. The US Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter, claimed that Russia's strategy was 'doomed to failure'. Unlike the NATO-GCC coalition however, Russia does have a clear strategy – to support and defend the Syrian government to win back territory from an array of hostile groups. This is in direct opposition to the NATO-GCC coalition’s real objective – to destroy the government of President Bashar Assad. In launching military intervention in Syria, Russia has sent a defiant signal to the NATO imperialists that they can no longer get away with their international reign of terror without resistance. Russia sees Syria as in its sphere of influence and has significant interests in the Assad government remaining in power. Russia,  a weak nuclear-armed imperialist power, is demonstrating that it will defend its own strategic interests with the significant military power it has available. The threat of even larger wars looms on the horizon.


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Syria, Iraq and Iran – which way for US imperialism?

March 2015 marked four years of war in Syria. Despite their best efforts, NATO powers and their regional allies have failed to replace the government of President Assad with one more pliant to their objectives. They have succeeded only in wreaking massive destruction and suffering, and mobilising and strengthening brutal sectarian forces across the region – particularly the Islamic State (IS). Iran – formerly NATO’s main enemy in the region – has managed to gain influence. This was not NATO’s plan, and some in the ruling classes are now pushing for shifts in strategy. Splits in the US ruling class have come into the open, with a powerful section pushing for the US to develop its influence over Iran. From this perspective, destroying the Syrian government can wait.


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Kurds lead heroic resistance in Kobane

Islamic State (IS) forces attacked Kobane canton in Rojava, west Kurdistan, Syria on 15 September 2014. Better armed than the Kurdish resistance, by early October IS had reached the centre of Kobane city. With his troops across the border from Syria, gazing on the battle before them, Turkish President Erdogan said, ‘Kobane may fall very soon.’ Eight weeks later and IS has been driven into retreat; the YPG (People’s Protection Units), the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units), peshmerga from south Kurdistan and some members of the Free Syrian Army have fought heroically. Their fight is for all the oppressed people of the Middle East. Trevor Rayne reports.


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Syria: Huge blow to NATO powers

The policy of the US, British and French imperialists towards Syria is getting increasingly desperate. On 8 May the Syrian army retook Homs, once known as the ‘capital of the revolution’, through a deal with opposition fighters. A few days later, Iranian officials declared victory for the Syrian government, Iran and Hezbollah – the ‘resistance axis’ – in an interview with the Guardian (11 May). President Bashar Assad will stand for re-election on 3 June. Three years since the beginning of the war, the Syrian state remains intact, and the imperialist-backed rebels are losing ground, or fighting amongst themselves. Strategically, this is a huge blow to the NATO powers and an important success for the ‘resistance axis’. A frantic increase of support for opposition groups has been the imperialist response. Toby Harbertson reports.


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Syria: Imperialists on the back foot

In the imperialist countries media attention has shifted from Syria to the confrontation between US-European imperialism and Russia in Ukraine. Until recently, Syria was the primary arena for these same economic and strategic rivalries. The fall of the village of Yabroud marked a major advance for the Syrian army in winning back the country from the chaos and reaction of warring jihadist groups and other imperialist-backed bandits. The confused strategy of the imperialists and their clients in Syria has proved unable to deal a fatal blow to the Syrian government. Now, the major belligerents are shifting their strategy. Toby Harbertson reports.


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Syria: Going backwards in time

According to the UN Development Programme, Syria has lost 35 years of human development in just two years. Natalie Roberts, from Médecins Sans Frontières, explains that Syria’s health care system is ‘going backwards in time, at a rate of a decade a month’. The increasing influence of jihadist groups in the war in Syria, has led to continued fighting between opposition groups and sustained fighting has spread to Lebanon and Iraq. This was the context for the Geneva II conference at the end of January 2013. Toby Harbertson reports.


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Rojava: Kurdish revolution in Syria

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 237 February/March 2014

Rojava is the Western (Syrian) part of Kurdistan with a population of three million. Despite its relatively small size in terms of area and population, Rojava is today under attack by the reactionary and colonial forces in the Middle East. Embargoes are imposed and neighbouring countries try to isolate Rojava by closing borders. Puppet gangs are carrying out massacres.


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The plight of Syria's refugees - racism, poverty, and imprisonment

Three years of war in Syria have created a major refugee crisis. At least 2.3 million people have been forced over Syria's borders. Britain, France and other European governments are happy to fuel the war with money and weapons, but less generous when it comes to accommodating these refugees. The entire European Union has offered refuge, under a UN plan, to only 12,000 people – 0.5% of the total displaced. The vast majority are living in Syria's neighbouring countries. Those seeking to escape from these overcrowded and deprived situations face the militarised borders of the EU, immigration prisons, hostility and racism.


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Syria: Peace talks and proxy war

The Syrian government has complied with the Russian-US chemical weapons plan, destroying all its production facilities by the November deadline. The war has dropped from the top of the news agenda. The international struggle over Syria’s future has shifted focus to the arrangements for the Geneva II peace conference. Relative negotiating positions will be determined by the balance of forces on the ground which is shifting in favour of the Syrian Army. In the northeast, Kurdish forces have taken the upper hand. The strategy of the imperialists and their regional clients is in tatters and they are struggling to reverse this. In the midst of this brutal war, the humanitarian crisis deepens. Epidemics of once controlled diseases threaten millions, and the refugee crisis intensifies. An effective ceasefire and peace settlement would be welcomed. However, peace is not the primary objective as far as the imperialists of Britain, the US, and France are concerned. Toby Harbertson reports.


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Kurdish self-determination in northern Syria (Guest Post)

Down with colonialism and imperialist aggression!

While the contradictions amongst the imperialists and former colonial powers continue over their bloody war against the hegemony of Syria and the Middle East, in Rojava (western Kurdistan) in northern Syria the Kurdish people have taken into their own hands the struggle for self-determination. Through an uprising begun in July 2012, a democratic alternative, based on the people’s commitment to brotherhood and freedom, has been born. The Kurdish people have taken control of all important spheres of life, and started building councils, in which all regional ethnic, religious and social groups are represented. The Kurdish people of Rojava (West Kurdistan) are taking steps towards building an alternative way, a way that is completely separate from that of the imperialists and regional reactionaries. Inevitably, it is being attacked from all sides. All progressive and re­volutionary forces must therefore take the side of this revolution in Rojava.


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Syria: Changing context

The 29 August House of Commons vote against committing British forces to an overt attack on Syria was greeted by claims that it signalled the end of imperialism; ‘Once the West set out to conquer the world. Those days have gone for ever’, Andreas Whittam Smith announced in The Independent on 10 September 2013. He argued that public opinion had stopped governments from launching another war. The Stop the War coalition platform speakers in Trafalgar Square on 31 August proclaimed the end of the special relationship with the US and beginning of an independent British foreign policy. The idea that imperialism has ended with a vote in Parliament and in accordance with the majority of public opinion is ridiculous. The British state is imperialist and imperialism sustains the existence of the British ruling class. Britain’s covert war against Syria will continue and, for as long as the US and British ruling classes consider their special relationship to be to their benefit, so it too will continue. However, Trevor Rayne argues, the disputes among the US and European ruling classes do signal that a change has taken place in the decade since the war on Iraq in 2003.


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War in Syria Imperialists enforce their own chemical weapons monopoly

The war in Syria has exposed significant splits in the imperialist ruling classes, with divisions emerging about how best to achieve their objectives in the Middle East. Following a rabid push for open war by David Cameron, Barack Obama, and François Hollande, first Cameron, and then Obama, were blocked from carrying out air-strikes and missile attacks by resistance within their own political establishments. Neither could present a coherent strategy for open military intervention, or explain how this war would not go the chaotic way of Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. In proposing a diplomatic solution, Russia gained political standing and offered a way out for Obama who was isolated. Now, the imperialists will try to tip the balance of forces against the Syrian government in other ways. Britain has played a central role in the campaign to destroy Syria for more than two years through support for opposition groups, sanctions, and special forces involvement. Along with the US, France, Israel and others, they will continue their campaign to destroy the Syrian government. Toby Harbertson reports.


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Syria - British government forced back from open war by ruling class splits

In his anxiety to speed up the military attack on Syria, Prime Minister Cameron shot himself and British imperialism in the foot. The House of Commons vote on 29 August was lost 285 to 272, with the British Parliament rejecting increased and overt military intervention in Syria. Many of Cameron's own party voted against the government's motion. Britain will now be unable openly to take part in military action without a further vote – something the humiliated Coalition government is unlikely to rush into again. The British state will continue to wage covert war.


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Syria: International proxy war

UN peace talks aimed at ending the war in Syria continue to be pushed back indefinitely. The major imperialist powers have instead focused on war. June’s ‘Operation Eager Lion 13’ demonstrated their intentions when the armies of Britain, the US, France, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and 12 others gathered for huge military exercises in Jordan, close to Syria’s border. Soon afterwards, Israel launched its fourth attack on Syria this year, targeting Russian missiles. The Syrian government’s recent major military gains, supported by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, have forced the imperialists into further action in their campaign against the ‘resistance axis’ of Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah. These forces oppose the complete hegemony of imperialism over this region and its resources. In a time of desperate capitalist crisis, this resistance will not be accepted. The war in Syria has gigantic international stakes, and is accordingly being waged by numerous international powers. Toby Harbertson reports.


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Syria: Israel attacks

On 5 May Israeli fighter planes launched massive air strikes on targets near Syria’s capital Damascus. Accounts of the number of targets vary, but it was reported that at least 43 Syrian soldiers were killed at Jamraya Scientific Studies and Research Centre. This followed Israeli air strikes two days before, and came at the end of a week in which Israeli jets violated Lebanese airspace daily. Coming at a pivotal moment in the war for Syria, as government forces began to overturn gains of the ‘rebel’ militias, and in the midst of the orchestrated chemical weapons scare, the imperialists wanted decisive action. Competition for oil and gas and markets underline this recent escalation. The aim of the imperialist and Zionist agenda to destroy the ‘resistance-axis’ of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah has been openly revealed.


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