Syria and the International coalition intervention


In recent weeks we have seen the establishment of an USA led International coalition also composed of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Jordan to launch a joint military operation, on Syrian territory, with the tacit support of the Assad regime as we will see, against Daech (also known as the Islamic State (ISIL).

Several levels of analysis are needed to understand the dynamics of this intervention.

 Targeting only Daech?

 The initial declared objective of the USA led coalition was to target Daech military facilities and training camps, but more particularly the oil facilities under its occupation to try to stem a source of revenues for the group.

Before the military operation initiated by the United States, IS earned about 3 million dollars (2.4 million euros) in revenue per day through oil. But since the strikes began, pumping in the fields under their control virtually ceased.

 The USA led coalition has nevertheless targeted since the beginning of its operation not only Daech, but also Jabhat al Nusra (official al Qaida branch in Syria), the affiliated Khorasan Group in Idlib and Aleppo provinces, as well as civilians. The strikes also destroyed very important civil infrastructures such as electric production center and the city’s grain silos in Minbej and bombed important oil installations and refineries, and recently targeted a key gas production facility in Syria’s eastern province of Deir al-Zour.

The U.S.-led air campaign has killed at least 233 persons, including 211 jihadists and 22 civilians, according to the Observatory in the first week of the bombing.

The USA led coalition has also awaited September 30 to strike some Daech armed forces close to Kobani/ Ain al-Arab, which is nevertheless still under the threat of the jihadist force. Daech was still threatening the city as we speak, while the Turkish army was not only witnessing the advances of the IS but also preventing Kurdish fighters to come and help the city of Kobani.

Despite airstrikes by a US-led international coalition to stop Daech, the militants have made advances and captured 70 villages surrounding the area near Kobani / Ain al-Arab. This has resulted in at least 180,000 people fleeing across the border into Turkey,

Once more this new military intervention in the region in a so called fight against “terrorism” has caused more civilian casualties among the population and strengthen on a medium and long term these reactionary groups that will present themselves as the only true opponents of the Assad regime and anti imperialist against foreign western powers, hiding their undemocratic and sectarian nature.

On September 26, more than 200 fighters had actually joined Islamic State in Syria’s northern Aleppo province since U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States would strike the jihadist organization.

Counter revolutionary progresses

The bombings must also be understood as an attempt by Western imperialist forces and regional authoritarian regimes led by Saudi Arabia, the main counter revolutionary actor in the region, to re-establish their hegemony over the region. It should be noted that Iran and Russia have also welcomed the bombings despite criticisms of the form that the coalition has taken. Once again, imperialist and regional rivalries fade when the stability of the global imperialist system is threatened, and this proves the futility of analysis based on opposite camps.

The Syrian regime, which has welcomed the strikes from the USA led coalition on numerous occasions since the beginning of the operation, sees moreover an opportunity to regain a new “legitimacy” with the West as part of an alliance in the War against Terrorism.

As a reminder, the Syrian regime has started to target the IS only from mid August 2014, whereas previously the areas under its controlled were not the targets of attacks of the regime, unlike the territories under the control of the Free Syrian Army and popular committees.

 This situation is not ignored by many groups of the Syrian armed opposition, from the Free Syrian Army and Islamist groups, as well as many popular organizations pro revolution that condemned and opposed the bombings as a violation of Syrian sovereignty and denounced them as a way to end the Syrian revolutionary process.

 Solidarity with democratic and progressive forces as a solution

 This new foreign intervention will most likely benefit the two counter revolutionary forces in the region: the Assad regime on one side and the Jihadist and Islamic reactionary political forces

In addition, to believe that we can overcome the IS and other similar organizations with the same tools that created them is a big mistake or a reflection of insanity. These reactionary forces are actually the consequences firstly of the criminal and authoritarian regimes of the region that have used sectarianism to divide the people (eg Assad in Syria and Saddam Hussein in Iraq) and then of the interventions of international (the United States and Russia) and regional (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Iran) actors. This new military intervention does actually not have the objective of overthrowing the Assad regime, on the opposite the “Yemeni solution” still remains relevant, which aims to maintain the Assad regime with the integration of some sections of the opposition linked to the Western countries and the Gulf monarchies.

As a banner held by a Syrian protester in Aleppo last week said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, Albert Einstein” and below “Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2003, Syria 2014.

We must support and express solidarity with all the democratic and progressive forces in Syria and Iraq as well as the Kurdish democratic forces that resist against the two actors of the counter revolution.

In this perspective it is necessary to defend a local dynamic of self-defense rather than increasing stranglehold of imperialism and therefore we should also support the provision of weapons and arms to these democratic forces in the region to combat both counter revolutionary forces.

A third progressive and democratic front gathering the objectives of the revolutions (democracy, social justice and equality) and able to oppose all foreign imperialist and sub imperialist forces have not been able yet to constitute itself as a credible alternative political force until now for the masses on the regional basis. All efforts should be put forward to build this third democratic and progressive alternative.

Joseph Daher

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