THE past few days have seen an escalation of the imperialist war against Syria and the government of Bashar al-Assad.
Today the Turkish government is putting forward a resolution to its parliament reversing its policy of ‘non-intervention’ in Syria to approve the use of force in Syria and Iraq, ostensibly to fight Islamic State (IS) forces.
This will authorise Turkish troops to cross the border into Syria and at the same time open up Turkish air-space to the US-led coalition, a vital aid to imperialism’s murderous bombing campaign in Syria.
The idea that Turkey, a fully paid-up member of NATO, has ever been neutral or non-interventionist in Syria is a nonsense.
Turkey, with its border with Syria, has always been a staging post for jihadists to cross over and play the role of a mercenary army to overthrow the secularist Baathist regime of Assad.
It was in the NATO-run refugee camps in Turkey that these mercenaries, including IS, were armed and trained, then sent over the border to carry out the dirty work on behalf of the imperialist powers.
It was through this border that thousands of foreign jihadists, including the hundreds from Britain, flowed, not just unimpeded but encouraged by the governments of the West and paid for by Gulf States like Saudi Arabia and Qatar – states who have now joined the imperialist crusade against their protégés, who are now denounced as ‘terrorists’.
The real reason that the Turkish regime is sending troops into Syria is to strike at Kurdish forces who are fighting IS.
The prospect of Turkish Kurds – who have long been fighting the Turkish regime for an independent homeland – joining up with Syrian Kurds fighting IS, is causing alarm as it threatens a united struggle for an independent Kurdish state crossing the established borders of the region.
Under the pretext of a ‘humanitarian’ war against their own creation, the real enemy – the Assad regime – is clearly in the sights of the US and its allies and the war against it is being stepped up.
Last week, the New York Times ran an article headed ‘US Considers No-Fly Zone to Protect Civilians’.
The article makes clear that IS forces are not the target of such a zone, saying: ‘Creating a buffer, or no-fly zone, would require warplanes to disable the Syrian government’s air defence system through air strikes.’
Syrian state forces not IS (which doesn’t possess an air force) are the target.
This plan for an all-out war against Syria through military intervention starting with an enforced no-fly zone is precisely the tactic used by imperialist powers in the past, in Iraq and Libya.
It was the tactic Obama and Cameron tried to implement last year and which they were prevented from doing by the enormous opposition of the working class – Cameron was defeated in the House of Commons on a vote and Obama didn’t even dare go to Congress.
One year on, the tactic is being revived via the back-door of a war against IS terrorism.
Cameron states he does not need to go back for a further vote of MPs before he extends the UK bombing missions to Syria itself, while Obama is moving towards bombing Syrian forces without recourse to Congress on the lying grounds that Assad, not imperialism, is responsible for IS.
War against the Syrian people and its legitimate government is being waged under the propaganda guise of humanitarianism.
There is no such thing as ‘humanitarian imperialism’, the slogan under which Blair and Bush bombed, invaded and murdered millions of people.
It is the imperialist powers – driven by the world crisis of capitalism to re-conquer the world for their own strategic and economic ends – who are the real terrorists.
Having blocked the drive for armed intervention last year, the working class must now also escalate the fight by smashing imperialism once and for all through the socialist revolution.
In Britain, this means demanding a general strike to bring down the government and go forward to a workers government and socialism.