FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday April 15 told the assembled media that it was he who had convinced US President Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria for the long term and limit their joint strikes to chemical weapons facilities. This was just one day after the US, France and the UK launched 105 missiles at Syrian targets after the UK-financed ‘White Helmets’ faked a gas attack on Douma.
Macron boasted in the media interview: ‘Ten days ago, President Trump was saying “the United States should withdraw from Syria.” We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term.’ On Sunday in Washington, Macron returned to the same theme warning that new terrorist threats could emerge if the US disengaged from the country. He used a Fox News interview to declare that pulling out of Syria would ‘leave the floor to the Iranian regime’ and Assad, adding: ‘They will fuel the new terrorists.’
Macron wants Trump to take permanent action in Syria with a view to returning France to its former role as the colonial ruler of that country! All is however not 100% peace and light between Trump and Macron, with the US leader opposing France and the EU with his plans to scupper the Iran nuclear deal, impose US steel tariffs on the EU and smash up the Paris climate change agreement.
These were the matters under discussion at a state dinner yesterday evening with no congressional democrats or journalists present, but with Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund and a former top French government official, outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, and Mike Pompeo, Trump’s choice to be the next secretary of state, in attendance.
As a reward for becoming Trump’s scavenger, through his attempt to take over the UK’s traditional role as the US’s very junior partner, Macron seeks better treatment from his US masters.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that the US has no intention of leaving Syrian soil, on the contrary, it is seeking to strengthen its foothold on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.
Washington and its allies have been launching attacks on Syria since 2014, claiming they seek to root out Daesh. The mission, with 2,000 troops plus UK ‘embedded’ support, does not have the Syrian government’s approval or a UN mandate, and is still underway despite the collapse of the ISIS group late last year.
Lavrov has said that the US seems to be establishing a quasi-state on the river’s eastern bank, through its military base in al-Tanf town in eastern Syria at the strategic intersection of the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders. Late last year, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, said satellite and other surveillance data indicated that terrorist squads are stationed in the al-Tanf base, and ‘effectively training there’.
Last month, Alexander Venediktov, an official from Russia’s Security Council, said the US had set up around 20 military bases in areas controlled by the Kurdish militants. Lavrov, meanwhile, said he hoped it would become clearer how to cooperate ‘on settling the Syrian issue’ after contact with his counterpart from France. However, the truth is that France under Macron is already involved in a civil war with the working class at home and sees no way out of its crisis except through a desperate attempt at restoring its former colonial glory in Syria.
The Kommersant newspaper quoted diplomatic and military sources as saying that Russia ‘may’ give S-300 surface-to-air missiles to the Syrian government in the ‘near future’. They should be handed over to Syria straight away, so that Syria can more than defend itself against new imperialist provocations. There may well be no ‘red lines’ protecting Russian forces next time!
As for the US, UK and French workers, the only way forward to prevent a new imperialist war is by disarming the imperialist powers with socialist revolutions, hand in hand with the Syrian and Palestinian people.