US Secretary of State John Kerry has called talks on Syria in New York for December 18-19.
Kerry said that the United States and its allies are trying to facilitate a transition toward a unified Syria under UN supervision. He condemned Russia for supporting the Syrian president, Assad, and insisted the solution to the crisis must include the removal of Bashar al-Assad from power.
Meanwhile Iran and Russia say that Assad’s fate must be decided by the Syrian people alone. Russia however has announced its readiness to take part in these talks, adding that the nations involved in the talks need to agree first on a list of ‘terrorist groups’ in Syria to be kept out of any talks, and another list of opposition groups that could be part of the political transition. A meeting is taking place in Saudi Arabia today to nominate a list of ‘moderate’ jihadist groups to take part in the negotiations with the Syrian government.
Kerry’s response has been to insist that the main issue is that Assad must go and that Russia must accept this. Saddam Hussein warned in 2003 that if he was overthrown by the US and the UK the ‘gates of hell will open’ all over the region. He foresaw the emergence of Al Qaeda, then ISIS, in Iraq.
Now behind the scenario of peace talks the US and its allies are trying to put a gun to the head of Russia and Iran that they must agree to the end of the Assad regime, or face being sucked into a major war in the region fighting US and Saudi proxy movements.
The US and its allies are organising for ‘the Gates of Hell to open’ all over the entire region if Russia and Iran refuse to dump Assad. To create the right mood music for the December 18-19 talks, last Sunday night four US war planes attacked Syrian troops in north eastern Syria destroying a number of tanks and killing three and wounding 13 Syrian soldiers.
This action has been denounced as criminal by the Syrian government. It took place just weeks after a Turkish F16 fighter shot down a Russian plane over Syrian territory! The defensive response to this US attack by the Syrian government has been to issue permission to the Russian air force to use two airports in Homs province – in addition to Khmeimim airbase in Lattakia – to attack terrorists across the country.
Meanwhile the Turkish army has invaded northern Iraq and now has 3,000 troops in the area, 300 of them close to the city of Mosul which is currently in the hands of its ISIS partners in oil sales and other ventures.
The 3,000 Turkish soldiers based in northern Iraq, are at Erbil, Zakho, Dohuk, Amediye and Suleymaniah and close to Mosul. The US and Turkey are signalling to Russia with the seizure of northern Iraq and the bombing of the Syrian army, that the best course for Russia is to accept this process as being inevitable and agree to a diplomatic formula to wrap the whole business up.
Russia has now called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to hold closed-door discussions on Turkish military actions in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile the Iraqi government has threatened popular military action to drive the Turkish army out of northern Iraq, while an Ankara official has confirmed that the Turkish troops are in fact to stay.
There is now a 300-strong contingent, with 20 tanks, backed by Turkish air power stationed on the outskirts of the city of Mosul, peacefully coexisting with ISIS, and waiting to take over the city. The US, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and the UK are determined that the Syrian people will be denied the right to decide who will lead their government and that the time is right for them to rip Syria and Iraq apart with Turkey taking northern Syria and Northern Iraq, going from energy poverty to being oil rich, while the Saudis take western Iraq.
Iran and Russia must stand fast on the right of the Syrian people to elect their own government, and insist that Turkish forces withdraw from northern Iraq – otherwise they will be next.
The workers movement in the UK must demand that all UK forces and all imperialist forces are withdrawn from Iraq and Syria at once, so that the Arab masses of these countries can take on and smash ISIS, and create the basis for a Socialist Federation of Middle Eastern states in which Palestine will have pride of place.