THE Syrian government has condemned the invasion of northern Syria by Turkish ground forces, cynically called ‘Operation Olive Branch’, an invasion that was preceded by an artillery and air bombardment of the area of Afrin that is still continuing.
The Turkish troops are supporting thousands of Free Syrian Army fighters, who were unable to remove President Assad, and are now being used against the Kurds. The USA is supporting the Kurds. The pro-US forces are spearheaded by the Kurdish militia, the YPG.
In the aftermath of their defeat by President Assad and the Syrian army, the United States is using the Kurdish militia, which is allowing itself to be used by the USA to try to form a separate northern Syrian entity, that will demand autonomy plus as part of any Syrian ‘settlement’.
Turkey is meanwhile determined not to have any Kurdish-dominated entity on its border, and to stop it at any cost, even if it is under US control. The Syrian government has strongly condemned the Turkish aggression on Afrin, and the 1.5 million Kurds who live in the area, calling on the international community to take steps to stop it immediately. Weeks before, the Syrian government had condemned the US attempt to take over northern Syria as an imperialist invasion.
This new war in northern Syria is a proxy war being conducted by the two biggest NATO powers, the USA and Turkey, using the Free Syrian Army, and the Kurdish militia as their cannon fodder. This inter-imperialist war is a sign of weakness and disintegration and not of strength. It is a product of Syria’s victory over its would-be disintegrators, the US, Turkey, France and the UK.
The Syrian masses and the north African trade unions are supporting the Syrian army and President Assad, against both Turkey and the USA. The Council of Dignitaries and the Tribal Leaders of Hasak, the largest city of north eastern Syria, have strongly condemned the Turkish onslaught and the coordination between Turkey, the Free Syrian Army and the al Nusra Front in their attack.
The head of the International Federation of Arab Trade Unions, Jebali Maraghi, also denounced the international silence towards the Turkish regime’s aggression on Syria’s sovereignty, calling for the stopping of this aggression immediately. Maraghi reiterated that the aggression of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime against the Syrian state could not be ignored and it must be stopped immediately. ‘We stand by the Syrian people in facing the conspiracy hatched against their country, and we highly appreciated their steadfastness and unity,’ he said.
The trade union movement of the UK, the USA, the EU and Turkey must demand the immediate withdrawal of all Turkish and US forces from northern Syria, and that the Syrian people are allowed to get on with organising the revival of Syria and its economy.
However, Russia’s Embassy in Ankara has confirmed that the Russian ambassador was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry before the invasion. ‘We can confirm a summons to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry. At the Turkish Foreign Ministry we were given information to be conveyed to the Russian authorities,’ Irina Kasimova said.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday Russia does not object to the operation in Syria’s Afrin, NTV reported. ‘We are working to eliminate Iran’s concerns, and Russia does not have objections,’ the television channel quoted the prime minister as saying. Besides, he added: ‘Ankara supports communication with Damascus and the mediation of Moscow and Tehran.’
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow was concerned about the beginning of Turkey’s offensive in Afrin and urged the warring sides to exercise restraint. The Russian working class must take a hand in this matter, and tell Putin that Russian diplomacy must not mimic the cynical activities of the imperialist powers.
All of the Syrian people, whether they be Christians or Kurds, Sunni or Shia must be allowed to decide how Syria, after its victory over the imperialist powers is to be reconstituted. This is why all US and Turkish military forces must be ejected from the country at once!