Victory to Assad – Forward to the Palestinian state!

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MAKING use of Russian air power, the Syrian army is now pressing forward on all fronts, driving back the Islamists who are now negotiating to quit Syria and shift back to Turkey or retreat to Raqqa, the IS capital.

Russian intervention, an intervention that was defensive in character to prevent IS from strengthening itself and then advancing into the Caucusus, has made a gigantic difference to the heroic struggle of the Syrian people to stop their country being ripped to shreds for the benefit of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Syrian troops are now stepping up their offensive operations, with the greatest successes achieved in Aleppo and Latakia provinces, in the suburbs of Damascus and on the road to Palmyra. At the same time the Iraqi army, supported by Sunni tribal forces, has retaken the city of Ramadi from the IS, and now an offensive is being prepared to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second city, from the IS reactionaries and also to retake the oilfields.

These victories are the result of the struggle of the Syrian masses and army, the Kurdish people, the Iraqi army, supported by the Kurdish, Assyrian, and Christian militias, and the Sunni tribes. This is therefore not the time to tolerate any notions that some conference of the great powers can be held that can force President Assad to resign, after a few months of a transitional regime that aims to cheat the Syrian masses of the results of their victory, and then redraw the map of the region.

This victory will create the conditions for all Syrian refugees to return home, for an Iraqi government to be established that represents all of the Iraqi people, and to advance to the next stage of the struggle – to establish the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, no settlements and all refugees having the right to return.

That it is the masses of the region who are defeating IS is made clear by the fact that the British government and the US regime have always stated that Assad was the main enemy and that IS could not be defeated until the Assad regime was overthrown. This bankrupt policy did not even enjoy the support of the whole of the Tory Party. Many Tory MPs were opposed to it as ‘lunacy’.

What is now becoming clearer is that important sections of the US military also opposed this policy and advocated assisting Assad to destroy IS. US President Barack Obama ignored warnings from senior military and intelligence officials that the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would lead to ‘chaos’ and extremist militants taking over the war-torn country, according to Pulitzer prize-winning American journalist Seymour Hersh.

‘Barack Obama’s repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office – and that there are “moderate” rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him – has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officers on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff,’ Hersh wrote in the 2016 edition of the London Review of Books.

In addition, a senior adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Hersh that the DIA/Joint Chiefs report took a ‘dim view’ of the Obama administration’s covert programme to fund and arm ‘moderate’ militant units battling the Assad government. The joint report found that the programme had been co-opted by Turkey and targeted all of the opposition in Syria including terrorist groups like Jabhat al-Nusra and Daesh (ISIL), according to Hersh.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Obama administration looked for ‘cracks’ inside the Syrian government in an effort to encourage a coup against Assad. According to the WSJ, by the summer of 2012, White House efforts to overthrow the Syrian government had failed and instead had shifted to supporting the militants operating inside the country.

Obama and Cameron have failed to overthrow Assad, and then to divide Syria and Iraq amongst their allies in the Gulf, which would allow Israel to annexe more of the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Now the workers of the world must see to it that the masses are not cheated of their victory. Drive imperialism out of the Middle East! Forward to the State of Palestine! Forward to a Federation of Middle Eastern Socialist States!