THE TURKISH government has said it will not hesitate to invade Syria to prevent the Syrian army pressing ahead with its counter-terrorism offensive to liberate the last major terrorist-held territory in Syria, the northwestern province of Idlib.
The Syrian army is seeking to bring the whole of Syria back under the government of President Assad. This would be a huge defeat for US and UK imperialism, and a huge victory for all the people of Syria and the region whether they be Sunnis, Shia, or Kurds.
Fahrettin Altun, Turkey’s communications director, lashed out on Monday after Ankara said that Syrian shelling had killed five Turkish soldiers in Syria’s Idlib province.
He warned: ‘If Russia is unable to control the Assad regime from targeting us, we will not hesitate to take actions against any threat, just as we did today in Idlib.’
In fact, Turkey launched airstrikes against Syrian troops using F-16 warplanes to hit 54 targets in Idlib, claiming to kill 76 Syrian government soldiers.
Turkish President Erdogan said that Ankara had urged Moscow, which supports the Syrian army in the offensive, ‘to stand aside’ in the escalating conflict so that Turkey could attack the Syrian army as a whole. Erdogan further accused Russia of violating agreements to reduce the fighting in Idlib.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia signed a ceasefire deal to create a demilitarised zone in Idlib. Turkey also set up a dozen observation points in the region to uphold the ceasefire.
Under the Sochi agreement, all Islamists in the demilitarised zone that surrounds Idlib, and also parts of Aleppo province and the west-central province of Hama, were supposed to pull out heavy arms by October 2018. Takfiri groups were to withdraw.
However, Turkey failed to fulfill any of its obligations and allowed the Takfiri terrorists to continue to rule supreme in the parts of Idlib outside the control of the Syrian government.
On Monday Erdogan pledged to continue the Turkish attacks on the Syrian army. ‘We are determined to continue our operations to ensure the safety of our country, our nation and our brothers in Idlib.’
He added: ‘Those who test Turkey’s determination with such vile attacks will understand that they made a big mistake.’ The US State Department has immediately stepped in to support Erdogan.
Russia commented that it was fully compliant with its obligations in Syria’s Idlib region, but that it was deeply concerned about aggressive militant attacks on Syrian government forces and Russia’s Hmeimim air base.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has supported Syria. He made it clear that the Syrian state has the right to clear all of its territories from terrorism, underlining that other states must respect Syria’s decision to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He reiterated that the Syrian people are the ones who must decide the future of their country, indicating that this political solution is the only settlement for the crisis in Syria.
Putin now has to make his mind up as to whether Russia will desert Syria and allow Turkey to launch a war against it, which will have the support of the US and the UK, or to stand fast with Syria and Iran, force Turkey back, and win a victory for all of the oppressed people of the region.
In fact, the Turkish regime is in a huge crisis. It is now involved in three wars – in Libya in support of the Tripoli government, in Syria against the Assad regime and the Syrian people, and at home against the Turkish and Kurdish working class.
It has been seeking to work with Russia with the aim of preventing the Syrian people taking back their country. Erdogan considers that this would make the position of the Turkish workers and the Kurdish people in the region much stronger, and the position of the Turkish ruling class much weaker.
UK workers must support the struggle of the Syrian people to regain their country and be for the victory of the Syrian army!
They must also support the workers and trade unions of Turkey who are in a continual battle against a bosses’ dictatorship.