SYRIAN army troops yesterday moved swiftly to march into northern Syria to confront Turkish invasion forces just hours after the Syrian government reached an agreement with the Kurds in the region.
The Syrian army entered the city of Manbij and the strategic towns of Tabqah, Ain Issa and Tel Tamar in northeastern Syria following the agreement reached on Sunday between the government and the Kurdish-led administration to assist the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in countering ‘this aggression and liberating the areas that the Turkish army and mercenaries had entered.’
The deal followed three days of negotiations brokered by Russia between the Syrian government and the SDF. Badran Jia Kurd, a senior Kurdish official, said the Kurds felt they had no choice but to turn to Damascus in light of what he called the ‘betrayal’ of the United States, adding: ‘This has obliged us to look for alternative options.’
It follows five days of relentless bombardment by Turkish artillery and aircraft aimed at the SDF forces and civilians. According to UN reports, 130,000 Syrians have been forced to flee their homes to escape the murderous onslaught.
Last week US president Donald Trump abruptly ordered US troops to pull out of the region, dumping their former SDF allies and giving the green light to Turkey to invade the region with the stated aim of destroying the Kurdish people and driving them out for good.
In fact, the US army’s pull-out has turned into a full-blown rout as American troops, along with British and French special forces embedded with them, fled the region terrified of being cut off by advancing Syrian troops and the invading Turkish army.
This hasn’t stopped the US from doing what it can to assist the Turks even as it retreats in disorder. According to reports, US warplanes targeted a column of Syrian troops in the city of Raqqah in an apparent attempt to hold up their deployment to the north.
What is clear is that the Turkish regime of Recep Erdogan has no intention of stopping at creating any ‘buffer zone’ between Syria and Turkey but intends to push forward into Syria itself.
As the SDF admits, it has been forced to learn the harsh lesson that imperialism has no allies, that the Kurdish forces that spearheaded the fight against ISIS in the region are totally expendable, and that their only option is to turn to Assad and the Syrian army to prevent being massacred.
Despite the SDF leaders lamenting being forced to enter this agreement, Kurdish residents in the northern city of Qamishi on Sunday filled the streets in celebration of the news that Syrian troops were on the way, celebrations that were repeated across the cities and towns of the region.
The fact remains that the attempt by the US, with the support of British and European imperialism, to wage a proxy war to smash up Syria has been decisively defeated – a defeat that exposes the weakness of imperialism today.
As imperialist forces flee the scene they are still determined to try to ensure further war to devastate the region.
This has been the history of imperialism’s wars of conquest in the Middle East since the invasion of Iraq in 1991 through to the proxy war it waged to overthrow the government of Colonel Gadaffi in Libya.
The Syrian people, having defeated imperialism, are now united in fighting the Turkish invasion, and now is the time for the working class in the US, Britain and Europe to take action.
Workers throughout the world have always opposed these imperialist wars to smash up the Middle East and steal its oil wealth and today that opposition must be turned into action.
Workers must demand that their unions organise to deliver the greatest aid to all the Kurds and Syrian people by calling mass strike action to bring down their own governments, and put an end to imperialist war by putting an end to imperialism itself through the victory of the socialist revolution.
This is the best way to support the Syrian and all the people of the Middle East – by the working class taking power and advancing to workers’ governments and socialism.