Syria

Letters

Submitted by AWL on 27 March, 2019 - 10:53

The response of the US left to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s recent comments about the influence in American politics of pro-Israel lobby groups have been debated by US leftists Barry Finger and David Finkel in these pages in recent weeks. I write this letter not to respond directly to either of their comments, but to bring to Solidarity readers’ notice two subsequent statements of Omar’s.

Those statements deserve attention and, I believe, praise from socialists concerned to articulate a broadly “third camp” perspective.

Telling the truth about wars

Submitted by AWL on 20 March, 2019 - 9:17 Author: Simon Nelson

The career of the journalist Marie Colvin was fairly unique. She covered most of the major conflicts of the 1990s and 2000s up until her death in Homs, Syria, in 2012.

Her articles in the Sunday Times brought across some of the horrors of war, not just the conflicts between political factions and leaders but the stories of mass graves in Fallujah, and the near starvation of internally displaced Tamils. Until her death she may be remembered as one of the last journalists to interview Colonel Gadaffi before he was killed in the Libyan conflict of 2011.

Cool on Trump, hot against liberals

Submitted by AWL on 16 January, 2019 - 10:45 Author: Colin Foster
Trump and Putin

On 4 January, US president Donald Trump, in a rambling speech at a meeting of his cabinet, praised the USSR invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. “The reason Russia was in, in Afghanistan, was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there”.

Trump’s bluster, Assad’s strength

Submitted by AWL on 9 January, 2019 - 9:24 Author: Simon Nelson
al-Bashir and Assad

On 19 December, US president Donald Trump announced a snap decision to withdraw US troops from Syria. At first he said the troops would be out within 30 days, but now it looks like several months at least. The plan is now conditional on assurances from Turkey regarding the safety of the Kurds in Northern Syria.

Idlib, the next humanitarian disaster

Submitted by SJW on 19 September, 2018 - 11:34 Author: Simon Nelson
Idlib

With Russian support the proposed assault on the Syrian province of Idlib could be one of the bloodiest of the war.

Idlib is the last outpost of significant rebel control. It’s 2.5 million civilians, many who are internally displaced, may face a determined regime campaign to conquer the territory no matter the outcome.

Idlib does not resemble an ordinary province, it has hundreds of thousands of people living in camps or out in the open, people who are already the victims of the regime, Iranian troops and Russian bombs.

Yarmouk: from refugee to “death” camp

Submitted by SJW on 6 June, 2018 - 12:09 Author: Simon Nelson
Yarmouk

Before the Syrian civil war the Yarmouk district on the outskirts of Damascus was home to almost 150,000 registered Palestinian refugees. It was probably the largest and most well-developed refugee settlement in the world; it was certainly the biggest in Syria.

In May 2018 the last Daesh fighters who had occupied the camp, along with other Syrian rebels, were driven out. The area now stands in ruins and is completely uninhabitable. There are plans for the complete redevelopment of southern Damascus, and the former camp residents may find themselves excluded.

Syria, Chemical weapons, and bombing

Submitted by SJW on 25 April, 2018 - 11:26 Author: Colin Foster
syria solidarity campaign

On 14 April the USA, Britain, and France made air-strikes which, so the US says, disabled some of the Syrian government’s chemical-weapons sites.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis described the operation as a “one-off”, and in fact further substantial military action by the USA and its allies seems unlikely in the near future in Syria, where Russia, Iran, the Assad government which Russia and Iran support, and Turkey in some areas, control most of the territory (bit.ly/syria-t).

Douma atrocity is a sign of Assad's victory

Submitted by SJW on 10 April, 2018 - 8:36 Author: Simon Nelson
Victim of the chemical attack

After nearly seven years of unrest and civil war in Syria, Assad’s chemical attack on the civilian population trapped in Douma, a city near the capital Damascus, no longer seems shocking; it was the action of a regime that is able to kill and maim with impunity.

The Morning Star on the Douma massacre, Russia, and Israel

Submitted by martin on 10 April, 2018 - 3:38 Author: Martin Thomas

The Morning Star's editorial of 10 April 2018 shows how perception of world affairs can be skewed by the Star's fixed insistence on seeing Russia (even way-post-USSR, blatantly capitalist Russia) as the good guy, and Israel as the world's prime source of evil.

Israel did a bombing raid against Assad on 8 April after the Douma massacre of 6 April, says the Star... as a ploy to divert attention from the killings in Gaza.

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