“The words ‘never again’ ring hollow as the city of Aleppo, Syria, has fallen to regime forces of Bashar al-Assad. A brutal siege that has ground on for years was finally brought to a bloody end by a surge of Russian airpower, Iranian shock troops and assorted regional militia fighters. As we eulogize the dead of Aleppo, we must acknowledge the United States’ complicity in this tragedy,” US Senator John McCain wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece.
McCain was not the only one to mourn the liberation of Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army. The mainstream media was quick to publish stories and reports condemning the so called 'war crimes’ committed by the Assad government in Aleppo. Attacks on Assad and the Syrian government continue to be a justification for war and occupation in Syria.
The media campaign against the Syrian government has escalated most recently with Amnesty International releasing a report on ‘Human Slaughterhouses’ claiming atrocities committed by the Syrian government. The validity and credibility of the report has been questioned by several investigative journalists who pointed out numerous discrepancies and stories from unverified witnesses. In an interview with Sputnik, Peter Ford, the former British ambassador to Syria, questioned the motives behind the release of this Amnesty report and said that it would not withstand scrutiny. This of course did not stop CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and all major mainstream media from jumping into the opportunity to spin these stories against the Syrian government.
The timing of the release of the report is also questionable. It was released at the same time as we saw images and stories of Syrians celebrating the liberation of Aleppo and returning to the devastated former rebel-held districts to rebuild their lives. In an interview on CBC radio's The Current, Reverend Ibrahim Nseir, a resident of Aleppo said, commenting about Aleppo today, “Today, life is better, and life is going to get even better…We know some people who went back to their homes, and started to rebuild."
What Really Happened in 2011?
The ‘civil war’ on Syria started in 2011, created and fueled by the United States and its imperialist allies. Money and weapons poured into Syria to support the so called ‘moderate rebels’ overthrow the Syrian government of Bashar Al-Assad.
In 2015, the Pentagon had planned to spend $500 million to create and train ‘moderate’ rebels to fight in Syria. The plan was a total failure and the Pentagon eventually suspended the program, but not before spending roughly $384 million. However, the cancelation of the program didn’t equal a stop in US support for terrorist groups in Syria. The US announced that it shifted its strategy to finance and arm the already existent rebel groups on the ground. This US policy of arming and funding anti-government forces in Syria has resulted in the rise of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and other terrorist organisations. These are the same terrorist groups that the US and its allies are claiming to be fighting against today in Iraq and Syria.
The United States took advantage of internal disagreements and disputes in Syria to impose an armed conflict in the country to overthrow the government of Bashar Al-Assad and impose their own puppet regime. The US has no interest in the democratic or human rights of the Syrian people, just as it had no interest in the well being of the Afghan, Iraqi and Libyan people.
In September 2013 US President Obama announced that the Syrian government had crossed a ‘red line’ and threatened direct military intervention in Syria. This ‘red line’ was based on unverified accounts of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons against its own people. Since then, evidence appears to indicate that anti-government terrorist groups were responsible for these attacks, which they carried out with the goal of drawing more military support. The so called ‘red line’ case collapsed and was diffused by Russia’s intervention to broker a deal with the Syrian government.
The US and its allies have continued their campaign of deception and lies against the Syrian government, while pretending to champion human rights and the fight against ISIS/ISIL! Although, it is becoming increasingly clear that the US-led coalition to fight ISIS/ISIL never had the goal to eradicate the terrorist group. Instead, their goal is to create more chaos in Syria and aid in the overthrow of Assad’s government.
However, on the ground, the coalition of Russia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon Hezbollah and Syria has been carrying out its successful military campaign to eliminate ISIS/ISIL and other terrorist groups. Since their campaign began, hundreds of terrorist camps and facilities in Syria have been destroyed and the Syrian Arab Army has launched many successful military offensives against terrorist groups.
As of July 2016, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that, "With active aircraft and artillery support of the Russian group, Syrian troops have seized back 586 settlements, including 150 cities and more than 12,000 square kilometers of land. This gave possibility for 264,000 refugees to return to the places of their permanent domicile."
The tides are turning against the US government and their mercenaries as they continue losing ground and influence in Syria.
Syria and the New Era of War and Occupation
In the last 16 years, since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of fighting against terrorism, we have constantly seen examples and images of the daily tragedies and bloodshed that imperialist forces and their allies have inflicted upon the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Mali, Syria, Palestine, Yemen and many other oppressed countries. This New Era of War and Occupation is expanding every day fuelled by a global economic crisis and the competition of imperialist governments for hegemony in the region.
As one of the only few remaining independent states in the Middle East that does not abide by US rules, defeating Syria is strategically important for imperialist forces. No matter if you agree or disagree with the Syrian government, the question is: will its overthrow by imperialist powers and their mercenaries put the Syrian people in a better position? Do the US and its allies really have the well being of the Syrian people in mind? We need only to look to the chaos and destruction that the US wars and occupations have created in the Middle East and North Africa. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have been completely destroyed by imperialists so called “humanitarian interventions” and “democracy building” projects.
Building the Syria Solidarity Movement, Building a Stronger Antiwar Movement
The United States and its allies have no interest in the well being of people in the Middle East and North Africa. The Syrian people deserve a future with peace and prosperity, not more death and destruction. How would that future will look and who would be leading it, is up to them to decide without any imperialist intervention or US backed mercenaries.
"I have hope now that a new sun will soon rise to cover all the destruction," said Isahak Kraymeen to an LA Times journalist as he took a break from selling tamarind juice at the Hamidiya souk in Damascus' Old City.
A defeat for the imperialist agenda in Syria is a victory for poor and oppressed people through the world. As peace loving people we must oppose this latest imperialist war and aggression against the Syrian people and join our voices together to create an effective campaign to demand:
US Hands Off Syria! No War on Syria!
Follow Azza Rojbi on Twitter: @Azza_R14
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