Socialist Worker

West wants to block the fight for freedom in Syria

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2343

Western powers are stepping up their attempts to shape the opposition in Syrian by announcing an increase in aid to those who are fighting.

They are using the fact that the scale of causalities suffered by those challenging dictator Bashar al‑Assad’s regime is growing every day.

Western rulers claim they are merely sending humanitarian aid. But their interest isn’t in alleviating the suffering of thousands of Syrians challenging a dictator.

Instead they want to buy off sections of the opposition to promote their interests in a post-Assad Syria.

New US secretary of state John Kerry last week said he would ask congress for an extra £40 million in aid for the Syrian opposition.

This includes sending rations and military equipment straight to those in the military opposition.

Tory foreign secretary William Hague has refused to rule out sending arms.

“Britain’s policy couldn’t remain static in the face of an ever-deteriorating situation,” he said.

Hague added that, “We will send equipment that we haven’t sent before.”

Assad is using the intervention by the West to defect attention from the brutality of his own regime.

In a Sunday Times interview last week, Assad claimed that Britain had militarised the conflict in Syria.

Terror

Yet his military forces have been reigning terror on Syrians for two years since the revolt began.

Now the United Nations calculates that up 70,000 people have been killed.

Assad told the Sunday Times, “The Syrians are the only ones who can tell the president to stay or to leave”.

Yet hundreds of thousands of ordinary Syrians have made it clear that they want the president to leave.

Accepting military aid from the West may look like a solution in a desperate situation.

But this is dangerous.

The only way of ensuring that a post-Assad Syria has the potential to deliver democracy and freedom for the mass of Syrians is to keep Western influence out.

The resilience of those challenging decades of dictatorship by Assad and his father before him means that the revolution still has hope.

The recent capture of the Syrian Police Academy complex outside Aleppo by the opposition was the result of an eight day battle.

Almost a hundred rebels died as well as 120 troops and police.

These are the sort of bitter battles that have been the hallmark of the conflict in recent months.

Assad has superior military forces.

But the opposition is inspired by revolutions that brought down dictators in Tunisia and Egypt.

And he is still unable to crush it.


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