Socialist Worker

West prepares to intervene in Syria

Western intervention is a danger to the struggle against dictatorship, says Judith Orr

Issue No. 2358

US forces are being deployed on Jordan’s northern border with Syria after US president Barack Obama announced he was prepared to arm rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Obama claims that Assad has used the nerve gas sarin to justify the intervention.

The move marks a dangerous new phase in the conflict.

The British government is also pushing for military intervention. 

David Cameron and French president Francois Hollande ensured a European arms embargo was lifted last month. 

World leaders at the G8 gathering in Northern Ireland fell out over intervention in Syria. A joint position had not been agreed as Socialist Worker went to press.

Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt inspired people in Syria to fight for democracy.

The open military intervention of Western imperialist powers spells disaster for them. 

Disguised as training exercise “Eager Lion”, 300 US marines are now on the Syrian border.

Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems and a squadron of up to 24 F-16 warplanes have also been moved to northern Jordan.

This is a direct provocation to Russia, Assad’s biggest backer. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin repeated his support for Assad at the G8 gathering. 

The struggle in Syria began as a peaceful campaign for reforms in 2011, but Assad’s brutal repression has created a bloody battle. 

Assad’s forces are on the offensive after a victory over rebels holding the city of Qusair near the border with Lebanon last week. 

The regime is now assaulting the opposition in the northern city of Aleppo.

Obama and the Tories claim that intervention will support the struggle for democracy. 

Yet a recent poll found that only 24 percent of people in Britain would back such a move. The memory of Iraq and Afghanistan hangs heavy.


Nato in Afghanistan handed over security to the Afghan army and police this week after 12 years of bloody occupation and tens of thousands of casualties.  

Tory foreign secretary William Hague said the Tories will only support “more moderate and more sensible” forces in Syria. 

They are worried about the rise of Islamist militias and want to foster sections of the opposition that are prepared to do the West’s bidding.  

But Cameron faces Tory opposition. London mayor Boris Johnson has denounced intervention. Some 80 Tory MPs have signed a letter demanding a Commons vote before any intervention.  

The revolution is becoming a pawn for imperialist powers. 

The real victims will be the Syrian people and their courageous struggle against dictatorship. 

Demonstrators protested in London last weekend to oppose Western intervention in Syria. For more details go to

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