Socialist Worker

Bombs will worsen the situation for Syria - whether Western or Russian

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2475

A Russian fighter plane taking off from an airbase in regime-held Latakia, Syria

A Russian fighter plane taking off from an airbase in regime-held Latakia, Syria (Pic: Russian military)


The Tories want to push forward with proposals to join the US in bombing Syria. They claim this will stop the rise of Isis and make Britain safer.

Yet Isis is still increasing the areas of Syria under its control despite a year of US bombing. And the experience of Afghanistan and Iraq is that Western imperialist wars only inflame anger at the West and increase the likelihood of attacks. 

Labour and Tory MPs who argue that military intervention is humanitarian are to set up a cross party group this week. Tory Andrew Mitchell and Labour’s Jo Cox declared, “Some may think that a military component has no place in an ethical response to Syria. We completely disagree.”

They claimed, “We need a military component that protects civilians.” But there is no such thing. Military intervention will always lead to civilians being killed.

Labour MPs should not be giving the Tories’ plans credibility.

Western politicians attack Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria. Syrians on the ground say civilians are dying.

There is nowhere for people to be safe now they are under attack from Russia as well as dictator Bashar al Assad’s barrel bombs.

Yet the West’s bombs have exactly the same impact. More of them will make the situation worse.

Jeremy Corbyn has taken a principled stand against bombing Syria.

His shadow chancellor John McDonnell has suggested that there might be a free vote for Labour MPs in any vote on a new war. But the Labour leadership should lay down a line and insist on a whipped vote against bombing.

Every pressure must be put on them to vote against new bombing, including deselection.

The Tories want Britain to join a new Western offensive because they are worried they are losing influence in the region. The Russian bombing has stepped up its military intervention launching 26 long range cruise missiles from ships in the Caspian Sea. It is part of a coordinated offensive with forces loyal to dictator Bashar al-Assad against all the opposition groups.

The US is most concerned that Russian bombs are targeting groups it has funded and armed.

This has been exposed most recently by complaints from US officials about the fleets of four wheel drive Toyota trucks that Isis flaunts in its propaganda videos.

The US treasury has launched an inquiry into how Isis got hold of them. But the answer is simple.

The US bought them and sent them over to opposition forces in Iraq and Syria and they have now fallen into the hands of Isis. Britain too has sent such “non?lethal” support to opposition groups.

The ratcheting up of the warmongers’ rhetoric includes a Nato announcement that it was doubling the numbers in its reserve forces to 40,000. Its secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said it was prepared to send in ground troops to “protect” its ally Turkey.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.