Socialist Worker

Rival powers struggle for influence in Syria

by Ghayath Naisse, Syrian socialist, Revolutionary Left Current
Issue No. 2483

RAF planes take off from Cyprus to bomb Syria

RAF planes take off from Cyprus to bomb Syria (Pic: Crown Copyright)


For regional and global powers, the war on Isis has become the justification for military intervention in Syria. Yet Isis emerged in the shadow of the US occupation of Iraq.

The struggle in Syria has transformed into a struggle for influence and dominance between regional and international powers with rival interests.

Russia, Iran and their allies are trying to keep a foothold in a geopolitically and economically crucial region of the world.

After its intervention in Ukraine, Russia relies on its military involvement in Syria to regain and confirm its standing as a global power.

It aims to impose a new international balance of power that favours its interests.

The Saudi regime, Qatar and the Gulf monarchies are a stronghold of counter-revolution in the whole region.

One of their main motivations for intervention in Syria is confronting their rival Iran.

They use a particular interpretation of Islam to justify the oppression of their people.

They bankroll dictatorial regimes and have supported the fundamentalist and sectarian forces in Syria. They helped defeat the popular revolution because its victory would have threatened those regimes.

For the same reasons they backed the coup in Egypt.

Aerial bombardment—both Western and Russian—adds to the chaos and devastation in Syria and Iraq. This will not defeat Isis—and the rapid defeat of Isis is not its objective.

Instead it will add to the sufferings of the Syrian and Iraqi masses, and to the destruction of society and its infrastructure. These are the same factors that led to the emergence of Isis.

We need to stop the bombings, killings and destruction, and stop the regional powers supporting reactionary forces. We also need solidarity with the popular masses and the revolutionary and democratic forces.


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