Socialist Worker

British bombs helped end ceasefire in syria

Issue No. 2522

A US Airforce jet leaves to bomb Syria

A US Airforce jet leaves to bomb Syria


The shaky ceasefire in Syria has collapsed after just a week. British forces played their role in continuing the suffering of people in Syria.

The US, Britain, Australia and Denmark bombed Syrian regime troops in Deir al-Zour last Saturday. It’s a city held by dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime, but surrounded by Isis territory.

US ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Samantha Power said soon after, “If we determine that we did indeed strike Syrian military personnel that was not our intention.”

How very reassuring. In addition, it is clear that some top US military officials were wholly opposed to the ceasefire deal.

Regime barrel bombs killed one child and nine adults in a rebel-held southern town on Sunday. Then either Russian or regime planes pounded a Red Crescent convoy unloading food near Aleppo.

The regime did the most killing, but Isis also continued to wage war throughout the ceasefire.

Russia summoned an emergency UN security council meeting after the Deir el-Zour attack. The US called this a “stunt” then slammed Russia for perpetrating or allowing the Red Crescent attack.

The conflict in Syria risks pitting the armed forces of nuclear superpowers against each other.

It will get even worse if the Turkish army invades to join a US-led offensive on Isis’ Syrian capital Raqqa. That would offer Turkey’s government a convenient chance to roll its tanks over the Kurds in Rojava, northern Syria.

The confict in Syria risks pitting the armed forces of nuclear powers against each other

The Western-led coalition is pushing for the “envelopment” of Isis, closing in on Raqqa and its Iraqi stronghold Mosul. Targets close to these heavily populated cities are the main priority of Britain’s air force.

US president Barack Obama hopes the battle of Mosul could be fought before December. The Iraqi army and sectarian Shia militias surrounded the Isis-held Sunni town of Shirqat this week.

Food there is running short. In Mosul competing Iraqi and Kurdish politicians are stirring up fears of “liberation” bringing revenge violence, ethnic cleansing, annexation or partition.

Even US and UN officials say the battle for the city could displace another million people. They could join the refugees fleeing Aleppo, where the regime is blocking aid to starve out rebel areas.

At a UN summit on Monday, prime minister Theresa May dared to dismiss the refugees she is locking out even as British bombs force more people to flee.

Syria’s plight is tragic. Politicians will say that military intervention is the only viable action.

But it is imperialism and counter-revolution that have set Syria alight.

Alongside building solidarity for those escaping the flames, we must fight to stop our government pouring fuel on the fire.


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