Syria: steady progress against terror

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

RENEWED French efforts to pillory Syria at the United Nations have faltered in the face of Russian opposition and American indifference. The Russian and American foreign ministers have both refused to take part in a UN Security Council special session on Syria called by France to build momentum for another UN mandate for imperialist aggression in the Middle East.

The Kremlin, which has already vetoed three previous imperialist attempts to get UN authority for Libyan-style regime change in Syria, plainly thinks the French initiative is a pointless exercise, while the Americans have made it clear that they will now by-pass the UN altogether if they think they can get away with it.

The meeting, scheduled for the end of the week, will still be attended by the permanent representatives of Russia and the US on the Security Council. But the absence of their most senior diplomats has sunk French plans to table a “final document” that would denounce the Syrian government and call for the resignation of President Bashar al Assad.

temporarily

At the moment US imperialism’s hands are temporarily tied as America’s ruling circles hit the campaign trail in the run-up to the November elections. President Barack Obama is unlikely to sanction any open military move against Syria or Iran than could mar his chances of re-election. So the Americans have been content to let their Nato and feudal Arab allies take the lead in the drive to bring down the anti-imperialist Syrian government.

The French, who have long hoped to restore their old colonial domination over Syria and Lebanon, are now openly calling on the Syrian terror gangs to form a “provisional government” with the blessing of French imperialism. And the Turks, who also hope to restore their influence in what had been part of their Ottoman empire before the First World War, are now openly calling on the UN to establish “safe havens” in Syria to allegedly help those who have fled the fighting.

Meanwhile Russian and Chinese efforts to end the crisis continue following talks with Syrian leaders in Moscow last week. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will discuss the Syrian problem with his US counterpart Hillary Clinton during the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation conference in Vladivostok next month and Syria will be on the agenda when Clinton meets Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing next week.

In Damascus at least 12 people were killed and 48 others were wounded during a car bombing this week. The terror attack targeted a funeral in a mainly Druze and Christian suburb of the Syrian capital on Tuesday.

But the Syrian army continues to make steady progress in rooting out the reactionary Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda gangs that are financed and armed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In a televised interview President Bashar al Assad said Syria was “fighting a battle both regionally and internationally”. He said that while it would take time to bring it to a decisive end “I can sum it up in one sentence: we are progressing, the situation on the ground is better but we have not yet won; this will take more time.”