Imperialism out of Syria!

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

SYRIAN troops are continuing to hit hard against Nato-backed rebels, killing a number of their top commanders in battles around Aleppo and other parts of the country this week. Meanwhile the rebels are trying to drag the large Palestinian community into the cycle of violence following attacks on a pro-Baathist militia in a major refugee camp in Damascus.

There are between one to two million Palestinians in Syria. Half a million of them live in ten refugee camps dotted around the country. The biggest is the Yarmouk camp, some eight km south of the capital, Damascus, and home for 150,000 Palestinians as well as 500,000 Syrians.

Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, had a considerable number of followers in Syria before they broke with the Assad government to support the rebels last year.

Now the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaida militias, trained and financed by Turkey and the feudal Arab oil princes, want to recruit them to their sectarian cause.

Last week they tried to take over the Yarmouk camp, and use it as a base for raids into Damascus itself, triggering fierce clashes with units of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine- General Command (PFLPGC) and other pro government Palestinian guerilla movements. A PFLP-GC officer compared the rebels who raided the camp to “Tartars and Mongols” and claimed they were looting Palestinian shops and homes in the areas they had seized.

In the meantime international efforts to end the crisis continue with UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi holding talks Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr in Cairo on Tuesday and the launch of a new Iranian effort to end the fighting.

Iran unveiled the details of a six-point plan to resolve the ongoing crisis in Syria on Sunday. The first stage calls for an immediate ceasefire by all sides. Humanitarian aid would follow to restore the shattered economy. All economic sanctions imposed against Syria would be lifted facilitating the return of displaced Syrians to their homes. The plan then calls for talks between the Syrian government and the representatives of all Syrian groups, regardless of their political and social tendencies, in order to form a national reconciliation committee.

But countries like the United States who benefit from the violence will not support the Iranian initiative.

“The countries that are supporting terrorist and violent measures in Syria are opposed to Iran’s six point plan aimed at establishing peace in the country,” an Iranian MP declared this week “Countries like the United States, which benefit from the spread of conflict in Syria, have not yet welcomed Iran’s six point plan for the establishment of peace in the country,”

Mohammad - Hassan Asafari, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told the media on Tuesday.

Asafari said that for the peace plan to succeed, the countries that support terrorism must stop sending weapons and militants into Syria. He added that the Syrian unrest will not be settled as long as the militants are supported militarily, stressing that certain states spread violence in Syria to strengthen their position in the Middle East.