The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 3rd May 2013
Syrian troops are continuing to hammer Nato- backed rebels across the country, forcing the sectarian Islamic militias to return to terror while bleating again for imperialist intervention to save them from imminent defeat.
This latest round of indiscriminate terror is clearly linked to a new bid by the rebels who are armed and funded by reactionary Arab oil princes and the Turks, for open imperialist intervention in Syria.
Bogus claims that the Syrian army had used nerve gas against Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaida gangs were elevated by US President Barack Obama at a press conference this week, in which he claimed that the US has evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and that his administration might have to “rethink the range of options” available to Washington.
These claims, which have been vigorously denied by the Syrians, are based on the usual lies from the rebel camp and have not been substantiated by any independent observers. At the same time the imperialists turn a blind eye to more substantial allegations that the rebels have used chemical weapons. Or as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put it this week: “Using weapons of mass destruction as a tool in geopolitical games prevents an honest investigation of their alleged use in Syria.”
Lavrov said: “There are states and external players who think that all means are good if they lead to displacement of the Syrian regime. But the issue of the use of weapons of mass destruction is too serious and no one should play with it. I consider it inadmissible to use this issue and speculate on it.
“The blame for the fact that no one investigates the particular incident that took place on March 19th and that still causes universal concern should be put on the nations that attempt to prevent the UN Secretary General from a simple and direct answer to a simple and direct question.”
The Syrian government claimed that rebels used a rocket with a chemical warhead in Aleppo in March that killed 25 people and injured 86 others. Syria has asked the United Nations to investigate but this has been blocked by the imperialists who only want the UN to look into rebel allegations. The Syrian government has denied entry to a UN team of investigators, saying that it must include Russian specialists to ensure that it is unbiased.
The American ruling class is clearly divided over Syria. The war-party which led the pack for the US onslaughts on Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are still baying for blood. But others are more cautious, wary of being drawn into another quagmire like Iraq and that there is no appetite for more aggression amongst the American public as a whole.
On Monday Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi survived a car bomb attack which had targeted his convoy in Damascus and another bomb ripped through the centre of the capital the following day killing 14 civilians and injuring 120 more.
Russia strongly condemned the terrorist actions while once again stressing that it will continue to supply Syria with arms for national defence. The Kremlin strongly condemned the terrorist explosion that hit Damascus near a hotel, shopping centre and an interior ministry building in a busy commercial area of Damascus on Tuesday.
“Russia strongly condemns the bloody attack carried out by extremists who aim at destabilising the situation in Syria and shedding more blood of the innocents,” a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “Moscow sees that the international community has to present a clear, accurate evaluation on the terrorist activity in Syria and put an end to those who support and sponsor it.”
The Kremlin repeated its commitment to honour existing arms contracts with the Syrian government. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that any country has the right to possess defensive means that are not prohibited by any international treaty.
“These contracts are mostly connected with supplying the Syrian government with anti-air defence systems,” he said, adding that it is quite clear that Syria needs defensive means as the threats are not virtual but quite realistic.”
“Any country has the right to possess defensive means that are not banned by any international treaty therefore we don’t violate any treaty,” Lavrov said.
He called for further concentration on the other side, taking into consideration the information on the arming of the opposition with offensive weapons which had been smuggled from Libya, including portable missile systems.
This was of particular concern given that the leaders of the “Free Syrian Army” had stated that civilian aircraft and airports were “legitimate” targets.
Lavrov reiterated Russia’s call for an end to the violence and the start of new talks, without preconditions, between the Syrian government and opposition forces.