The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 25th January 2019

Stop The Israeli Strikes On Syria!

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

ISRAELI warplanes have again rocketed Damascus airport in a series of attacks that began with air-raids against alleged Iranian military camps and intelligence centres in the Damascus countryside, and intensified after the Israelis downed a missile over the occupied Golan Heights that they claim was fired by Iranian Revolutionary Guards volunteers operating in Syria.

Four Syrian soldiers were killed and six others wounded during a barrage of cruise missiles and guided bombs, which did hit some buildings in the international airport complex. Over 30 Israeli missiles were brought down by Syrian air-defences before they reached their targets.

Some believe that Zionist premier Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped up the air war over Syria to impress his American masters and to use the ‘Iranian threat’ to boost his chances in the Israeli elections in April. But Iranian air force chief Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh said that the Islamic Republic was ready “to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth” if it is needed.

Inside Syria everyone is waiting to see if the Americans are serious about pulling their 2,000-strong force out of the northern border territories that they occupied during their anti-ISIS campaign. Last month Donald Trump announced the withdrawal, claiming that ISIS had been decisively defeated. Many believe he had struck some sort of deal with Turkey that would give them a free hand to move into the autonomous and mainly-Kurdish border lands that the Turks claim has become a safe-haven for the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which is fighting for freedom in Turkish Kurdistan.

The Americans are openly withdrawing their heavy equipment for the region but the withdrawal has clearly been slowed down. The hidden hand of the ‘deep state’ in Washington, which encouraged the Syrian Kurds to support US imperialism in exchange for empty promises of independence, is clearly at work.

So is ISIS, which is down but still not out. Not so long ago these sectarian Sunni gunmen were covertly armed by Saudi Arabia and US imperialism in their attempt to impose ‘regime-change’ on Syria. When the Americans set up their own zone in northern Syria they ceased to be of any further use to imperialism. The Syrian-Kurd militia backed by the US air-force drove them out and now the terrorists are confined to a number of villages in the Euphrates valley but they still can operate throughout the American zone. They can still move across the region unhindered as the Americans discovered, to their cost, last week when a suicide bomber killed two American soldiers and wounded two other American civilians in Manbij, and an IED [improvised explosive device] attack on an American convoy that was passing through a check-point which wounded two US soldiers and killed five of their local auxiliaries.

The local Kurdish leaders and the militia that Turkey claims is just a branch of the PKK have resumed negotiations with Bashar Al Assad’s popular front government in Damascus. But their opening shot for a centrally-funded autonomous region with a government that can conduct its own foreign policy, which goes far beyond the status of Iraqi Kurdistan, is not likely to be endorsed by Damascus, let alone the Turks

Russia has told Israel to end its arbitrary attacks on its Arab ally, and at the United Nations the Syrian representative called on the Security Council to call a halt to Israeli aggression and warned that if it did not then Syria would retaliate by hitting Tel Aviv airport in the same way..