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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Turkey out of Syria!

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

FIERCE FIGHTING is raging across northern Syria as Turkish forces battle with Kurdish militias for control of the frontier zone that is part of Syria’s autonomous ‘Rojava’ Kurdish region.

Tens of thousands of Kurdish and Arab civilians are fleeing south to escape the fighting.

But Syrian troops and Russian peace-keeping forces are moving north to block the Turks and restore central government control over Rojava with the agreement of the local Kurdish militias, who have now accepted the command of the Syrian Arab Army.

The United Nations has warned that Turkey could be “deemed responsible” for alleged summary executions that may amount to war crimes. Britain has banned all new arms sales to Ankara but has stopped short of putting a halt to shipments of arms already ordered. People’s China has called on the Turks to halt their offensive and the Russians are working with the Syrian government to fill the vacuum left by the US departure.

Although the Turkish incursion was clearly okayed by Donald Trump, the imperialist leader is now facing a backlash from US politicians who say the betrayal of the Syrian Kurds, who believed they were under US protection, has undermined US prestige throughout the region.

who pose

It has also angered the USA’s European NATO allies, who pose as the friends of the Kurds but were given no advance notice of Trump’s volte-face last week. France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, finland and the Czech Republic have gone further than the Johnson government by suspending the export of any new arms shipments to Turkey in protest at its aggression.

Huge crowds gathered in Manbij, Hassaka and other key towns in Rojava to welcome the Syrian army as liberators and defenders following the hurried withdrawal of US troops from the frontier zone last week.

On the front-line the Turks and their Arab auxiliaries, who call themselves the “Free Syrian Army”, are spreading mayhem in their drive to secure a 32km buffer zone inside Syria and crush the Kurdish militias that the Turks say are fanning the flames of the simmering rebellion in Turkish Kurdistan.

Turkish auxiliaries committed their latest atrocity last weekend when they ambushed the leader of the Future Syria party. Hevrin Khalaf, the secretary-general of the largely Kurdish party, was driving to her headquarters when she was stopped and shot along with her driver on Saturday.

Friends called her a “peaceful woman” who wanted to end the crisis through dialogue. And the Centre for Studies and Protection of Women’s Rights in Syria also paid tribute, saying: “Hevrin Khalaf was not a fighter fighting in the ranks of the Syrian Democratic Forces or others. She was a Syrian citizen and a civil engineer who worked to serve her homeland, Syria. What she was exposed to, a barbaric murder at the hands of Erdoğan’s lackeys, only reveals the malice of these groups and their lack of humanity”.

Meanwhile Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential hopeful, said publicly that not only does Trump have the blood of the Kurds on his hands but so too do many politicians from both parties who have supported US military involvement in the region.

The Hawaii Congresswoman, who was an army specialist during the US occupation of Iraq, is now a vocal critic of the US presence in Syria.

In a TV debate with Pete Buttigieg, another Democrat contender, Tulsi Gabbard said that if she became president she would end the “draconian sanctions” on Syria that are killing civilians, put an end to the Saudi war in Yemen and “stop supporting terrorists like al-Qaeda who have been the ground force for the regime-change war in Syria”.