Following we document an important statement for an overview and better understanding of the Syrian Civil War from the Communist Party of Turkey / Marxis Leninist:
A Brief Overview of the Syrian Civil War
The economic crisis, in which the imperialist-capitalist system continues to make itself felt more structurally each day, leads to the displacement of some stones in the world. Undoubtedly, the “bleeding wound” of the world, the Middle East is at the very beginning of these stones. On the one hand the restructuring moves, on the other hand the fear of the “21st century uprisings age” once again directed the imperialists’ arrows to the Middle East.
The imperialists, who are aware that nothing will ever be the same, attempted to strengthen the areas of dominance or break the dominance of their rivals in the semi-colonies where they made them pay the bill after the 2008 economic crisis whose epicenter was the United States. Due to the fact that they are not in a position to afford a new world war, the imperialists, turned to regional wars without missing any opportunity. The Arab Spring which should be read as an anger created by the crisis, started in 2009 and has become as scarce as hen’s teeth for the imperialists and they began to lead with their own sake the “leaderless” popular uprisings. The imperialists, who were more involved in this process with political moves, became more active in the military field with the warmth of the Arab Spring in the Middle East and especially in Syria.
In this, the weakening of the US’s hegemony in the world, the contradictions between EU imperialists and the stronger position of Russia and China as economic-political-military aspects are powerful factors.
Together with the Syrian civil war, everyone tried to get a share of the pie, especially in the first process in which the effectiveness of DAESH increased, the positions are sharpened. However, in the process, the pointer started to be more in favor of ”Assad-Russia. It is useful to remember briefly the developments until this process.
The anti-Assad demonstrations against the Assad regime started at Dera in Syria in 15 March 2011 under the influence of the Arab Spring were armed with the movement of the armed forces that emerged as “Opposition(!)” and the country found itself in a civil war. Undoubtedly, the “Opposition” which emerged in this process has progressed under the command of imperialism and immediately DAESH has appeared on the scene. During this period, the US did not delay the intervention against Russia who was powerfull in the region and the first support for the opposition came from this side. The most important factor which gave birth to this process was the leaderless and unorganized characteristics of the self-beginning popular uprisings in Syria with the mottos of democracy, freedom and to live humanly and the intension to tackle leadership by some who drew close to imperialism for their own sake.
Especially with blazing of DAESH, Syria has completely returned to the river of blood, this was a process in which a some parts of the areas that the opponents cleared from “Assad’ has been under the control of the DAESH. In this process and later, the theories were put forward claiming that DAESH was created by the USA itself and it was also stated that all kinds of support were provided by the USA. Aside from its ring of truth it is precisely in this process that support in arms, training and finance provided by the TR has been reflected in the developments that underline this thesis.
Undoubtedly, as the process progressed into a complete chaos, the resistance of the Kurdish people under the leadership of YPG against DAESH in Syrian Kurdistan, has become one of the turning points and almost everyone has turned its direction there. Every place taken from DAESH has made Kurds a strong subject in the field. As a matter of fact, almost all calculations were made again and a new period emerged when the Assad regime began to regroup itself and increase its counter-attacks. But most importantly Russia and the US have been more actively involved in the process with air strikes. On the other hand, Iran did not cease to be involved to the process both as a military and a political way concerning its turn was coming after Syria because of relationship between almost all the opponents of the Assad and the “Western” imperialists. In the Syrian Civil War, the owners of interest, of course, made the working people pay the bill as usual.
When these were being lived on the fronts of sovereigns, the people were faced with massacres and immigration. The conflict between factions resulted with a bill which was forced to pay by the working Syrian people with the greatest pain. Mainly because of torture against human dignity, gun barrels directing people regardless of age and gender, women’s rape and forced retention the region has been transformed into an uninhabitable geography. Indicating the current balance sheet since the beginning of the civil war is enough to reveal the gravity of the situation.
There is a war reality that except for 56.900 people who were still missing since the beginning of the civil war and 353.900 people died 119.200 of whom were civilians, The fact that the conflict between the sovereigns made people pay the bill in which 1.5 million people were injured in various ways and 12 million people migrated out of the country.
New Developments in Syria –Alliances
Although it can not provide full control in the strict sense, there is a reality that the Assad regime is in a stronger position than yesterday with the support of Russia. Russia started to settle in the Middle East in the context of Syria. On the other hand, the United States, especially due to her relationship with PYD/YPG has created an important area in Syria. However, he could not manage the process and she could not break the influence of Russia.
It is too early to say that there is a certain winner yet, but it is known that the Syrian Civil War will keep itself on the agenda for a longer period. Although it is not entirely clear that how far the process will take in the PYD/YPG’s relationship with the United States, on the other hand, it does not close its doors with Russia / Assad. The gains of the Kurdish National movement in Syrian Kurdistan are underestimated. However, it is important to protect these gains. Although the relationship with the United States is a matter of debate, the US’s efforts to take full advantage of this alliance at the current stage are quite evident.
On the Russian front, we left behind a period of new alliance talks. Recently the meeting between Russia-Iran and Turkey held in Astana called “Permanent Solution in Syria” has not yielded the desired results, and the other doors have been knocked for new alliances.
In this context, Russia-Germany-France and Turkey held a “Quartet Summit” hosted by Turkey to discuss the future of Syria. Although the topics were “the territorial integrity” of Syria, “regions of tension reduction” and “not harming the national security of neighboring countries”, almost all the participants interpreted these topics in their own interest. Although the refugee problem and migration flows seem to be the priorities of Germany and France, it is necessary to see that this is an opposition and trying to get a role in an indirect way against US’s wold policies. In short, this summit should be read as an attempt to open an initiative area for them.
Russia, as always, focuses on becoming together with every power that sets out from contradictions in order to undermine the US’s Syrian policy, and in some way to create opportunities to pave the way for her own policy. Although the discussion of the territorial integrity of Syria is the main argument of this policy, Russia is able to flexibly implement the opposite poles, with a temporary way of walking and dominating them.
Situation in Turkey in Terms of the Plans on Syria
The Turkish government that drew its peculiar red line with its attitude “We will oppose a Kurdish state even if it is founded in Latin America” began to be more active in the field, especially against the resistance movement in Kobane. Tayyip Erdogan’s expectations voiced in his assertion “Kobane is about to fall” turned out to be groundless, and the cantons emerging in the region turned out to be a process Turkey finds intolerable.
Finding even the smallest winnings of the Kurds in the region unacceptable, let alone founding of Kurdistan, Turkey could not be expected not to intervene the process. In fact, it tried to intimidate with its operation Euphrates Shield, but got its answer to its no permission policy through the occupation of Efrin.
The first issue that Turkey should review is that the position it holds in Syria is not ‘independent’ in spite of the imperialists. Nothing has changed for bootlickers of the U.S. imperialism, because the “shift of axis” they allege is groundless. Turkey intervenes the process by using the disputes between the imperialists. It is very likely that this intervention will cost it high. Tayyip Erdogan’s statement that “We are moving with shrouds in our pocket” is the plainest expression of this situation. His flirtation with Russia in spite of the USA cannot be defined any other way. And it is in plain sight how the USA makes fine tuning to Turkey when the latter takes initiative. After Turkey bought S-400s from Russia, established relations with Iran and was involved in the Pastor Branson incident, the USA made some fine tunings to the Turkish economy and politics, which are hurting Turkey in the present. But it does not look to have given up on its ambition to intervene.
The ruling classes of Turkey come and go like a tennis ball between the U.S. and Russian imperialists in terms of its Syria and Rojava policies and aim to act as an intermediator for the game designed. They occupy Efrin upon permission from said imperialists on the one hand, and give hand to Russia to liquidate the jihadist forces at the west of Euphrates for the ultimate aim of increasing their chips to bargain with the USA at the east of Euphrates on the other hand. The axis of all these approaches is to diminish and, if possible, eradicate the winnings of the Kurds as a nation. The policies pursued by Turkey in Idlib and Minbic are goals it aims to achieve through negotiations with the imperialists. Especially the so-called achievements of its military operations, the policy of hostility pursued by the imperialists against oppressed nations at the end of the day, and taking the side of the oppressing nations are all favorable circumstances to the ruling classes of Turkey.
That both the Astana process and the “conflict-free areas” and “territorial integrity of Syria” statements voiced in the recent quadripartite summit are hollow promises is proven by Turkey’s own experience. The ruling classes of Turkey allege at every opportunity that the Turkish forces are in Syria only to provide the Syrian people with democracy, but they attack the masses of workers in their own country with the typical cruelty of fascism.
This fascist dictatorship struggles to overcome the present economic and political crisis on the one hand, and commits multidirectional and multidimensional attacks at the masses, especially the revolutionary democratic mass to manage the crisis and to overcome it with minimum damage. The main target of these wholesale attacks committed by the fascists is the Kurdish National Movement, and they pursue the search and destroy policy against armed groups, especially the guerillas. Their fascistic, invasive and aggressive policy against the national rights of the Kurds and their campaigns of chauvinism are there to shatter the collective consciousness of the masses and use their poison to realize all of their reactionary policies.
This policy of aggression is imposed by the circumstances, is an expression of the dead-end street the fascists find themselves in, and the end product of the strength they gained from the recessing social opposition they try to intimidate.
Although they keep on making the propaganda that the gross domestic product is steadily growing, the truth is just the opposite. Applications filed by some of the major companies for composition and downsizing made by some other companies indicate the preliminary shock waves of the economic crisis. In spite of Erdogan’s recent statement that meat prices are high because of high demand, the proletarian class just struggle to survive the high cost of living.
The most prominent indicator of the present situation is the heavy loss suffered by Turkey after staking high against the USA. Exchange rate for US$ skyrocketed in the wink of an eye, acted in inverse proportion with the purchasing power of the people, and pushes the people to the cliff. Although the ‘dirty alliances’ established for the continuity of the state have just cracked, they still do not hesitate to commit all kinds of attacks at the masses. The biggest fear of the government in the present time of political dogfights is that the economic crisis might strengthen the opposition. And there are signs showing that the present individual reactions have started to turn to a collective reaction.
Pursuing a parallel policy at home and abroad for the nationality question of the Kurds, the ruling classes of Turkey decided to damage the most dynamic groups through its military power in both realms. Intoxicated with the victory of Efrin (!) abroad, the ruling classes alleged that they will plant the Turkish flag in Kandil in the atmosphere of the general elections, but their car stuck in the mud before reaching the Brados hills.
Needling the democracy balloon emerging in the solution process, the ruling classes pulled out the concept of attack from their hat by using the coup attempted on July 15 as a pretext. They did their best to start fires in every part of this country, especially the Turkish Kurdistan.
It is truth that Turkey is now a country where all democratic rights are suspended and rallies are prohibited, where even the smallest sharing in the social media can cause one to be taken under custody, where prisons and graveyards are overcrowded.
This wave of attack is a natural outcome of the crisis suffered by the ruling classes, and although it displeases the masses, it has not yet turned into a movement, but previous experience shows that it will someday. The biggest fear of the ruling classes is to have another Gezi Movement in their hand. All these manipulations, intimidations and oppression are committed to prevent it from turning into a movement.
At this point, it is not a surprise to note that the most severe attacks are committed at armed groups, especially the guerillas. Because the present economic, social and political disputes are serious enough for the working classes, the proletariat, the Kurds as a nation and the minority groups to demand freedom. The rage and hatred caused by these disputes make the fascist dictatorship worry. If the present environment where the liquidation and reformist wind blows strong cause the dynamics to meet a revolutionary spirit and determination to fight fire with fire, it will be the beginning of end for the ruling classes, and the beginning of breaking of the chains that bind the oppressed.
Now we are in one of the darkest processes ever lived. But there is nothing to fear. Hopes for daylight must be kept alive. Because the darkest hour of the night is just before the dawn. All we need is the courage to walk from the darkness to the light.
TKP/ML Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist Leninist
15. November 2018