Stop the bombings and the sieges in Syria, support the Syrian people!

Saturday 6 August 2016 by Antoine

This statement was approved by the closing rally of the youth camp in solidarity with the Fourth International on 30th July in Cannoves, Catalonia in the Spanish state. More than 350 participants from Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Spanish state and Switzerland attended as well as representatives from Brazil, Mexico and the United States. Unfortunately because of the economic difficulites in Greece no young cormades from Greece were able to be present and so the camp sent a message to them. However a delegation of comrades from Western Sahara was present and the camp took the opporunity to make a statement of support for their demand for self-determination. These two shorter statements are published following the one on Syria. A further statement on the question of migrants will be published later.

It has been 5 years since the beginning of the Syrian popular uprising that demanded freedom, social justice and dignity against the ruthless regime of the Assad family. This uprising was part of the broader regional revolutionary process started in Tunisia, igniting North Africa and the Middle East, in an exemplary struggle for the popular classes of all the world. Again this year in March, during the ceasefire, hundreds of demonstrations supporting the same demands took place across free Syria every Friday. A good example of the survival of democratic forces in the country is the recent demonstrations in Maarat Al Naaman, against Assad, Al Nusra and Daesh. The same can be said for Kafranbel, or the White Helmets, who risk their lives every day to save people from the bombings.

The people of Syria rapidly faced the most violent counter-revolution for decades. The Assad regime and its allies, namely the Iranian Pasdaran, Russian jets, Hezbollah and other sectarian militias from Iraq and Afghanistan, used all types of weapons to punish the democratic uprising, from barrel bombs to snipers, mass torture, sieges, sectarian massacres and chemical weapons. More than 500.000 people were killed by the Assad regime and its allies, who are responsible for 95% of the civilian deaths. More than 10 million people, half of the population, were displaced or fled Syria to neighbouring countries. Assad released jihadists from his prisons in 2011 and later on left the growing cancer of Daesh untouched, with the clear goal of destroying the spirit of the revolution that chanted “the Syrian people are one” and the Free Syrian Army, and to spread sectarianism in the country. Assad and Daesh need each other for propaganda but also military reasons. They both dream of being the last two options in Syria. Despite the myths, Assad has allowed Israel to strike many times inside Syria without moving a finger. His regime also violently repressed the Kurds in 2004 and is not a genuine friend of any liberation struggle. There is no excuse for Assad’s crimes against humanity.

This multi-sided and extremely violent counter-revolution concerns us all. Every global and regional power is in one way or another opposed to a genuinely democratic and non-sectarian Syria, including the USA who only focuses on Daesh and wants to broker a deal with Russia; the reactionary regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar who supported the confessionalisation of the revolution; or Turkey who is opposed to Kurdish autonomy in the North, made an infamous deal with the EU to stop the refugees, and allowed Daesh supporters to go to Syria. Human solidarity and internationalism makes us understand how that counter-revolution pushes thousands of refugees to die on the road to Europe, how it feeds the criminal gangs of Daesh and the rise of acts of mass violence, and most of all the police state and the far right in many of our countries. As young internationalists, we refuse to choose between imperialist rivals and the reactionary alternatives of Assad and Daesh, and we reassert our support for the people in struggle in Syria, for the remaining self-organised structures to ensure the survival and the freedoms of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, and for the democratic brigades who survived despite the very unequal military balance of forces.

Today, 1I4 million people are living under siege in Syria. They lack food, medical care, clean water, and other basic needs. They are also cut off from the outside world. Since mid-July, the last supply road from the eastern part of Aleppo has been cut by the pro-Assad forces, which puts 300,000 people under imminent threat of starvation and their lives at risk. At the same time, the city of Daraya faces the invasion of the pro-Assad forces and is at risk of a massacre. The UN itself shamefully cooperates with the Assad regime in its politics of “kneel or starve” in the way it delivers or not humanitarian relief.

The only way forward means getting rid of the Assad regime and supporting a secular and democratic regime ensuring social justice for the people, and self-determination for the Kurdish people. The 33rd International Revolutionary Youth Camp, gathered in Catalunya, answers the call of the Syrian people for solidarity :

- End all the bombings now, especially of the medical facilities

- End the sieges/besieging now

- Open the borders and concrete support for the refugees

- Immediate access to humanitarian aid to the areas now under siege : drop aid, not bombs

- All the needed material help for the democratic structures and forces of Syria

Long live the permanent revolution !

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