THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RUSSIAN INTERVENTION IN SYRIA FOR A SOLUTION TO THE WAR IN SYRIA –
The recent ceasefire was broken by the provocation carried out by the US military who deliberately attacked the Syrian army on Sept 18, 2016. This killed 87 Syrian soldiers and wounded more than 100, in a zone controlled by the Assad government. This sort of thing happened before, but this time, this represents a very serious escalation for the war in Syria.
The response of the Russian government was very clear: Through its spokesman, the General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defence Ministry reminded all concerned that Russia has now ground-to-air missiles able to defend the bases of Lattaquia and Tartus, where the Russian forces allied to Syria are stationed; and that any air attack against the Syrian army in those areas will be immediately targeted by missiles, because any such attack on the international Coalition’s part being treated as an act of war.
So-called measures ‘against terrorism’:
For 15 years now, an ‘international Coalition’ comprising the US army plus that of several other countries – either Nato’s members or partners – has deployed in Afghanistan. It was in the name of ‘the struggle against terrorism’ that this was done, i.e. against Al Qaida and the Talibans in this case.
Since 2003, an ‘international Coalition’ of a similar ilk went over to Iraq to spread war and desolation there under the same pretext. Thirteen years of this – and the ‘terrorist groups’ are still in place. They just changed their name. Now it is Daesh, an organisation that the international Coalition allowed to capture large parts of Iraqi territory, the town of Mosul itself still being in the clutches of Daesh.
In the wake of Gaddafi’s murder in 2011, and the destruction of the Libyan State, Nato coalitions kept returning to Libya, and still in the name of the ‘struggle against terrorism’. It was on such an occasion that they ‘discovered’ how Daesh had taken possession of a string of Libyan coastal towns.
You will not find ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria any more than in any other South Mediterranean country. In 2011, the international Coalition latched on to protest movements against Bachar al-Assad in Syria. Hoping for ‘an Arab Spring’, the Coalition provided the most reactionary and violent of such movements with lavish amounts of support, weapons and finance, for the overthrow of the Assad government.
Those reactionary groups struck an alliance with Al Qaida, which itself became al-Nusra, which in turn became IS (or Daesh). For 5 years, the IS terrorist group received enormous military and financial means from Saoudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the US, France and various Nato countries – of which Belgium. This is how IS managed to grab swathes of territory in Syria, along with towns, of which Aleppo.
Save Aleppo – Yes, but from whom?
Syria has a legal government, – not to say a legitimate government – with Bachar Al Assad at the head. Under him, Syria is not ‘a regime’. It is a country where the populations won their independence from the French colonial powers. It is a country that has been building its State since 1946. The Ba’ath Party of that epoch, still in place, adopted a programme that included socialist measures. It was part of the Arab revolutionary movements of the time. The Syrian State was created secular, and proud of its national sovereignty. Within it, any number of ethnic and religious communities could coexist, along with the highest standard of living in the region, as well as high-grade education and public health. Syria has been part of the Non Aligned. Like other countries in the region, it became a Revolutionary State linked to the Soviet Union, with military agreements that led to the present Russian naval base of Lattaquia (since 1971).
Aleppo is the actual economic capital of Syria. It is the most important town after Damascus. Over the last 3 years, the Daesh terrorists have been seizing parts of that town, in the Eastern part of it. There, they slapped a very violent and fascist sort of religious power down on the 300,000 inhabitants whom they stopped getting away. Western Aleppo on the other hand remained un-occupied. It stayed under the rule of its government, its armed forces and its State police. There are still 2.5 million people living there. Over the last 3 years, those who have carried out sieges and attacks in that Western part are Daesh. They destroy the centres for food production, the houses, the schools, the hospitals, the public amenities, the power and water stations. The Western media have said not a word about this. And the Nato Coalition has turned a blind eye (see below some declarations of the Dr Nabil Antaki on the situation in Western Aleppo).
In September 2016, the world relations of forces shifted profoundly. Russia intervened by the side of the army of the Syrian government, and its fight is truly “against terrorism’. This is the particular contribution of Russia, in Aleppo above all. Daesh and the other terrorist groups are being forced back, and the Coalition along with them. How comes then that it has suddenly become super-important “to save Aleppo”?
The media fall over themselves, with news not especially precise, to demonstrate that the Russian military forces, and the Syrians, are committing “war crimes”. The United States, France and the UN General Secretary tried all they could to have a “crime against humanity” resolution passed against Russia at the UN Security Council. [This failed], and the European Union wants to slap new economic sanctions against Russia, in punishment.
Les Posadistes – 18.10.2016
Please find below details about the Dr Nabil Antaki in Syria:
Dr Nabil Antaki of the Cercle des Volontaires being interviewed
Dr Nabil Antaki is a doctor in medicine based in the Western sectors of Aleppo, held by the Syrian government. Over time, Dr Antaki has given interviews where he has highlighted and condemned the Western media for their essentially misleading and obscurantist reporting of events in Syria. That media remain silent about the daily losses and suffering endured in the Western part of Aleppo, itself under the constant fire and mortar attacks of terrorist factions there. This media never mentions the terrorist blockade against the people of Aleppo-West, the electricity cuts and the water shortages inflicted on the people by the so-called “moderate rebels”.
More on Aleppo’s terrorist blockade, water shortages and starvation can be read on “Syria, from the Sublime to the Shameful”.
The Doctor Nabil Antaki says: “We are disheartened and disgusted by this continuous disinformation”. In his interview of the 30 September 2016, published in the Revue Témoignage Chrétien on 6 October 2016, Dr Antaki says:
“Aleppo-West is a martyred town. It has figured in the press headlines and TV bulletins for two weeks, but the people of Aleppo could well do without this – seeing how it its suffering did not start yesterday. War in Syria started in March 2011. It reached Aleppo in July 2012, when armed “rebels” occupied areas in the Eastern part of town. This displaced some 500,000 people who refused to live under the control of Islamists. From then on, the town was divided in two parts: The East, which represents 25% of the total surface, has only 200,000 inhabitants today. [On the arrival of the armed groups], the rest of the people sought refuge in Western Aleppo under the protection of the Syrian State. The Western part of town represents 75% of the total surface and holds 1,5 million people.
From 2012, the Islamist rebels started launching mortar shells every day. In some parts of town, they use gas canisters full of nails and explosives, causing deaths and grievous injuries. Two years ago, they cut off the water supplies to the town. The authorities had to dig 300 wells to replace the running water. They also cut the electricity. They cause very serious shortages by stopping the town receiving supplies, food, petrol, etc.
Over the last 4 years, the Syrian army has tried, unsuccessfully, to rid East-Aleppo of those armed rebels, so that the territory should return to the administration of the Syrian State. Bombings and snipers from every direction keep making thousands of victims. Life in Aleppo has been hell over those last 4 years.
One month ago, armed rebels took control of the only road that links West-Aleppo to the outside world. This happened before. It prevents people from leaving the town and it stopped others coming in – causing penury. After 3 weeks of fighting, the government’s troops managed to retake the road. After that, they laid siege to East-Aleppo and encircled the ‘rebels’ for two weeks. The inhabitants who did not flee stayed there, because they did not wish to quit the zone.
The Syrian State is now determined to rid East-Aleppo – once and for all – of the terrorist bands of Al-Nusra; for these are the occupiers there. (Editorial note: The international Community is unanimous in considering Al-Nusra a terrorist group, just like Daesh). Now that the Syrian army has finally succeeded in encircling these rebels, it uses areal bombing and land fighting to reach its goal. Before the start of its operations, it dropped leaflets and sent SMS messages to ask the remaining civilians – over the years, most people have fled – to leave, and take refuge in West-Aleppo. The Syrian army opened 7 corridors for that purpose. At this point, the people who fled did it at the peril of their lives because the armed groups were refusing to let people go; they wanted people to stay, for use as human shields. Of course such acts of war make a lot of victims, among the terrorists and among the population.
The terrorists in East-Aleppo have now intensified their bombings of the civilian quarters in the West. This claims dozens of lives every day. On Wednesday 28 September, a deluge of shells and gas canisters came down on the Christian district of Azizie, leaving 10 dead, and double that number injured. Today, Friday 30 September, all the parts of Aleppo have been attacked by rebels, with the very heavy toll of 36 dead and many seriously injured.
The Western press shows only images of East-Aleppo, with the destructions, the suffering of people and the indignation of the international Community. Butt that press says nothing about what happens in West-Aleppo, with all its dead and its injured from the rebels’ bombings.
The Christians of Aleppo have always lived in the town Centre and the Western part of town. In 5 years of war, three quarters of the Christians have gone. There are only 40,000 of them left now. The last few days of bombing have been particularly hard on them.
In their immense majority, the people of West-Aleppo applaud strongly the offensive of the Syrian army. They have suffered so much these last 4 years from the lack of water and electricity, from the several blockades, and from the mortars that keep falling every day on their womenfolk, their menfolk, their children and their friends. Not all of them have fled their homes because they think it is the duty of a State to protect its population and liberate its towns.
For our part, we reject all acts of war that are inhuman. We denounce all war crimes. We are revolted by the suffering, but we also repudiate the partial and biased treatment of this war by the media. All the Syrians long for peace, and those of Aleppo most particularly. They are nostalgic for their beautiful country, the stable, the secure, the prosperous and the secular country they had before the war. So far, 300,000 people have died and three million became refugees out of a population of 23 million. (Editorial note: Almost 9 million Syrians have fled to the areas under government control). No-one wishes to live under an Islamist regime, and everyone wants this war to be stopped by a political and negotiated process.”
Speech by the Dr Nabil Antaki, 30 Sept 2016. Published in the Revue Témoignage Chrétien on 6 Oct, 2016.