Imperialism Changes Guard in Syria

Statement on Events in the Syrian Arab Republic by the Chair of the CC NCPA

The US will not protect you. The US will not safeguard you in their hearts or their laps. The US will put you in their pockets so as to become a bartering tool along with their dollars which they began doing. If you will not prepare yourselves to defend your country then you will become slaves for the Ottomans. No one will protect you except your country. No one will defend you except the Syrian Arab Army

Bashar Al-Assad, President of Syria speaking to YPG fighters, February 2019

All over international media this week was the announcement that US forces would withdraw from Syria, and that Turkish military operations in Syria would then commence. This provoked a furor from all sides of the US political establishment that the US was abandoning its “Kurdish allies”. ‘Rojava’ and the YPG/YPJ militas, long the obscure pet project of some Western anarchists, suddenly became the public darling of all factions US imperialism opposed to Trump. How could this happen?

First, it needs to be clarified that the YPG, or ‘Kurdish forces’ have always been a proxy for US imperialism and an occupying force within Syria similar to the Contras in Nicaragua since US imperialism began to focus on conquering Syria. Not only have they been trained by the Pentagon and CIA but the territory which they claim for “Rojava” or “Western Kurdistan” does not correlate to Kurdish-predominant areas, but more oil field locations. This oil is then on-sold to other US proxy states such as Israel. Furthermore, this is a US occupation of Syria by proxy – as the locations of the US bases in Syria show. The maps below reveal this clear as day.

Political Map of Syria (YPG-controlled area in yellow)
Ethnic Map of Syria (Kurdish-predominant areas in green-brown
Oil locations within Syria
US bases within Syria

So it is clear that the ‘Kurdish forces’ until recently were used by US/NATO imperialism as a proxy force to occupy Syria. But why have this switch? The reality is that modern warfare does not function in a similar war to the classical idea of warfare that still prevails in people’s minds of independent tribes or nations fighting it out on the battlefield. Since the establishment of US hegemony in the capitalist world, and in the entire world since the US destroyed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the world socialist system as a coherent entity, the imperialist forces have been incredibly unified into one bloc – NATO, under US command. Different armies and paramilitaries serve a united international command and are treated by the US as such.

Of course, individual lackey states within the NATO bloc will not always want to participate in every scheme to protect their own interests, such as European abstention from the ‘coalition of the willing’ in Iraq or the New Zealand Government’s refusal to recognise Guaido as President of Venezuela. But there is no genuine or open infighting as there was say before World War One.

The switch from US/YPG occupation of Syria to Turkish occupation is not a new invasion, but simply NATO members rotating who among them will serve on the front lines similar to how divisions get rotated. The dominance of the US over this bloc essentially means that not every decision made benefits each of the lackey groups, particularly those without their own state, such as the YPG.

The YPG used to have a non-aggression agreement with the legitimate Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army, so that both could focus on the common enemy of ISIS and al-Nusra. US entry into the region saw the YPG switch to treating the US occupiers as their main ally and carry out a programme of ethnic cleansing against Syrians (1 2).

Genuine revolutionaries seeking socialism or national liberation never seek to land under the wing of the imperialist bloc. Any naive yet genuine sentiment to improve the lot of the Kurdish population within Syria collapsed entirely with the alliance with the United States and NATO, who only care about their profits and world hegemony. Now their ‘Rojava’ will soon be swept away by Turkish forces unless they withdraw their treacherous stance and accept the sovereignty of the plurinational Syrian Arab Republic.

The New Communist Party of Aotearoa and 49 other Communist and Workers’ Parties firmly backed Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity back in June, a sentiment we still stand by.

Communists all over the globe are condemning the Turkish invasion of Syria this week, and this should be done. However Turkey’s actions are not new or isolated, but rather a change of the guard within an ongoing campaign of imperialist aggression against Syria to crush and divide it for resource and profit extraction. Therefore we also condemn the actions of the YPG against their compatriots and native land that ultimately served no other purpose than temporary foot-soliders of NATO.

US/NATO, Hands Off Syria!

Long live the Working Peoples of Syria and the Syrian Arab Republic!