[Marxism] What is Really Happening in Syria Descent Into Holy War

Steffan Wyn-Jones mrpettymrsmorse at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 18 09:04:39 MST 2012

PFLP-GC fighters defecting to the FSA as well. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=548995 The Palestinian National Council on Tuesday denounced faction leader Ahmad Jibril over his role in involving Palestinians in the conflict in Syria.

In a message to President Mahmoud Abbas, the PNC denounced Jibril as in 1983 when he bombarded Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad forces while they were besieged in Tripoli. 

Jibril, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command, is accused of dragging Palestinians into the conflict despite a decision by the Palestinian leadership that Palestinians must not intervene in internal Syrian affairs.

The PNC in its 1984 session suspended the membership of Jibril and other leaders of the PFLP-GC after he fought late President Yasser Arafat in Tripoli a year earlier.

Thus, the PNC will address the case of Jibril in the first future meeting in order to expel him and all others who contributed to the killing of Palestinians. 

Expulsion would be based on article 73 of the PNC's internal law.   

Thousands of Palestinians have fled Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus amid weeks of fighting between rebels, backed by some Palestinian fighters, and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. 

The camp has come under heavy jet and artillery fire by the Syrian regime.

Jibril's PFLP-GC has fought alongside Assad's forces, but rebels say many PFLP-GC fighters have defected to join them. Jibril left the camp days ago, rebel sources said.

Syrian rebels said Monday they had taken full control of the camp, on the southern edge of Assad's Damascus powerbase.

"All of the camp is under the control of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army," said a Palestinian activist in Yarmouk. He said clashes had stopped and the remaining PFLP-GC fighters retreated to join Assad's forces massed on the northern edge of the camp.

The PNC said it feared government troops would storm the camp and commit massacres, and called on the UN and the international community to intervene and provide urgent assistance to refugees. 

The council has written to the Arab Parliamentary Union, the Arab Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, as well as the Council of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and a number of European parliaments warning of the urgency of the situation. 

Jibril's alliance with Assad has caused divisions within PFLP-GC and the resignation of several central committee members, who have criticized the group's leader for arming Palestinians.

A previous version said the PNC expelled Jibril. In fact, it condemned his role in Syria and said it would seek to expel him during its next meeting. 
 > Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 10:18:19 -0500
> From: lnp3 at panix.com
> Subject: Re: [Marxism] What is Really Happening in Syria Descent Into Holy War
> To: mrpettymrsmorse at hotmail.com
> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> On 12/17/12 12:35 PM, Louis Proyect wrote:
> > ======================================================================
> > Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> > ======================================================================
> >
> >
> > On 12/17/12 11:47 AM, Ron Jacobs wrote:
> >>
> >> http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/17/descent-into-holy-war/
> >
> > I know that Patrick Cockburn is a very good reporter but I have to
> > question this:
> >
> > This misperception of the reality on the ground in Syria is fuelled in
> > part by propaganda, but more especially by inaccurate and misleading
> > reporting by the media where bias towards the rebels and against the
> > government is unsurpassed since the height of the Cold War. Exaggerated
> > notions are given of rebel strength and popularity.
> >
> http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/russia-sends-warships-to-syria-to-prepare-for-evacuation-8424033.html
> Russia sends warships to Syria to prepare for evacuation
> The move is the first sign that Moscow is worried about rebel advances 
> on Damascus
> John Hall
> Tuesday, 18 December 2012
> Russia has sent warships to the Mediterranean in preparation for an 
> evacuation of its citizens from Syria, according to a Moscow news agency.
> The move is the first sign that Russia, a key ally of Syrian President 
> Bashar al-Assad, is worried that rebel advances now threaten the capital 
> Damascus.
> Moscow’s actions come just a day after rebels seized the Yarmouk 
> Palestinian camp two miles from the city centre. The camp is considered 
> to be a possible springboard for a thrust into Damascus.
> Although the anti-Assad opposition has waged a 21-month-old uprising, 
> its most significant military and diplomatic gains have come in last few 
> weeks.
> It has recently captured a series of army installations across Syria and 
> secured formal recognition from Western and Arab states for its new 
> coalition.
> Assad's allies have largely stood behind but Russia, his main arms 
> supplier, has appeared to waver this week, issuing contradictory 
> statements repeating opposition to Assad stepping down and airing 
> concerns about a possible rebel victory.
> Russia's Interfax news agency quoted unnamed naval sources as saying 
> that two assault ships, a tanker and an escort vessel had left a Baltic 
> port for the Mediterranean Sea, where Russia has a port in Syria's 
> coastal city of Tartus.
> “They are heading to the Syrian coast to assist in a possible evacuation 
> of Russian citizens ... Preparations for the deployment were carried out 
> in a hurry and were heavily classified,” the agency quoted the source as 
> saying.
> It was not possible to independently verify the report, which came a day 
> after Russia confirmed that two citizens working in Syria were kidnapped 
> along with an Italian citizen.
> In Damascus, activists reported overnight explosions and early morning 
> sniper fire around the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk.
> The Yarmouk and Palestine refugee “camps” are actually densely populated 
> urban districts home to thousands of impoverished Palestinian refugees 
> and Syrians.
> “The rebels control the camp but army forces are gathering in the 
> Palestine camp and snipers can fire in on the southern parts of 
> Yarmouk,” rebel spokesman Abu Nidal said by Skype.
> “Strategically, this site is very important because it is one of the 
> best doors into central Damascus. The regime normally does not fight to 
> regain areas captured any more because its forces have been drained. But 
> I think they could see Yarmouk as a red line and fight back fiercely.”
> Syria hosts half a million Palestinian refugees, most living in Yarmouk, 
> descendants of those admitted after the creation of Israel in 1948, and 
> has always cast itself as a champion of the Palestinian struggle, 
> sponsoring several guerrilla factions.
> The battle in Yarmouk was one of a series of conflicts on the southern 
> edges of Damascus, as rebels try to choke off the capital to end 42 
> years of rule by the Assad family, who belong to the minority Alawite 
> sect, derived from Shi'ite Islam.
> Both Assad's government and the mainly Sunni Muslim rebels have enlisted 
> and armed divided Palestinian factions as the uprising mushroomed from 
> street protests into a civil war.
> Streams of refugees have fled Yarmouk, the Syrian Observatory for Human 
> Rights said. Many have headed to central Damascus while hundreds more 
> have gone across the frontier into Lebanon.
> More than 40,000 people have died in Syria's conflict, activists say. 
> Around 200 died yesterday alone, according to the British-based 
> Observatory, which has a network of activists across Syria. Violence has 
> risen sharply, and with it humanitarian conditions are deteriorating.
> The World Health Organisation said around 100 people were being admitted 
> daily to the main hospital of Damascus and that supplies of medicines 
> and anaesthetics were scarce.
> It also reported a rise in cases of extreme hunger and malnutrition 
> coming from across Syria, including the rebel-dominated rural areas 
> outside the capital, where the army has launched punishing air raids.
> Aid organisations say fighting has blocked their access into many 
> conflict zones, and residents in rebel-held areas in particular have 
> grappled with severe food and medical shortages.
> Fighting raged across Syria today, with fighter jets and ground rockets 
> bombarding rebel-dominated eastern suburbs of the capital and army 
> forces shelling a town in Hama province after clashes reignited there 
> over the weekend.
> Rebels overran at least five army sites in a new offensive in Hama 
> yesterday, opposition activists said.
> Qassem Saadeddine, a member of the newly established rebel military 
> command, said on Sunday fighters had been ordered to surround and attack 
> army positions across Hama province. He said Assad's forces were given 
> 48 hours to surrender or be killed.
> In 1982 Hafez al-Assad, late father of the current ruler, crushed an 
> uprising in Hama city, killing up to 30,000 civilians.
> Qatiba al-Naasan, a rebel from Hama, said the offensive would probably 
> bring retaliatory air strikes from the government but said that rebels 
> were keen to put more strain on the army as living conditions 
> deteriorated in the province.
> “For sure there will be slaughter - if the army wants to shell us, many 
> people will die,” he said by Skype. “But at the same time our situation 
> is already getting miserable. ”
> Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa said in a newspaper interview 
> published on Monday that neither Assad's forces nor rebels seeking to 
> overthrow him can win the war.
> Sharaa, a Sunni Muslim in a power elite dominated by Assad's Alawites, 
> is not part of the president's inner circle directing the fight against 
> Sunni rebels but is the most prominent figure to say in public that 
> Assad would not prevail.
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