[Marxism] Brief comments on the Russia-Turkey colonialist "ceasefire”

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Fri Dec 30 22:33:10 MST 2016

Brief comments on the Russia-Turkey colonialist "ceasefire”


The colonialist Russia-Turkey imposed Syria “ceasefire” is a disaster, 
yet at the same time unavoidable at this point. A disaster because of 
the way that it came about (ie, via defeat, a ceasefire where the cards 
are stacked against the revolution side, no prisoner releases, no siege 
endings, expulsion from Aleppo, regime upper hand etc), and because it 
excludes war against Nusra, giving Assad, Russia and the US (and perhaps 
Turkey and the YPG) the excuse to make Idlib a legal Kill Zone without 
“violating the ceasefire.” Even outside of Idlib, does the “ceasefire” 
mean the regime will end its current savagery in Damascus suburbs? And 
indeed, we have already seen constant regime violations. Unavoidable 
because, given the relationship of forces on the ground, Turkey’s 
obvious betrayal, the Gulf’s complete lack of interest, the continued 
US-Jordan-imposed freezing of the southern front etc, we need a 
ceasefire, for the revolutionary forces, both civil and military, to 
regroup, for the people to breathe etc. I guess the civil movement needs 
to try to make the most of it while it lasts, as it did earlier this 
year, bring people into the streets, keep the end of Assad as the 
target, revive popular committees etc. However, if the regime uses it to 
continue to massacre in Idlib, East Ghouta etc, then what is the FSA to 
do? If it doesn’t fight back because the regime is (allegedly) “only 
bombing Nusra” which is outside the ceasefire, while in fact committing 
its usual massacre, then this will greatly boost Nusra vis a vis FSA – 
and, in a sense, rightly so. So the FSA is in a bind.

As for the media pointing out that the US is not part of the ceasefire 
agreement (only Russia, Turkey, Iran), this seems a moot point (apart 
from the fact that Putin has made clear the US will be brought into the 
process when his mate in ultra-right politics, Trump, is inaugurated), 
as the US is not a belligerent in the main part of the Syrian war. The 
US role has been to (1) bomb ISIS, (2) bomb Nusra, (3) bomb in favour of 
the YPG. But the ceasefire doesn’t involve any of these forces or 

Clearly, the “ceasefire” is part of the colonial unofficial soft 
partition “solution” with Russia, Assad and Iran getting what they want 
of “useful” and western Syria, Turkey getting its own northern zone 
(filling it with right-wing Turkish nationalists who believe in Greater 
Turkey, want to expel Syrian refugees into the zone, but have no quarrel 
with Assad, while blocking – not unjustly, but for the wrong reasons – 
the YPG’s irridentist “linking” project; the AKP’s change of policy 
represented by its current alliance with fascistic Grey Wolves and MHP).

But the US has manoevured its way into 3 air bases in YPG-controlled 
territory, so the large Manbij to Hasake region is effectively a 
“US-backed” zone anyway; the zone controlled by the Southern Front in 
Daraa has been converted from a fighting front to a strip protecting the 
Jordanian border from Daesh; and the prizes are Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in 
the east: as the US has bombed on Assad’s side for 2 years against ISIS 
in Deir Ezzor, that will probably go to Assad. Not sure they’ve worked 
out Raqqa just yet, with so many contenders; for a while probably just 
another Kill Zone. I suspect the Saudis will want some kind of Sunni 
entity in the east to expel ISIS in exchange for accepting Assad’s 
“temporary” rule (according to the Russia-Turkey agreement) and being 
left out of the process. 

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