[Marxism] Northern Syria: Massive ethnic cleansing, humanitarian catastrophe, foreign intervention and betrayal

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 23 18:37:49 MST 2018

On 1/23/18 8:12 PM, Chris Slee via Marxism wrote:
> "One of the Syrian opposition's greatest mistakes was to buckle to Turkish pressure and exclude the Kurdish opposition from the Syrian National Council (SNC). This, in turn, led to the political under-representation of Kurds, even though there was a robust Kurdish political opposition that was eager to join the SNC.

The Irish Times
June 11, 2012 Monday
Syrian opposition elects Kurd to top role


SYRIAN FORCES yesterday shelled rebel strongholds across the country as 
the expatriate opposition Syrian National Council, meeting in Istanbul, 
elected as its leader Abdelbasset Sieda, who promised to unite all 
external and internal factions under the council umbrella.

Declaring the regime is on its last legs , Mr Sieda, a Kurd who has 
lived for many years in Sweden, said multiplying massacres and shellings 
show that [the government] is struggling . He pledged to reform and 
restructure the council, which has been sharply criticised by the 
international community and by Syrians in the country for factionalism 
and ineffectiveness.

Mr Sieda took over from Burhan Ghalioun, an academic teaching in Paris 
who headed the body since its establishment last September. By 
appointing a Kurd, the council hopes to reassure members of Syria's 
minority communities they will not suffer if the secular regime is 
ousted. The Kurds have been divided over the council's activities, and 
those who had joined the council withdrew.

Many Syrians are wary of the council, on which the Muslim Brotherhood 
has strong representation.

Fighting against government troops supported by helicopter gunships took 
place at a rebel base near Haffa in the mountains, opposition activists 
reported. The Britain-based opposition Syrian Observatory for Human 
Rights said at least 58 soldiers had been killed and 200 wounded since 
the operation began on Tuesday. The official news agency Sana reported 
terrorist groups in Haffa had attacked civilians, set fire to the public 
hospital and forced families to flee their homes.

At least 35 people were said to have been killed during army barrages on 
rebel-held areas in the city of Homs and the nearby towns of Qusair, 
Talbiseh and Rastan, from which the renegade Free Syrian Army has 
mounted attacks on army patrols and checkpoints, the opposition said.

British foreign secretary William Hague warned the situation resembled 
that in Bosnia in the 1990s, when the former Yugoslavia was embroiled in 
a sectarian civil war. He urged Moscow to use the leverage it has with 
Damascus to end the violence, and said the only option was to adopt the 
peace plan put forward by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

To promote implementation of his plan, Mr Annan has called for the 
creation of a contact group representing all countries involved in the 
Syrian crisis, but the US, Britain and France have rejected the 
inclusion of Iran, Syria s main regional ally. On Saturday, Russian 
foreign minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated his country s rejection of 
external intervention but indicated Moscow would not block the exit of 
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad if the Syrians agree [on his] departure.

His remarks coincided with news of shelling of the city of Deraa that 
reportedly killed 17.

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