[Marxism] YPG & Assad: beyond "necessity"

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 27 18:16:30 MDT 2019


Michael Karadjis says:

"As I have continually pointed out,
the SDF's conquest of Arab-majority, rebel-held northern Aleppo/Tal Rifaat
region in early 2016, under air cover of the Russian airforce, was
basically similar to what the 'TFSA' is doing now - conquest outside their
base of support, expulsion of the local population, collaborating with an
invading power which was already raining massive death on Syrians."

The SDF's capture of Tal Rifaat was the culmination of several years of conflict between the SDF (or its precursor organisations) and Turkish-backed  rebels.

On February ... the leadership of Afrin canton issued a statement including the following:

…

We should also note that in the preceding period there had been deep divisions within the anti-Assad rebel movement.  In 2014 Jabhat al-Nusra attacked and crushed the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (a predominantly Arab organisation).  Some (though not all) of the survivors of the SRF fled to Afrin and later became part of the Syrian Democratic Forces.  Arab fighters played a leading role in the capture of Tal Rifaat.  We can not necessarily assume that the people of Tal Rifaat preferred the Turkish backed rebels to the SDF.

It is true that thousands of people fled Tal Rifaat.  I think this was mainly to escape the Russian bombing, and the possibility that Assad's troops would enter Tal Rifaat.  At the time Assadist  troops were advancing on Tal Rifaat from the south.  The SDF got there first.  I think Russia would have preferred that Assad's troops arrived first, but for the time being they put up with SDF control of Tal Rifaat.

Returning to the present situation, Michael says:  "The problem however is the question of what the SDF may have given away, or
agreed to do, to get this Assad 'protection'. "

It is worrying that  Assad's troops are entering northeastern Syria.  If they were to confine themselves to deterring further Turkish aggression, that would be OK.  But I fear that they will try to re-impose the regime's control over the area.  Time will tell.

Chris Slee



________________________________
From: Marxism <marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of mkaradjis . via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
Sent: Sunday, 27 October 2019 6:46 PM
To: Chris Slee <chris_w_slee at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Marxism] YPG & Assad: beyond "necessity"

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I agree with Chris that the SDF getting help from the US, or from Assad,
when the areas where it has its base of support, especially Kurdish areas,
are under attack, is not the same as the 'TFSA' taking part in Turkey's
conquest operation in northeast Syria, or in Afrin. In the first case it is
defensive of their own interests and those of their base; in the second
case they are far from their base of support and essentially subordinate to
Turkey's interests.

Of course, that is not always the case. As I have continually pointed out,
the SDF's conquest of Arab-majority, rebel-held northern Aleppo/Tal Rifaat
region in early 2016, under air cover of the Russian airforce, was
basically similar to what the 'TFSA' is doing now - conquest outside their
base of support, expulsion of the local population, collaborating with an
invading power which was already raining massive death on Syrians.
Unfortunately, in that case, Chris and other Rojava supporters and SA
members always justify or provide apologetics for this. This will be coming
in Chris's next response. Yet it can hardly be avoided, because this action
cut East Aleppo off from its hinterland which reached the Turkish border,
making it easier for Assad to surround Aleppo (and the SDF also later aided
the actual Assad conquest of Aleppo) and this is remembered by the rebels
and their base.

As I said, the opposite is the case at the moment.

The problem however is the question of what the SDF may have given away, or
agreed to do, to get this Assad "protection". There have been rumours that
the SDF may have agreed to take part in Assad's offensive against Greater
Idlib as quid pro quo. In that case, it would be doing the same as the
'TFSA' now, and we should of course wish for the defeat of any such
sold-out 'Rojava' forces in that case. But for the moment, I will give the
SDF the benefit of the doubt on that. (Ironically, if it were true, it may
be quite similar to the quid pro quo that Turkey has no doubt agreed to for
getting Putin's support for seizing 3000 square kilometres between Tal
Abyad and Ras al-Ayn: that Assad be allowed to reconquer Greater Idlib from
the rebels!)

Unfortunately, there does appear to be more evidence that the info sent by
John Reimann - of the SDF collaborating with Assad forces arresting
anti-Assad protestors in (Arab-majority) Manbij, in which case it does go
way "beyond necessity" and puts them back in the other position. According
to Elizabeth Tsurkov reporting from the region:

"Concerning developments in Arab-majority areas under SDF control as the
regime seeks to return to these areas. The SDF is arresting activists
organizing anti-regime not even anti SDF protests and strikes. Contacts
told me the Asayish is searching phones for any pro-FSA content."

27-Video issued by what so-called the Internal Security Forces of Manbej
Military Council showing confessions of 2 activists accused of organizing a
strike to block entry of the regime into Manbej.The headline of the video
is"MMC thwarts an attempt 2 harm the stability of Manbej"

https://twitter.com/Elizrael/status/1188150113081929728?fbclid=IwAR3BR1MJ-Q9Ro3Vz8A1XQceeBFbTH1Sbyv2xMh9JW-L1H9wUAnX_r8fibr8


Tsurkov is no apologist for Turkey or the 'TFSA' (or for that matter for
the FSA itself). She writes also in the same thread:


"The Turkish-backed Syrian "National Army" enjoys almost 0 popular support
anywhere & are seen as undisciplined marauders.[However] Civilians should
not be arrested merely for having brothers in the ranks of the SNA. SDF
fighters themselves often have relatives in the SNA."


She also wrote this damning article about the Turkish invasion:

https://forward.com/opinion/433095/oh-my-god-why-are-they-doing-this-northeastern-syrians-await-their-fate/

As I earlier wrote, my fears of what they SDF plans are were raised when
Chris earlier sent that statement where they said that their new
arrangement with Assad opened the doors to the "liberation" of Jarablus,
al-Bab, Azaz, mare and Afrin. At least that statement specifically excluded
Idlib. But, apart from Afrin, all four other cases would be support to
Assadist conquest of rebel-held zones (as in Tal Rifaat), and "liberation
only in the sense of what the 'TFSA' is doing now.

Let's hope it was just Apoist bluster.






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