[Marxism] Syria: How Much Does the Pentagon Pay for the YPG?

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 25 14:09:42 MST 2020

Because the Syrian Democratic Forces receive some aid from the US, Michael Probsting claims they are "mercenaries for US imperialism".  He says that "US imperialism controls the eastern part of Syria".

If he were to apply the same logic to Idlib province, he would say that Turkey controls most of Idlib, and that the rebels there are mercenaries for Turkey.

Turkey has aided rebel groups in Idlib since 2011.  It began stationing troops there in 2017.  But this has increased dramatically recently.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 2,850 Turkish trucks and military vehicles crossed into Syrian territory between February 2 and February 24.  7,600 Turkish troops deployed to Idlib and Aleppo provinces.  The number of Turkish military posts rose to 43:


This greatly exceeds the US presence in northeastern Syria.  Yet Probsting still talks of "the popular uprising in Syria", presumably referring to the rebels in Idlib.  The fact that these rebels are allied with Turkey against Assad does not lead him to call them mercenaries.

The fact that a group receives outside aid does not automatically make it a "mercenary".  I would not condemn a rebel group solely for receiving aid from Turkey to fight against the Assad regime.  

But Turkish aid has been used as a means of coopting rebel groups.  Those who joined Turkey in its invasions of Afrin and northeastern Syria have become mercenaries.

The SDF is fighting against ISIS because ISIS is a reactionary organisation, which oppresses women and religious minorities.  The US is fighting ISIS for its own reasons.  The fact that there is cooperation against a common enemy does not make the SDF mercenaries.

This does not mean that such cooperation is without problems and dangers.  The cooption of some Syrian rebel groups by Turkey shows the dangers.

Chris Slee
From: Marxism <marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of RKOB via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
Sent: Monday, 24 February 2020 9:21:11 PM
To: Chris Slee <chris_w_slee at hotmail.com>
Subject: [Marxism] Syria: How Much Does the Pentagon Pay for the YPG?

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*Syria: How Much Does the Pentagon Pay for the YPG?*

*/On the regular subsidies of U.S. imperialism for its mercenaries in

/By Michael Pröbsting, //24 February 2020/


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