The photograph of the boy named Omran, with his face covered in blood and dust after being injured in a bombing in the city of Aleppo, traveled around the world. It became a new image of the horror of war and the criminal bombing by Al Assad and the Russian regimes aircraft . The siege of Aleppo and its systematic bombing seeks to liquidate the heroic resistance of a people who are still fighting in spite of being attacked by a ferocious dictatorship and the great military powers that support it.
By Miguel Lamas
In the first week of August rebel militias broke the siege of Aleppo imposed by Bashar al Assad’s army. The devastating response by the dictatorship was a counteroffensive comprised of massive bombing from Putin’s aircraft on rebel-held areas of Aleppo. The new development is that Russia made a military pact with Iran to use its military airports for their giant aircraft (which cannot use the smaller airport that Russia has in its military base in Latakia, Syria). In this way, tons of bombs are being dropped on rebel Aleppo on a daily basis. About 300,000 people are under siege; many children have died and thousands are directly affected by the collapse of their homes.
Now these Russian aircrafts are bombarding the Kurds.
For the first time since the beginning of the war, Al Assad’s army bombed Kurdish military bases in Syria with the help of the huge Russian ‘super’ aircraft launched from Iran even though these Kurdish and rebel militias are fighting ISIS there.
Neither the Syrian army—which is too busy trying to contain the popular rebellion in Damascus and Aleppo— nor their Russian allies had attacked the Kurds until now. This attack has to do with a new ally who has made a pact with Putin: Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. Turkey is a NATO member, thus, it is a US ally; but now it also made a pact with Putin to fight “terrorists” who, from Erdogan’s view point, are mainly the Kurds.
And what is the role of the United States?
Theoretically it is against the bombing of Aleppo, which it “regrets”. Obama even tells a joke at the expense of the conflict, saying that his hair went gray from having so many meetings on Syria. But he lets the Russians act. The major US daily The Washington Post criticizes: “While Aleppo is destroyed, Mr. Obama is taking a break”. On the same note, the US newspaper quoted a recent statement by doctors in Aleppo: “The burden of responsibility for the crimes of the Syrian government and its Russian ally must be shared by all those, including the United States, which allows the crimes to go on”.
It is clear that Putin is doing the dirty work for the imperialist powers. While Obama talks about “fighting terrorism” (which excludes Assad and Russia) there is a tacit approval of the Al Assad dictatorship. The US sends some weapons (it never sends heavy weapons and anti-aircraft weapons that allow the syrian rebels to defend themselves), and advisers to Kurdish rebels; but only to control them so they do not fight the dictatorship but only ISIS. It should be recalled that ISIS was originally armed by Saudi Arabia, a US ally, though now it is out of control and everyone considers it an enemy.
It is necessary that the left, the international labor movement and all democratic and anti-imperialist sectors unite in solidarity with the Syrian people who are resisting heroically in Aleppo and dozens other cities. In the battle for Aleppo, the fate of the Syrian people is at stake and the outcome will have global consequences. We call on the people of the world to show solidarity with the rebellious people of Aleppo and everywhere else in Syria. As the International Workers Unity-Fourth International (IWI-FI), we support the fighters and rebel militias without lending our support to their political leaderships. Down with Assad! Stop the bombing by Russia and the imperialists! No to ISIS! Turkey and Iran, get out of Syria! For the unity of Syrian rebels and Kurds! We call on governments to break diplomatic relations with Bashar Al Assad! No to European fortresses! Freedom of movement for refugees!
Originally published in Izquierda Socialista newspaper.