But the struggle in Syria does not end
By Miguel Lamas
After years of heroic resistance, enduring the criminal bombings of the genocidal al-Assad and Putin, the glorious Aleppo falls. At the close of this edition, an agreement was announced that would allow the evacuation of rebel fighters from the last pockets of resistance. With no supplies or ammunition there was no alternative. Under the agreement, they could leave with their light weapons to the province of Idlib under rebel control, after the civilian population and the infirm were withdrawn. Of course, we cannot be sure that al-Assad and Putin will respect the agreement; particularly with the growth of reported cases about the atrocities and killings being carried out by the pro-Assad Iraqi and Lebanese “militias” executing civilians allegedly collaborating with the rebels.
The complicity of the United States, Venezuela and Cuba
Assad’s troops were able to take the eastern part of (rebel) Aleppo with the support of thousands of Iranians, Lebanese of Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiites (both armed by Iran), and the criminal bombings of Russian aviation.
To this end they also had the hypocritical complicity of the United States and the European Union, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, supposed “defenders” of the rebels, but who blocked the entry of arms to the Aleppo fighters and gave the green light to the Russians bombings.
Although to many fighters it may seem incredible, we must also denounce the direct complicity of the pseudo-leftist governments of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua which voted in the UN (9 December 2016) with China and Russia, against a resolution against condemning the terrible abuses of al-Assad in Syria. Sadly, the reformist world left betrayed the cause for the freedom of the Syrian people and accompanied the genocidal al-Assad and Putin.
That is why the heroism of the Aleppo fighters will remain in the history of rebellion. Like the people who supported them. It should be remembered that since July in the rebel part lived about 300,000 people under a systematic criminal bombing.
The weeks leading up to the fall of Aleppo
The days leading up to this difficult outcome were well narrated in a note published by Lucha Internacionalista (Internationalist Struggle, Spanish State section of the IWU-FI) which states:
“After weeks of intense bombing and months of a total siege that prevents the entry of food and medical equipment, the offensive of the regime of Bashar al-Assad and his allies (notably Putin’s Russia and the Iran of Rouhani) focuses in dividing the rebellious neighbourhoods of the east of the city.
“On 26 November, began the internal displacement of the civilian population that is fleeing horrified from the land advance of troops loyal to the regime seeking refuge in other liberated areas, where the situation is also desperate. There are families who have chosen to make their daughters flee, aware that since the 1980s the Syrian security forces have systematically used rape of women and girls as a weapon of war against the opposition. In the face of the complicity of the United States and the European powers, and the regional powers, rebel Aleppo is bleeding. Activists who for six years have been reporting on the ground say they can no longer make victim assessments because people are tired of counting the dead. Hospitals and schools are out of order. The images that arrive show that Russian aviation uses Aleppo as a field of experimentation of new weaponry.”
“What I understand from the silence of the international community is that what most horrifies them is the freedom for which the people of Syria have fought so hard and are massacred. They are trying to give a lesson to the rest of oppressed peoples around the world so they do not claim freedom as well”, says Abdulkhafi Alhamdo, a teacher of Aleppo.
Physicians for Human Rights pointed out that in the last three years, in Aleppo, there were 45 attacks on health centres, which forced the closure of two out of three hospitals. About 95 percent of doctors also fled, were arrested or killed, worsening the humanitarian crisis in the area.
The fight in Syria is not over
The fight is not over, although al-Assad and Putin have taken rebel Aleppo. They have done so at a terrible cost, and are already responsible for one of the great genocides by which, sooner or later, the dictatorship will have to pay for their crimes.
The defeat of Aleppo is a blow to the Syrian revolution initiated in March 2011. The process is at a crossroads. But the popular rebellion against the dictatorship has not ended, as the dictator himself warns in a statement. It continues in other parts of Syria. Major sectors of the country remain in the hands of the rebels who resist the dictator, such as the province of Idlib and others. As part of international solidarity, we need to repudiate both the systematic bombing of the civilian population and the massacres and crimes of al-Assad’s troops and their allies over the people of Aleppo.
We reiterate the slogans of IWL-FI: Down with al-Assad. Out Russia and its bombing. Not to any intervention by the United States and the European Union. No to ISIS. That governments break relations with the government of al-Assad. For all this, we must redouble our international solidarity with the Syrian rebel people, against the massacres on civilians and against the genocide of the dictatorship.
 See “The Syrian revolution at a Crossroads”, International Correspondence No.39.
Originally published on 13 December 2016, El Socialista No.337, newspaper of Izquierda Socialista, International Workers Unity- (IWU-FI)