Denounce the US terror listing of Syria’s Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham!
The Trump Administration delivers another blow to the Syrian Revolution. Continue the Solidarity with the liberation struggle of the Syrian people!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 03.06.2018, www.thecommunists.net
- On May 31, the Trump Administration has officially designated the Syrian anti-regime resistance movement Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) as a “terrorist organization” and an “al-Qa’ida affiliate”. (1) This decision provides the legal framework to launch all kinds of attacks against HTS as well as people and organizations associated with it. In a statement published on the next day, HTS rejected Washington’s accusations and denounced its decision. (2)
- The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) strongly condemns the decision of the Trump Administration. It is nothing but another attack of U.S. imperialism against the Syrian Revolution – not the first and certainly not the last. As a matter of fact, there has been a public rupture between the HTS leadership and the al-Qaida long ago (3). As a matter of fact HTS has not undertaken a single armed attack outside of Syria – even the fanatical Assad supporters or the Western Islamophobic hypocrites have not made such allegations against HTS until now!
- The reasons for Washington’s decision are rather the following:
- HTS is the strongest and most significant guerilla movement which is determined to continue the liberation struggle against the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian masters.
- In opposite to a number of pro-Turkish FSA factions, HTS has not participated in the treacherous Astana talks and has always denounced those rebel factions which supported this process. As the RCIT has pointed out repeatedly, the Astana talks – organized by Russia, Iran and Turkey and supported by the Assad regime and treacherous parts of the rebel’s leadership – are a process to organize the liquidation of the Syrian Revolution. (4)
iii. The Trump Administration has intensified the U.S. strategy, which already begun under the Obama Administration, to support the liquidation of the Syrian Revolution. Hence the conflict in Syria becomes more and more a proxy conflict between different forces struggling for spheres of influence. These forces are under the command of or allied to Russia and Iran (the Assad regime and various affiliated militias), Turkey (various factions integrated into or allied with the Euphrates Shield forces) or the U.S. (the mainly-Kurdish SDF/YPG). The HTS is the last significant force with more than 10,000 fighters and a significant political-civilian infrastructure (the “Syrian Salvation Government”) which is independent of these powers and which is committed to continue the liberation struggle against the Assad regime.
- These developments can only be understood in the context of the general contradictory process in the Middle East, as we have pointed out in a recently published joint statement. This process is characterized, against the backdrop of the decline of capitalism, by an acceleration of the rivalry between various imperialist Great Powers (U.S. and Russia) as well as regional powers (Israel, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia). At the same time, the situation in the Middle East is characterized by ongoing liberation struggles of the oppressed people like in Syria, Palestine, Yemen, etc. (5)
- Our defense of HTS against the terror listing is based on similar reasons as we oppose the terror listing of organizations like the Palestinian Hamas or the PFLP. We do not share the ideology or the political goals of HTS. It is a petty-bourgeois Islamist organization with a sectarian Salafist outlook. The Syrian Revolution can not succeed with forces like HTS. Victory can only be achieved if the liberation struggle is led by a revolutionary workers party based on a program of socialist evolution is necessary.
- However, such a revolutionary party does not exist at the moment – in fact the outrageous support of the so-called “Communist” Parties in Syria, as well as many other Stalinist and Bolivarian parties world-wide, for the Assad regime have discredited socialist ideas massively. HTS currently represents the most significant force which is continuing the liberation struggle. This is why all powers – Russia, Iran, Assad, U.S. and Turkey – are determined to smash HTS or to force it into capitulation. In addition to regularly airstrikes and ground assaults by Russia and the regime forces, HTS and its allies suffer since several months from a coordinated campaign of attacks and assassinations from within the rebel-controlled North of Syria. These coward attacks are most likely organized by the Turkish MIT and its Syrian collaborators among the Euphrates Shield forces. As a result, HTS lost several hundred fighters and leaders since February this year. In fact, the massive pressure by these powers has resulted in massive tensions and splits in HTS and the creation of a wing which seems to be ready to capitulate to the Turkish occupation forces. If the imperialists and the regional powers succeed in smashing HTS or forcing it into capitulation, it would most likely represent the liquidation of the last obstacle for a counter-revolutionary settlement in Syria.
- This is why it is important for all socialists and all supporters of the Syrian Revolution to oppose the US terror listing of HTS. This is why it is necessary to continue the support for the liberation struggle of the Syrian workers and poor peasants against the Assad regime. This is why it crucial to strengthen the international solidarity with the struggles of the oppressed people against imperialism, dictatorships and foreign occupation in the Middle East and around the world. This is why the RCIT calls all authentic revolutionaries to join us in our efforts to build a Revolutionary World Party! (6)
International Secretariat of the RCIT
(1) U.S. Department of State: Amendments to the Terrorist Designations of al-Nusrah Front, Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, May 31, 2018, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/05/282880.htm#.WxB2lEv4KuA.twitter
(2) HTS responds to US designations as terrorist group, Nedaa Syria 1 Jun, 2018, http://nedaa-sy.com/en/news/6464
(3) There are numerous sources which document this rupture. We have collected a number of them in footnote 9 in Michael Pröbsting: Syria/Idlib: The Attack of the Astana Conspirators could be repelled thus far, 05.03.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-idlib-the-attack-of-the-astana-conspirators-could-be-repelled-thus-far/. Anyway, even if such a rupture between HTS and al-Qaida would not have occurred we would oppose the aggression of US imperialism. Albeit we denounce al-Qaida as a politically reactionary organization, there can be no doubt that it is the imperialist Great Powers which are the main enemies of the oppressed people.
(4) See on this various statements which are collected in a special section of our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/. In particular we refer to Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/ and chapter V of Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, February 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/worldperspectives-2018/chapter-v/.
(5) See Warmongering in the Middle East: Down with all Imperialist Great Powers and Capitalist Dictatorships! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), Alkebulan School of Black Studies (Kenya), Pacesetters Movement (Nigeria), Pan-Afrikan Consciousness Renaissance (Nigeria), Marxist Group ‘Class Politics’ (Russia), and Sınıf Savaşı (Turkey), 13 May 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/joint-statement-warmongering-in-the-middle-east/
(6) See on this e.g. RCIT: Six Points for a Platform of Revolutionary Unity Today”; https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/may-day-2018-joint-statement/
For the RCIT’s analysis, reportage and perspectives of the Syrian Revolution, we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents which can be accessed at a special section of our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/
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