On April 28, 2019 Russian and Syrian air force began heavy bombardment against the province of Idlib and contiguous rural areas in the provinces of Hama and Homs in northern Syria.
By Fábio Bosco
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights between April 30 and June 20, 2019, there were 8610 air strikes: 1436 attacks by Russian planes, 3982 by Syrian planes and 3192 barrel bombs launched by Syrian helicopters. There are also 29160 rockets and bombs launched by Syrian ground forces.
Some 300,000 people took refuge near the border with Turkey.
In addition to aerial and ground bombardments, there is still the use of chemical weapons against the population. Once again according to the Syrian Observatory were 221 chemical weapons attacks since 2012.
Idlib was defined as a de-escalation zone Russian, Turkish and Iranian governments in the Astana agreements.
Turkey was responsible for the province but did nothing in these three months to stop the heavy bombardments.
Apparently this is a retribution for the green light given by the Russian and American governments for the Turkish forces to take Afrin province, then under the control of Kurdish militias of the PYD party and today under the control of militias linked to Turkey which, likewise militias linked to the Syrian regime (Hezbollah and Iranian ones), engage in daily atrocities against the local population.
Nevertheless, Syrian regime and its allies atrocities do not stop there. The Syrian refugee camp in Al-Rukban, on the border between Syria, Jordan and Iraq, has been under siege by the Syrian regime since February.
UN representatives denounced lack of water, food and medicines.
Al-Rubkan was formed in 2014 housing 60 thousand inhabitants. In the past three months, 17,000 refugees have been forced to move to areas under the control of the Syrian regime.
In neighboring countries, the situation of refugees is also dramatic.
In Lebanon, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, a political ally of President Michel Aoun, is campaigning sordidly to incite the population against Syrian refugees, reminiscent of Bashir Gemayel’s racist speeches against the Palestinians during the Lebanese civil war.
The Lebanese army has already expelled refugees back to Syria.
In addition to collaborating with the Syrian dictatorship, its goal is to receive more funds for refugees from international organizations and rich countries.
In Turkey, the right-wing party CHP won the elections in Istanbul. Their leaders support dictator Bashar el-Assad. They also oppose the presence of Syrian refugees in the country.
But what does it await the 12 million Syrian refugees at home?
Repression and confiscation of property is the answer.
There are thousands of reports by refugees who had been recently arrested, tortured or executed.
The Palestine Action Group for Palestinians (AGPS) reported that 21 Palestinians were tortured to death in Syrian prisons only in 2019.
For many who were not arrested, their property had been seized.
The Syrian regime passed laws to confiscate refugee property to hand them over to allies of the regime.
The most famous case is entrepreneur Samer Foz, owner of Aman Holding Company and ASM International General Trading. He built a unit of the “Four Seasons Luxury Hotel” network on land confiscated by the regime in central Damascus.
A country under occupation
The Syrian regime is only a shadow of what it was in the past.
The country lives under occupation.
In addition to the State of Israel in the Golan Heights since 1973, Iranian militias such as the Revolutionary Guards, the Russian Army and Hezbollah dominate most of the country. PYD Kurdish militias supported by the United States dominate the entire region north of the Euphrates River, which is equivalent to 27% of the national territory, where the country’s oil and gas reserves are. Finally, Turkey controls the province of Afrin totally, and Idlib partially.
The economy is destroyed. What prevails is a war economy.
On the national scale, the regime’s main allies, Russia and Iran, are fighting for the spoils of war.
On the smaller scale, the various Syrian and foreign militias fight to control checkpoints to collect people and property tolls. This is the case of al-Mayadin, in the corridor from Homs to Al-Bukamal on the border with Iraq, where the Iranian militias fight each other.
In short, the fate of the Syrian regime is in the hands of regional and international powers.
The fight goes on
In this tragic scenario, there are some encouraging signs.
Deraa’s people marched taking flags of the Syrian revolution last Friday, June 21, leaving the al-Omari mosque to demand the release of political prisoners. They sang “We do not want promises. We want the liberation of the prisoners! ”
In Idlib and in the rural areas of Hama and Homs, there is armed resistance against the aggression of the regime.
According to arab48 site, the Syrian population in the Golan Heights occupied by the State of Israel struck a general strike and demonstration in the Al-Yaafouri square near the village of Majdal Shams on June 18 against the Israeli plan to deploy 52 towers to capture wind energy.
In Beirut, Lebanon, activists and intellectuals have taken actions of solidarity with the Syrian refugees in Samir Qsir Park. They wore yellow banners written “No to Racism” and “Stop Hate Speech.”
In Ankara, Turkey, activists staged an international women’s day march demanding the release of political prisoners in Syria on 8 March.
Recently there have been demonstrations for the end of the bombing of Idlib in several cities in Europe, the United States and Brazil on 22 and 23 June.
Beyond the Syrian question, the Arab revolutions are returning.
The lack of living conditions – employment, salary, education, healthcare and housing – and the lack of democratic freedoms are pushing the working population back into struggles against Arab regimes.
This is the case of Algeria and Sudan with the potential to spread again throughout the region.
Arab regimes, in turn, resort to brutal repression and to imperialist countries.
Bahrain is an example. Their administration agreed to host a shameful meeting to boost the so-called “Deal of the Century” through which the United States and the State of Israel seek the final surrender of the Palestinian cause, and which is supported by most Arab regimes.
Another example is the massive sale of American and European weapons to the Saudi government that uses them to promote a massacre in Yemen and to sponsor the Janjaweed murderous militias in Sudan.
While on the one hand the Arab working people face brutal repression, on the other the Arab regimes get weaken due to economic decadence and the loss of any popular legitimacy.
The most likely scenario is the outbreak of struggles, revolutions and wars. In this scenario a revolutionary party is needed that can lead these uprisings to power and its international expansion.
End the Bombings! End the Siege On al-Rubkan! Freedom for All Political Prisoners!
Immediate Departure of All Foreign Forces from Syrian Territory!
Down With Bashar el-Assad and His Regime! For a Workers’ Government to Provide Living Conditions, Democratic Freedoms and National Sovereignty Fighting Back Imperialist and Regional Powers!