Crippling Assad and bringing him to justice is an international responsibility

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The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces (ETILAF) has issued a statement calling for the continuation of military strikes against the Assad regime with a view to stopping it, and its allies, from massacring Syrian civilians. ETILAF sees the air strikes as “an important new step”.

The statement calls for enforcement of the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolutions 2118 and 2245 as a strategic objective of the military strikes. In other words, for the political transition from Assad dictatorship to democracy.

ETILAF and the Free Syrian Army and the Local Coordinating Committees are the ‘good guys’ that reactionaries like Tony Abbott and John Pilger say don’t exist. They are the equivalent of the National Liberation Front in Vietnam in the 1960s and the fighters against apartheid in South Africa.

Whether secular or Islamist, those fighting for democracy must be supported by the international community, as the massacres and suffering have gone on for way too long. The ‘international community’ is a euphemism for ‘United States and anyone else willing to take effective action against the fascist regime in a way that strengthens the hand of the people relative to the regime’.

ETILAF is recognized as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people by 120 states and organizations, including the United States, the European Union, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. ETILAF seeks a “democratic, inclusive and pluralistic civil state” for Syria.

The big question now is whether the recent US-led air strikes will be a ‘one off’ or develop into a strategy along the lines sought by ETILAF.

An important lesson to those who fear ‘war with Russia’ is the very weak response of the chest-beating Putin. Russia is unlikely to go to war with the US over Assad. It would be his downfall if he did, with the Russian economy already feeling the effects of sanctions, and the Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, saying: “Bashar al-Assad is not our friend. Putin is now saving Assad with the money of Russian retirees. This must be stopped.”

 

Here is the ETILAF statement:

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Syrian Coalition Calls for Military Strikes Against Assad Regime in Response to Douma Massacre

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With the defeat of Daesh (ISIS) more or less complete, it is no longer possible for the Assad regime to hide behind the lie that it should be supported against terrorists. The regime itself has engaged in terrorism to the extent that nearly 500,000 have been killed (overwhelmingly by Assad/Russian forces), six million are internally displaced and there are five million refugees who fled to other countries.

The Syrian struggle is not a socialist one but rather a struggle for democracy, encompassing many different factions and ways of thinking, including Islamists. The principal enemy has always been the fascist regime.

Trump has called Assad an “animal” and indicated that, unlike Obama, he will not allow a ‘second red line’ to be ignored. With support from France and Britain, Trump has said the US will act against the regime with or without United Nations support. Hopefully, he can build a wider coalition.

Will this be the turning point that the people of Syria and their supporters have been hoping for?

If it is, then prepare for the pseudo-left to launch a ‘Hands of Syria’ campaign of exactly the same reactionary kind as the overt neo-fascist admirers of Assad.

And also prepare for an advance in the position of the revolutionary forces on the ground in Syria.

 

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Below is the text of the statement by the Syrian National Coalition of Revolution and Opposition Forces calling for military strikes against the Assad regime. 

The Syrian Coalition called upon permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the United States, Great Britain and France to launch military strikes against the Assad regime in response to the repeated use of chemical weapons. The latest of these chemical weapons attacks took place in the town of Douma late on Saturday claiming the lives of more than 100 civilians.

In a press release issued on Sunday, the Coalition said that the use of force to strike the Assad regime’s army positions and airbases is part of the responsibility to maintain international peace and security.

“Calling a UN Security Council session has proved futile given Russia’s repeated blocking of any action by the Council. The Syrian Coalition, therefore, calls on the Council’s permanent members and the concerned countries, namely the United States, Great Britain, and France, to take urgent action in accordance with their responsibilities for maintaining international peace and security,” the Coalition said.

The Syrian Coalition also called for the urgent referral of the Assad regimes’ crimes to the International Criminal Court. “It is the responsibility of everyone to put an end to the brutal onslaught on Douma and eastern Ghouta and protect about 200,000 civilians who are still trapped in the liberated part of eastern Ghouta.”

The Coalition said that the attack on Douma was carried out in blatant defiance and utter disregard for all human values. It stressed that the use chemical weapons, inflammable napalm, and the white phosphorus in the bombings of eastern Ghouta constituted a war crime and genocide.

Moreover, the Coalition said that Russia and the Assad regime “bear total and direct responsibility for these barbaric crimes,” adding that the violent Saturday bombings targeted women and children who sought shelter in makeshift underground basements in Douma.

The Coalition called upon the Syrian and Arab communities and all free people around the world to speak up against the Assad regime’s crimes and exert pressure on the governments of the countries that remain silent over these heinous crimes.

The Coalition said it was communicating with the countries concerned to urge a response to Russia’s military escalation and the genocide taking place in eastern Ghouta as well as to ensure accountability for these crimes and protection for the people in Douma. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)