Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/944/25244

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 April 2017

Trump orders missile strikes against Shayrat air base

Attacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

Devastated communities in Syria

Devastated communities in Syria

Niall Mulholland, Committee for a Workers' International

US president Donald Trump's decision to launch missile attacks against the Shayrat air base in Syria ratcheted up the long running conflict there and dangerously fuelled tensions between the US and Russia and Iran, and also with North Korea and China. It will also significantly increase rivalries between Sunni and Shia-based regimes in the Middle East.

Trump claimed that the tomahawk missiles attack was ordered "on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched," referring to Khan Sheikhun, where over 70 people died.

The appalling death of scores of civilians, including children, rightly led to revulsion and condemnation from working class people around the world. However the US, supported by other Western powers, cynically seized upon the terrible incident to try to strengthen their position in the Syrian conflict.

In the absence of an investigation into the reasons for the chemical deaths and without seeking a UN mandate, or even a mandate from the US Congress, Trump ordered the missile attacks against Syria.

Welcomed

The US attacks were welcomed by European governments, as well as Turkey and Israel. The opposition Islamist Ahrar al-Sham militia in Syria welcomed US "surgical strikes."

Meanwhile Assad will use the US attacks to try to bolster his anti-imperialist credentials at home. Socialists give no support whatsoever to the Assad regime, which has shown no concern for the lives of innocent civilians during Syria's long and bloody civil war. Assad is a brutal dictator prepared to use ruthless means to stay in power.

However, as of yet, there is no hard evidence to say that the Assad regime was responsible for the death of civilians from chemicals.

Given that Assad, with crucial help from Putin and Iran, is winning the war, it appears counterproductive from his point of view to launch an indiscriminate chemical attack, fully aware that it would be a pretext for a possible US-led military attack. Moscow insisted that the Syrian air force hit a depot of chemical weapons produced by rebels fighting government forces.

At this stage, the only certainty about the latest events in Khan Sheikhun is that it killed scores of civilians, on top of the hundreds of thousands of other war-related deaths.

Counter-revolution

This is fundamentally a result of the counter-revolution that unfolded in Syria following a genuine mass revolt against the rule of Assad in 2011, inspired by revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt.

In the absence of strong, united, working class organisations and a socialist leadership, sectarian and Islamic forces were able to step into the vacuum, aided by reactionary Gulf States and Turkey and by Western powers. This led to the degeneration of the mass revolt into a vicious, multi-faceted civil war.

It is unclear whether the US air strikes are a show of strength and limited action or if they presage a broader military intervention in Syria. The Shayrat airbase is an important staging post for Syrian and Russian military operations against the largely Islamic armed opposition and the US attacks will be a blow.

Russia condemned the US air strikes as an "act of aggression" and a "violation of international law" and suspended its channel for communicating military action in Syria with Washington, used to prevent accidental conflict.

These developments leave open the possibility of direct clashes between US-led and Russian military forces in Syria, with far-reaching consequences in the region and internationally.

Iran, which has militias fighting alongside Assad's troops, also strongly condemned US actions. Adding to the dangerous complications on the ground, Iranian forces are also in Iraq, nominally fighting alongside the US-backed Baghdad regime's troops against Isis.

Trump appeared to order the air attacks while in talks with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, on his visit to the US, which will only serve to increase tensions with the Beijing regime.

Six years of war have killed hundreds of thousands, and reduced Syria to rubble, photo Elizabeth Arrott (Creative Commons)

Six years of war have killed hundreds of thousands, and reduced Syria to rubble, photo Elizabeth Arrott (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Shift

As the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI - the international organisation the Socialist Party is affiliated to) warned, the advent of Trump's administration marks a shift to more dangerous and unpredictable world relations.

In this situation, the working class and youth of the Middle East, the US and all over the world need a mass anti-war movement and the development of powerful working class parties, with bold socialist policies, to counter the war, terror and poverty of capitalism and imperialism.


Socialist Alternative, cothinkers of the CWI in the US, add:

Trump's response reeks of hypocrisy when his administration is also at this moment ramping up a bombing campaign against Isis in Syria and Iraq, leading to increasing civilian casualties including hundreds in one strike alone in Mosul.

US imperialism has also been supporting Saudi Arabia in its brutal campaign in Yemen against Houthi rebels which is leading to massive casualties, a collapsing economy and potential mass starvation. Trump's attack on Syria takes place at the same time he has acted to prevent any refugees fleeing the war-torn country from coming to the US...

While Trump claims that he was moved by the horrible images from Idlib, it is clear that the main purpose of this attack was to distract from his plummeting poll numbers and domestic troubles including the rejection of the Muslim ban by the courts after mass protests and more recently the failure to pass Trumpcare...

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 12 April 2017:


NHS SOS

Victory! Health workers walk out

Hundreds march to save the NHS in Carlisle

Carlisle NHS privateers leave patients at risk

NHS SOS round-up


Save our schools!

School cuts can be beaten with a strategy to win

Cuts leave schools unable to meet basic needs


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Cardiff: Labour right rattled by anti-cuts TUSC

Doncaster: Socialist Steve's growing support


International socialist news and analysis

Attacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

France: Groundswell of support for left candidates

Ireland: Bury the water charges


Socialist Party news and analysis

Scrap the Tory 'rape clause' and all benefit attacks

Thousands left with 50p for rent - cap rents, not benefits

47,000 kids exposed to illegal toxic air

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Solid strike across the rail network against unsafe driver-only operation

PCS election: Vote Democracy Alliance

Car workers strike at BMW in defence of pensions

Derby teaching assistants accept offer to end pay dispute

PCS protest

Arts unions agree joint campaign work


Livingstone, Labour and anti-Semitism

Livingstone, Labour and anti-Semitism


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Excellent Socialist Party trade union meeting

Last quarter's fighting fund target smashed, now make our voice heard in elections

Action against cuts at Solent University

Police officers face misconduct charges over attack on 'freedom ride'

Newham socialists attend 'I, Daniel Blake' film night

KCL housing 'wall of shame'


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 April 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Syria:

triangleSocialists fight for Palestinian liberation and workers' unity

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleNo to the bombing of Syria!

triangleNo to bombing Syria

Trump:

triangleImperialist tensions escalate as world economy teeters

triangleRatcheting up of Iran-US tensions

triangleD-Day for fighting Trump attack on NHS

triangleTens of thousands march

US:

triangleProbation hostel rest room win

triangleMass movement topples governor of Puerto Rico

triangle50 years since Apollo 11 - 'One giant leap': how political conflict launched the moon landing

War:

triangle70 years since the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four: "But if there was hope, it lay in the proles"

triangleSri Lanka - Ten years after the brutal end of the war

Military:

triangleSudan masses mobilise against state repression

Middle East:

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Naqba Day and the Middle East

Iraq:

triangleAssange arrest: US and allied governments seeking revenge for exposing dirty wars

Iran:

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: 1979 - Revolution and counter-revolution in Iran

Refugees:

triangleJavid's migrant 'emergency'

Turkey:

triangleNew opportunity to build working-class fightback after voters punish Erdogan

Isis:

triangleSyria: No ceasefire for 'hell on earth' eastern Goutha

Russia:

triangleThe striking relevance of Leon Trotsky's Theory of Permanent Revolution

Imperialism:

triangleWhat lies behind the US-China trade war?

CWI:

triangleHong Kong protests: No let-up in trial of strength

Counter-revolution:

triangleCounter-revolution in Sudan

Israel:

triangleInterview: protests over killing in Israel

Yemen:

triangleRevolution and counter-revolution in Sudan

Saudi Arabia:

triangleInternational solidarity with the struggle of the Sudanese people

Tunisia:

triangleInternational round-up

Korea:

triangleTrump's tariffs raise international tensions

Racism:

triangleFar right seen off at Oxford Circus

China:

trianglePro-democracy protests continue to rage

Chemical weapons:

triangleRussia, spies and nerve agents

Anti-war:

triangleHistory: Alice Wheeldon - an anti-war socialist persecuted by the state

Donald Trump:

triangleMay ends in June! Boot out the Tories!

Egypt:

triangleExclusive interview with Gazan activist: "The more they kill us, the more the anger increases"

North Korea:

triangleUnited working class movements can defeat Trump

Muslim:

triangleIndia: Modi victory underlines need for real socialist fightback

International

International

11/9/19

London

West Papuans demand self-determination in London

11/9/19

South Africa

South Africa: Xenophobic violence - a product of failed capitalist policies

11/9/19

Far right

Far right makes gains in Germany

4/9/19

Hong Kong

Hong Kong protests: No let-up in trial of strength

28/8/19

Italy

Italy: Governing coalition fractures as Salvini looks to capitalise on crisis

14/8/19

Hong Kong

Pro-democracy protests continue to rage

14/8/19

Kashmir

Kashmir crisis: Stop the attack on democratic rights

31/7/19

Puerto Rico

Mass movement topples governor of Puerto Rico

31/7/19

Hong Kong

Hong Kong: the struggle for democratic rights escalates

17/7/19

Greece

Greece elections: Syriza ousted amid voter disillusionment

17/7/19

Israel

Interview: protests over killing in Israel

17/7/19

Sudan

Sudan masses mobilise against state repression

3/7/19

Ireland

Irish health workers' anger boils over into strike action

3/7/19

Turkey

New opportunity to build working-class fightback after voters punish Erdogan

26/6/19

Sudan

Sudan solidarity protests

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999