U.S. HANDS OFF SYRIA!
More than a year ago organizations around the world came together in a collective statement to demand U.S. Hands off Syria. U.S. Hands Off Syria signers included more than 265 organizations and over 1,500 individuals. They agreed with the Hands Off Syria Coalition’s focus on opposing the criminal and illegal U.S. role in the 7 years of war and supported the demands and points of unity.
We must urgently raise our voices again.
The U.S. government has announced its continued determination to maintain a long-term military occupation of Syria and now to create a border force of 30,000 on the Turkish and Iraqi border and the Euphrates Valley effectively partitioning Syria. This latest U.S. plan would separate the oil rich northern region from the rest of Syria and create a militarized mini-state, under U.S. control.
On December 24, U.S. CENTCOM commander, General Joseph Votel, defined a training program for YPG Kurdish forces in Syria – to become a permanent U.S. occupying force in Syria. On January 17, Secretary of State Tillerson restated this U.S. goal of intensifying sanctions, overturning the Syrian government and dismembering Syria.
The U.S. plan to continue the arming of Syrian Kurdish YPG militias, who lead the Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF, has widened the war and expanded it at a time when many felt that with ISIS defeated, peace was finally at hand.
Turkey, although part of the imperialist effort to dismember Syria, immediately slammed this new U.S. plan of a permanent border occupation by Kurdish forces in Syria and warned of military action. Turkey’s great fear is that a “border force” of U.S. armed Kurdish militias will siphon advanced U.S. supplied weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, to Kurdish forces in Turkey.
Although there are 1.5 to 2 million Kurds in Syria, there are almost 20 million nationally oppressed Kurds in Turkey. They make up 20 percent of population. They are the majority population of southern Turkey, bordering northern Syria, Iraq and Iran. For decades the Pentagon has armed Turkey and aided in the brutal repression of the Kurds in Turkey.
On January 21, 72 Turkish jets bombed more than 100 targets of U.S.-Backed Kurdish Militias in Syria then opened a ground invasion of Afrin, Syria.
Clearly each U.S. maneuver to dismember Syria has created greater destruction. The Pentagon used a similar scenario to impose a division on Iraq. This is the ‘divide and rule’ strategy of the U.S. and its allies for entire region — using the Kurds’ democratic aspirations for a temporary U.S. military or political advantage and then cynically dropping them, while aiding the repression of the larger Kurdish population in Turkey.
Since 2011 the U.S. has covertly armed a whole series of conflicting militias and mercenaries in Syria. The U.S. military command pulled 19 other NATO and Gulf countries into the war in Syria. This military onslaught was illegal and totally uninvited by the Syrian government.
U.S. wars in the region have displaced more than 10 million people, and decimated the region. It has created animosity, suspicion and sectarian violence on every side.
Both U.S. and Turkey are violating international law by their reckless actions and must withdraw their forces from Syrian national territory.
Syria’s sovereignty, and indeed the sovereignty of all countries, must be respected.
End the wars!
Stop the U.S. bombing!
Stop U.S. arming of militias!
End the Sanctions!
Hands off Syria!
Please add your support for the Hands Off Syria Coalition by signing our Unity
Statement on line at: HandsOffSyriaCoalition.net