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Syria Solidarity Movement Statement: High Alert!

From: Rick Sterling
Syria Solidarity Movement Statement
9 October 2017

Russian military forces in Syria have successfully constructed a bridge across the Euphrates River near the city of Deir-Ezzor, recently liberated by the Syrian Arab Army. Currently, the main body of the Syrian Arab Army is crossing or has crossed that bridge northward into the northeastern part of the country where the US has built a number of illegal military bases and has enlisted the support of mainly Kurdish mercenaries, who are moving south. The US would like to establish, in this oil-rich area, a Kurdish separatist state similar to one it has strived for twenty years to create in Northern Iraq. However, the Syrian government has pledged to liberate every square inch of its national territory and has the strong backing of Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah in Lebanon to do so.

By remaining illegally in this part of Syria, the US Coalition is risking direct military confrontation with Russia in a dangerous game of "chicken". Already three senior Russian officers have been killed in the last month near Deir-Ezzor, including a three-star general, the deaths of whom have been officially blamed by the Russian government on the USA. It's a very tense situation indeed.

That's why we say:


Syria is a sovereign country. The duly-elected Syrian government in Damascus has the right and duty under international law to defend its people and borders against foreign invasion and occupation. Furthermore, Syria is within its right to invite its allies to volunteer military forces in the defence of the Syrian nation. On the other hand, the US has committed an act of war against Syria and is creating the very dangerous possibility of direct conflict between the superpowers, the USA and Russia.

It is illegal for the US to be in Syria. The US has no more right to be in Syria without Syrian permission than Syria has to be in the US without US permission.  This is a principle to which the US has agreed by treaty, namely by signing the UN Charter.  It is therefore violating its own law as well as international law.

It is illegal and immoral to commit atrocities or to support those who do.  The US has been supporting terrorist organizations who have committed many war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, and the current leader of the "Deir Ez-Zor Military Council", set up by US Special Forces, is Ahmad Abu Khawla, a former ISIS fighter. This is only one of the more recent and blatant examples of US use and support of terrorist mercenaries in Syria.

The US and its allies have spent billions of dollars for "regime change" in Syria. We are pleased that they failed, because the proposed cure of permanent chaos, bloodshed, and genocide has been much worse than the disease. However, the monsters in the US government who cooked up this hair-brained scheme, during both the Bush and Obama administrations, have acted on behalf of the oligarchs who run the military-industrial complex and haven't a care about the millions of American citizens who sacrifice health, education, and opportunity in order to finance this folly.

The US has also roped many other countries into its failed regime change operation in Syria. These include most of the member countries of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), most of the Arab monarchies, and the State of Israel, all of whom share the guilt with the USA in the deaths of nearly half a million Syrians, the transformation of nearly 12 million Syrian citizens into refugees and displaced persons within Syria, the destruction of vast swaths of Syrian civilian infrastructure, the human trafficking of Syrian women and children, the illegal trafficking in human organs, the poisoning of the environment through war, and decimation of the Syrian economy. For these crimes, the leaders of the other countries participating in the US-led coalition must be made accountable and their countries made to pay reparations to Syria.

The SSM calls on the people of the US and its coalition partners to do the following:

1. Remain on high alert. There is a dire and imminent risk of direct confrontation between the USA and Russia.

2. Circulate this statement widely through social media.

3. Contact elected officials and urge them to bring their governments' troops and equipment home from Syria now, end economic sanctions against Syria and Syrian individuals, and restore full diplomatic relations with Damascus.

Let us work for peace and social justice. Let's try to prevent a possible third world war.

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