Socorro Gomes: We must defend Syria’s achievements against terrorism, for dialogue and sovereignty

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The peace forces have regarded with optimism Syria’s successes in facing the political crisis, the terrorist groups and the foreign aggressions. In January, the Congress of Syrian National Dialogue has offered important results and the national forces have accumulated victories against those paid by US imperialists and their allies. The failure of the imperialist campaign for the overthrow of the Syrian government and the success of efforts for a political and sovereign solution become evident.

In the diplomatic and the military fronts, the legitimately elected government of President Bashar al-Assad has counted on Russia’s, Iran’s and Hezbollah’s support, while keeping a firm commitment with the defense of Syria’s sovereignty, with popular will, peace and stability. Already seven years have gone by with the aggression fed on the empire’s dollars or by the regional monarchies’ petrodollars. Hundreds of thousands of people were slaughtered and millions have sought to escape appalling atrocities practiced by forces such as the self-proclaimed “Islamic State”, fermented in these conditions.

The US and its allies among the hegemonic powers have made their designs clear by siding with conservative, reactionary and autocratic regimes submissive to the imperialist agenda. These are the cases of Saudi Arabia, Turkey – a member of NATO, to which it reports back on its offensive – and others among the main investors on Syria’s destabilization.

It is also very serious and outrageous the account published this 8th of February according which the US-led coalition attacked Syria by striking popular forces that are fighting the “Islamic State”. Such aggression must not only be denounced for the violation of Syria’s sovereignty and the deaths it provoked, but also severely reprehended for acting clearly and directly against the Syrian people’s progress in the fight against terrorist groups, which, once again, signals the empire’s plans for the resisting nation.

On one hand, in January 29 and 30, the Congress of Syrian National Dialogue held in Sochi, Russia, had successful outcomes for the process being developed. Among them is the commitment with a new constitutional reform undertaken by a commission composed of the government and the opposition. It also reiterated that only the Syrian people will determine the nation’s future, a principle recognized in Resolution 2254, adopted by the UN Security Council in 2015 and which has been serving as a reference for the process.

The Russian news agency TASS also forecasts the holding of a new round of dialogue in the end of February, in Astana, Kazakhstan, where the 8th International Congress on Syria took place, in December 2017. Russia, Iran and Turkey have coordinated then the holding of January’s Congress.

On the other hand, forces directly linked to Syria’s devastation, such as the very Turkey, are still committed to a criminal interference. Citizens of Afrin have been protesting the Turkish forces’ attacks on the city, ongoing for over 20 days, and which have killed 142 people until the beginning of this week, according to Syrian the news agency Sana. We must emphatically repudiate the continuity of foreign interference and the presence of troops non-authorized by the sovereign government of Syria, as the peace movement has done since the beginning of the aggression.

The Syrian people remains resolute in their resistance, still. This week alone, the Army has declared the liberation of over a dozen villages previously under the siege terror, as many others in recent weeks. Furthermore, the people’s participation in the process that builds a sovereign exit is essential.

The Security Council Resolution 2254 promotes dialogue and proposes a plan for a nation-wide cease-fire, affirming that measures for a political exit will be directed by the Syrian people. Although the world powers and the UN have demanded that Assad’s government proves its intentions, serious commitment is also necessary from the opposition forces that have participated in the process and those rejecting it based on allegations against the government, while they themselves are armed and financed by regional and imperialist forces.

The UN also must work to facilitate this process’ continuity and guarantee the respect for Syria’s sovereignty, holding accountable those who continue to attack the Arab nation and to support armed groups that insist in drowning the country in chaos. Such tactics serve only the empire’s and its regional allies’ interests in devastation to assure the plunder of resources and the nations’ submission. But the Syrian people resist, and the international peace movement solidifies the solidarity to their struggle for sovereignty and for a just peace, free from terrorism, intervention, aggression and foreign interference.

Socorro Gomes

President of World Peace Council