The US launched a criminal attack on Syria on April 6, 2017. Fifty nine Cruise Missiles were launched from US destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea targeting the Syrian Air Force at the Shayrat airfield in Homs Province. This airfield has played a major role in the Syrian Army’s battles to liberate various cities which had come under the control of the ISIS. At least nine civilians, including five children from nearby villages were killed in these missile attacks apart from 5 soldiers.
US President Donald Trump justified these attacks using the pretext that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons against its own people. Earlier on April 4, news agencies had widely publicized the agonizing death of many civilians including women and children as a result of explosion of a gas storage tank during bombing by the Syrian air force on rebel military positions. All evidence indicates that the chemical weapons were under the control of the rebel forces. It cannot be ruled out that they were deliberately released by the rebels to provide a pretext for escalated military intervention by the US. On a previous occasion this had happened in 2013, it was subsequently proved that it was rebel forces which had used chemical weapons and then blamed it on the Syrian government.
The Syrian government has publicly declared that it will never use chemical weapons against anyone, including the ISIS and other rebel groups. It has justly denounced the US missile attacks on its airfields as well as the invasion by US ground troops.
The missile attack marks a grave escalation in US military intervention in Syria. Just a week back, the US began the ground invasion of Syria, with about 1000 troops entering the country from US bases in Iraq into areas controlled by rebel groups fighting against the Syrian government. There are reports that another 1500 ground troops will be deployed in Northern Syria in the coming weeks.
The escalation of US intervention in Syria comes at a time when the Syrian Army has succeeded in liberating Aleppo and other cities from the ISIS and other rebel forces since December. The US wants to ensure that areas of Northern Syria which are under the control of rebel forces backed by the US and Turkey do not return to Syrian control.
The immediate aim of the US is to prevent the liberation of Raqqa by the Syrian Army. Raqqa is the last major ISIS held city in Syria. On March 18, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad declared that unless there was stepped up foreign intervention, the war would be over in a “few months”.
The US strategy is to annex various regions of Syria and place different armed groups aligned to it in control. US President Trump has openly announced that the US will build so called “safe zones” in Syria for which the Gulf States will be made to pay. The US is coordinating with Turkey in achieving its aims.
Spokespersons of the Syrian government and its ally Russia have openly declared that the stepped up US attacks on Syria are aimed at propping up the ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria who are suffering defeat after defeat at the hands of the Syrian government forces.
CGPI condemns this blatant violation of Syria's sovereignty by US imperialism.