The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Syria:
Five Years of War and Barbarism

Sep 5, 2016

Fighting raged for weeks around Aleppo, in Syria. The troops of Bashar al-Assad, supported by Russian planes, face the rebels, Islamist or “moderate,” in a fight for power, a battle for the second city of the country, which is already almost completely destroyed. Other troops, backed by the U.S., engaged in similar battles throughout the country.

Five years after the start of the war, there are still deadly battles, bombing, a situation of siege that aggravates the poverty of the population, and skyrocketing prices of necessities, all of which makes the conditions worse for the very survival of the population.

Since 2011, according to the least pessimistic estimates, the war has cost 290,000 deaths, more than 1% of the population. More than half the inhabitants have fled their home if not the country. The infrastructure and the economy have been devastated. Eighty-three per cent of the electric system doesn’t work any more, and many hospitals and schools have been destroyed or cannot be used.

What are the stakes in this civil war? Part of the population revolted in 2011, under the banner of the “Arab Spring,” to try and impose their democratic rights against the ferocious Assad regime. This turned into a war between regional powers, each supporting its own local bands, each more or less supported by the great powers.

In the rebel camp, the most radical Islamist militias promise to impose the dictatorship of Sharia law on the population. The most likely outcome, and that which the imperialist powers behind the United States seem to be orienting towards, is that Assad will continue to reign over a country that’s been turned into a field of ruins.

A country destroyed, an immensely suffering population – these are the consequences of these years of war during which the different imperialist powers pretended to intervene to help the Syrian people, but have instead only added to their suffering. And when the wars are done, the big new objective to fight over: how to divide up the market for reconstruction.