World Perspectives 2017: IV. The Middle East and the State of the Arab Revolution

 

1.                   In the following sections we will give a brief overview of the key political issues in the different regions of the world and the main tasks for the international class struggle in each region. The new Revolutionary World Party can only be successfully built if it is not content to merely combine purely descriptive surveys of political developments while paying lip service to some abstract phrases about socialism – this being precisely the behavior typical of weak-minded centrism. No, in order to build a serious organization – let alone a party – it is indispensable for revolutionaries to find a correct orientation towards the key events in the world class struggle and draw the necessary conclusions from them when formulating their tactics.

 

2.                   The Arab Revolution, the most important revolutionary process to have developed since the start of the new historic period in 2008, and still remains in a process in a state of retreat which the RCIT has already analyzed in past documents. [1] Naturally, this retreat is not taking place along a straight line, but is a process replete with contradictory aspects. Nor, however, is this process irreversible. But in the current phase, there are clearly more defeats than advances.

 

3.                   The reasons for this development are clear. First, the uprising of the workers and peasants has met a determined campaign of annihilation being waged by much stronger enemies: the traditional ruling classes in the region which possess an oversized repressive apparatus, trained for decades, which was not successfully smashed in the first attempt. In addition, the Arab Revolution faces the opposition of literally all imperialist Great Powers – in particular the US, Russia, the EU and China. They all support the reactionary dictatorships like that of General al-Sisi in Egypt and the Gulf monarchies. And, in the case of Assad, Washington has already reconciled itself with his staying in power as the only realistic option to “restore law and order” in Syria. Second, the workers and oppressed started a revolutionary process but lacked a leadership which could drive the struggle forward to victory. The petty-bourgeois liberal forces remained isolated from the downtrodden masses and soon sought to become servants of the imperialist powers and assume the guise of slightly “reformed” versions of the old ruling class (like the old Ben Ali clique in Tunisia led by the current President Beji Caid el-Sebsi). Bourgeois Islamists, like Ennahda in Tunisia or Morsi’s al-Ikhwan in Egypt, also saved the rule of the capitalist class in the midst of the Arab Revolution by demobilizing the popular masses. And the petty-bourgeois populist Islamists usually led the popular struggles into a sectarian and guerrilla-elitist dead-end (e.g., Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham in Syria). And, third, the international workers’ movement has completely failed to deliver any meaningful support to the revolutionary masses in Syria. Most social democratic, Stalinist or centrist organizations either openly or covertly sympathize with the counterrevolution, or they take a neutral position towards this ongoing revolution.

 

4.                   Syria remains the key area of the Arab Revolution. [2] This is because (a) it is an ongoing revolutionary process, despite all the defeats and setbacks; and (b) it is in the focus of imperialist Great Powers US, EU and Russia as well as numerous regional powers (Turkey, Iran, Saudi-Arabia, etc.). Unfortunately the revolutionary masses have recently experienced a number of defeats. In particular, they lost Daraya, a suburb of Damascus, and most recently Aleppo – the Syrian people’s Stalingrad – where Assad’s forces and the Russia air force have slaughtered them merciless. Assad conquest of Aleppo might possibly lead to another massacre like that in Srebrenica in Bosnia in 1995. The loss of Aleppo represents a significant defeat for the Syrian people. It will probably strongly encourage the efforts of the Great Powers to finally liquidate the revolutionary process. [3] Nevertheless, it would be wrong to assume that the revolution is over. The fact remains that, while the rebels continue to enjoy popular support, the Assad regime can only continue the war because of massive military and financial assistance by Russian imperialism, the Iranian regime and Hezbollah. Iran officially announced in late November, 2016 that more than 1,000 of its soldiers have already died in Syria. [4] From this one can conclude that there must be tens of thousands of soldiers fighting in Iranian militias in Syria. Iranian sources themselves have admitted that 20,000 Shia fighters alone from Afghanistan are engaged in Syria on behalf of Assad. [5] The fact is that regular Syrian soldiers constitute only a minority of Assad’s forces, and they are highly demoralized. According to Mikhail Khodarenok, a retired Russian general, it is the foreign troops and private militias who are doing most of the fighting, while Assad’s official army mans checkpoints to extort bribes from the population. The general comments on Gazeta.ru: "It would be easier to disband the Syrian army and recruit a new one." [6]

 

5.                   The RCIT affirms its support for the ongoing Syrian Revolution, despite the terrible defeat in Aleppo, along with our hostility towards all Great Powers and lesser, regional powers who all share the desire to liquidate the Syrian Revolution. However, to persevere and to revitalize the revolution, the workers and peasants must draw the lessons of past defeats. Amongst the most important lessons are:

 

* No trust in and no collaboration with any Great Power!

 

* No to sectarianism! For multi-religious and multi-national unity in the struggle against the Assad dictatorship! For full national self-determination for all national and ethnic minorities!

 

* No trust in the official rebel leaderships!

 

* For the formation of popular councils and popular militias!

 

* The international workers movement must rally to support the Syrian Revolution! For a workers aid campaign for the Syrian people – as it was done in solidarity with the Bosnian people in 1992-95!

 

* The international workers movement must organize a campaign to boycott the regime of Bashar al-Assad and his capitalist business friends! For workers actions against the imperialist forces attacking the Syrian people!

 

* Open the Boarders for the Syrian Refugees!

 

* Most of all: For the building of a revolutionary party in Syria as part of a new revolutionary International!

 

6.                   General al-Sisi’s dictatorship in Egypt continues to brutally suppress the Islamist-led opposition. However, the regime is constantly losing support even among the layers which initially lent support to the coup – the liberal urban middle class. Cairo’s decision to sell two islands in the Red Sea to its main backer – Saudi Arabia – has resulted in widespread protest among all layers of the society. However, fundamental problems in the struggle against the regime remain, as the leadership of the trade unions has been corrupted by the regime, the bourgeois leadership of al-Ikhwan – that is, that which has not been killed or imprisoned – continues to preach passive resistance, and its youthful supporters increasingly turns towards desperate street demonstrations or armed resistance.

 

7.                   However, it is important to bear in mind the unevenness of the revolutionary process in the Arab world. The Yemeni people are successfully continuing their just resistance against the massive invasion by foreign forces led by Saudi Arabia, despite cruel massacres by the latter like the bombing of a hall in which a funeral service was taking place, killing at least 140 and wounding 525. [7] Given the geostrategic importance of Yemen for world trade – the Yemeni war could easily escalate and draw in the imperialist Great Powers. In fact, there has already been a limited military confrontation between the Houthi rebels and the US Navy. [8]

 

8.                   Similarly, there has been an upswing of mass protests in Morocco since the death of Mouhcine Fikri. These mass demonstrations are an important development, as this kingdom has been one of the stable bourgeois regimes in the region until now after a relatively short period of protests in the spring of 2011. [9]

 

9.                   In Turkey, Erdoğan is increasing his repression of the Kurdish people as well as that of the opposition in general. In this way he has transformed a successful mass mobilization against the attempted reactionary coup d’état on 15 July into a counterrevolutionary attempt to create a Bonapartist regime. At the same time, the regime is trying to expand its influence in the region by military intrusions, both in Syria and in Turkey. In this, Erdoğan is helped by the accelerating rivalry between the imperialist powers which allows the regime to make itself less dependent on the US by moving closer to Russia. Revolutionaries continue to oppose all attempts of the Erdoğan regime to build a Bonapartist regime, but without lending any support to pro-coup elements like FETÖ, etc. Revolutionaries also continue to support the Kurdish people’s struggle for national self-determination and the demand to liberate imprisoned HDP politicians and all other Kurdish activists. [10]

 

10.                Let’s finally deal with some arguments which some centrists have put forward in order to justify their neutral position in Syria or in other flash points of the Arab Revolution. Some adopt a defeatist position, proclaiming that the Arab Revolution is already finished. To centrists of this ilk, we reply: There can be no doubt that the revolutionary masses suffered a series of defeats. But the revolution is not over as is demonstrated by the ongoing civil wars – albeit under worse conditions – in Syria, Libya and Yemen, as well as by the upswing of mass protests in Morocco in October and November of 2016 and in Tunisia in January of this year. [11] Revolutionaries don’t leave the battlefield before the masses do, but only after the latter have been defeated! Furthermore, it is worth reminding these defeatists that, historically, various revolutionary processes have faced ups and downs. The Spanish Revolution, which began in 1931 with the overthrow of the monarchy, suffered a terrible defeat in October 1934 with the crushing of the insurrection by Asturian miners. However, the revolution experienced another surge forward after General Franco’s coup d'état in July 1936, but again suffered a bloody defeat with the May 1937 Stalinist counterrevolution in Barcelona. And even then, the revolutionary process continued until 1939, when Franco won the civil war and conquered all of Spain. Revolutionaries continued to support the Spanish Revolution from its beginning to its end despite all the setbacks and despite the counterrevolutionary efforts of Stalinism and social democracy. Similarly, the RCIT – in contrast to fickle centrists – will not abandon the workers and oppressed struggling against reactionary dictatorships and Great Power aggression!

 

11.                Stalinists and some centrists proclaim that the Syrian rebels have, for years, been agents of US imperialism. [12] Of course, they could never show any serious evidence for this. As a matter of fact, the Americans indeed tried to recruit some rebels and build forces under their control. But these groups remained very small and were quickly disarmed and dissolved by the Islamist rebels. [13] One only needs to examine some basic facts: if the Syrian rebels were agents of the US, why has the US put the most important organizations like Jabhat al-Nusra on its list of “terrorist organizations”?! Why do they kill their leaders?! Why not send them modern MANPAD weapons to bring down the Syrian and Russian aircraft bombing them every day?! Why do they stand aside when Assad and Putin slaughter the people of Aleppo day after day, week after week?! The logic of these Stalinists and centrists resembles that of their intellectual mentor who organized the Moscow trials in 1936-38 and who accused the Trotskyists and all other opponents of being “agents of Hitler”!

 

12.                Furthermore one cannot fail to take note of the following absurdity: the Stalinists and centrist left repeatedly denounce the Arab Revolution as puppets of US imperialism, while at the same time uncritically praiseing the Kurdish Pershmerga. However, if there is a force in Syria and Iraq which could be described as “US agents,” it is precisely the fighters of Mustafa Barzani and the PKK militias who operate alongside hundreds of US “military advisers” and in close collaboration with the US air force! This only demonstrates that the Stalinists and centrists themselves don’t even take seriously their own allegations that the Syrian rebels are “US agents.”

 

13.                Another favorite arguments of numerous centrists against support for the Syrian Revolution – and the Arab Revolution as a whole – goes as follows: how can this be a democratic revolution if its leadership is dominated by Islamists who advocate an anti-democratic program? To this we reply the following: Marxists – in contrast to petty-bourgeois centrists – characterize a revolutionary process as “democratic” not based on the specific ideology of its leadership. Not the ideology of the leadership, but objective causes and the social forces driving a given process of political struggle are the decisive factors when determining the character of a mass struggle. The Berbers in Northern Africa, who fought under the leadership of Mohammed Abd al-Karim against Spanish and French imperialism in 1921-26, did so in the name of Islam, and were fighting against “the infidels.” During those years, Al-Karim built a state based on a strict interpretation of Sharia law. The rebels also committed not a few massacres against their opponents. This, however, did not stop the Communist International from characterizing this struggle as “democratic,” as objectively it was a national liberation struggle against imperialism. The Comintern waged a mass international solidarity campaign for the Berbers liberation struggle, including a one-day general strike in France in October 1925. They did the same in solidarity with the Syrian insurrection directed against the French occupation at that time. Yet another example is the brutal Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya against the British occupation forces and their local supporters in the 1950s. On the other hand, we do not consider the wars of US and European as “democratic,” but as unjust and imperialist despite the fact that they are waged in the name of “democracy,” and that there is indeed a bourgeois democracy in these countries. Neither do we consider China’s plundering of Africa as “communist,” but as imperialist despite the fact that the Communist Party’s leadership in Beijing camouflages its policy with “Marxist-Leninist” phrases.

 

14.                We note in passing what has repeatedly happened in history when uprisings for goals which are part of the program of a democratic revolution took place under the cover of religious slogans. One need not go back as far as the Zanj Slaves Rebellion against the Abbasid Caliphate or Thomas Münzers’ movement during the Great Peasant Uprising of 1525 in Germany. Likewise, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in China or various Islamic anti-colonial rebellions in the 20th century took place under religious slogans. However, this religious garb did not prevent the classic Marxist leaders from considering these movements as historically progressive and democratic in their social content.

 

15.                No, Marxists do not consider a struggle as just and democratic (or unjust and anti-democratic) because of the specific ideology under which it is waged. Instead, the RCIT characterizes such struggles on the basis of the class forces involved and their objective goals. Whenever there is a popular uprising against the ruling capitalist class, the struggle has a progressive and democratic character irrespective of the specific ideology of its leadership. When a Great Power wages a war against an oppressed people, it is reactionary and imperialistic, irrespective of the specific ideology by which these powers try to justify it.

 

16.                We conclude this chapter by re-emphasising that the entire process of the Arab Revolution, with all its failures and defeats, cannot be understood other than as a resounding crying out for a workers’ party completely independent of all ruling classes and Great Powers or, in other words, a revolutionary party. Such a party can only be forged by means of undertaking a combined struggle which participates both in the ongoing popular rebellions against dictatorships and imperialist aggression on the one hand, while simultaneously waging political and ideological battles against the various petty-bourgeois leaderships on the other. Naturally, the conditions for building a revolutionary party vary greatly in different countries. In some countries, revolutionaries can operate under conditions of relative legality (e.g., Tunisia, Morocco or Lebanon), while in other countries they face severe repression (e.g., Egypt or the Gulf monarchies) or even face the extreme conditions of civil war (Syria, Yemen, Libya). Under all conditions, revolutionaries should focus on advancing the independent organizations of the working class and oppressed (e.g., trade unions, factory committees, councils of action, workers’ and popular militias, workers’ parties). However, such a struggle for working class independence cannot and must not take place outside of the existing mass organizations but rather inside them in order to break a sector of the workers and oppressed away from the corrupted leaderships.

 

 

 

Daesh, Imperialism and the Revolutionary Struggle

 

 

 

17.                A correct Marxist understanding of Daesh is of crucial importance in the present period, as it is a central issue both in the Arab world as well as in imperialist countries where the ruling class uses it as a means to justify increasing state repression at home and military aggressions abroad. Contrary to the “professional confusionists of centrism” who operate with superficial petty-bourgeois idealist methods, Marxists have to approach such issues in a dialectical and materialistic way, focusing on the inner contradictions of the classes involved in the political process.

 

18.                The emergence of such reactionary forces like the Salafi-Takfiri Daesh has been the product of demoralization among sectors of the youth and the rural poor resulting from the defeats of the Arab Revolution. In addition, the intensifying Islamophobic racism and the dire outlook for Muslim migrant youth in the imperialist metropolises are pushing a sector of them into the arms of Daesh. Furthermore, the imperialist war-drive in Syria and Iraq under the banner of “War against IS” and the massive state repression (Muslim youth in Europe are thrown into prison for only sharing a video of Daesh on Facebook!) increase the credibility of Daesh in the eyes of some Muslims as a “revolutionary” and “anti-imperialist” force. These factors – defeats and demoralization, the intensifying Islamophobia, and the imperialist war and repression – are the main sources of strength of Daesh, and not the supposedly secret support of US imperialism or Assad, as many silly leftists claim who replace Marxist political class analysis with obscure conspiracy theories.

 

19.                Daesh’s social composition is dominated by a coalition of sectors of the impoverished petty-bourgeois intelligentsia and the urban and rural poor. Its policy represents a strange combination of shades of ideological adherence to the struggle against the “infidel” dictators – the driving force of the Arab Revolution – with unlimited counter-revolutionary (one could even say “fascistic”) hatred and repression against each and every form of democratic rights and popular self-governance, in fact against all non-Muslims and even all other strands of Muslims outside of their own sect. Where they establish power, it takes the form of an outright theocratic sectarian dictatorship – in fact its basis is a “deal” with the local bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie: While Daesh usurps complete political and ideological power and imposes its rules with terrorist might it ensures security for the owners of private property. Reports from Daesh-controlled territory show that the highly centralized character of Daesh’s “Caliphate” and the qualitatively less corrupt nature of the Daesh fighters (given their religious commitment) have created more security in public life for many people (provided they submit to Daesh’s strict cultural rules) than this has been the case in areas controlled by Assad or the Bagdad government with all their highly corrupt and rivalling militias. The main desire of Daesh’s leadership is to establish their small “Caliphate” (one could characterize this as an Islamist version of the Stalinist utopia of “socialism in one country”). Such a “Caliphate” represents a theocratic and terroristic dictatorship of a petty-bourgeois, Salafi-Takfiri elite on the basis of a capitalist economy (dominated by small property owners). Hence, Daesh’s vision of a caliphate is nothing else than a dictatorship on the basis of keeping the capitalist property relations – in other words, precisely the opposite of the political freedom for which the workers and poor in Syria and Iraq are fighting.

 

20.                Despite its (counter)-“revolutionary” rhetoric, this is basically a conservative project and from this flows the principal desire for accommodation with the ruling class by Daesh’s leadership. This is, however, completely utopian, as the whole dynamic of the Arab Revolution, as well as the advancing counterrevolution, leaves no place for such a petty-bourgeois reactionary utopia.

 

21.                Daesh is an outright and direct enemy of the working class, and must to be defeated by the workers and peasants of the region. Daesh needs to be driven out of every movement which resists imperialism. Its attacks on forces which are fighting against US-imperialism in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, demonstrate how urgent this task is.

 

22.                However, it is important to understand the contradictory nature of Daesh in a dialectical way. It would be wrong to equate Daesh with such counterrevolutionary reactionary forces like the Basij militia in Iran, which is simply a tool of the ruling class which has held power for decades. Nor would it be correct to equate it with fascist forces like the UDF loyalists in Northern Ireland, which have their origins in the struggle to keep the British imperialist occupation and the sectarian privileges in place. Daesh neither represents an established ruling class or an imperialist power, but has emerged as a reactionary product of a revolutionary process.

 

23.                In any conflict between the imperialist forces and Daesh, we say that the main enemies are the Great Powers (like the US, Russia and France). In such cases, we lend support to the military struggle of Daesh against the imperialist forces. However, at the same time it is crucial to denounce Daesh as counter-revolutionaries and to unmask their true nature. While in certain situations they might be forced to oppose the forces of imperialism, their program and their strategy can in no way be characterized as anti-imperialist. Furthermore, one cannot exclude the possibility that they seek negotiations with the Great Powers. The workers, peasants and poor of Syria and Iraq are the only force which can really defeat imperialism. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen all those rebel forces closely connected with the popular masses. Clearly, with the exception of situations involving direct confrontation between the imperialist forces and Daesh, the struggle against Daesh remains of primary importance.

 

24.                In summary, Daesh represents an arch-reactionary, petty-bourgeois force based on the extremely sectarian Salafi-Takfiri ideology. It is an outright and direct enemy of the working class. However, we emphasize that the biggest murderer of the Syrian people is not Daesh but the Assad regime and their imperialist backers! We, therefore, strongly reject the imperialist, Stalinist and centrist myth that the main character of the Syrian civil war is the war against Daesh. In fact, this is a subordinate element! Revolutionaries support the struggle of the Syrian rebels against Daesh (but certainly not the military campaign of Assad’s mercenaries or of the Bagdad government). Likewise, we support the struggle of Kurdish rebels where they defend Kurdish territory, but not where they advance as lackeys of US and Russian imperialism (e.g., in their attempts to attack Raqqa). Hence, we reject the widespread uncritical praise for the petty-bourgeois nationalist YPG/PKK by most of the Stalinist and pseudo-“Trotskyist” left, as this organization is closely aligned with US and Russian forces, which have hundreds of their “military advisers” among its ranks. In fact, the Stalinist and centrist hype for the YPG/PKK leadership is nothing but a camouflaged adaption to imperialism.

 

25.                Daesh’s origins in the struggles against dictatorships, state repression in Europe, and the ongoing imperialist war-drive against, all help Daesh to gain some credibility and popularity among sectors of the impoverished layers. Revolutionaries in Europe should oppose the state repression being directed against the migrant youth. Likewise, revolutionaries should stand for the defeat of the Great Powers in any confrontation with Daesh. A defeat for the Great Powers at the hands even of such a reactionary force like Daesh would be a step forward for the global struggle against imperialism, and not a step backward. In contrast to the revisionists, we base our politics on Trotsky’s position that Marxists even defend “fascists” against the “democratic” imperialists, As he wrote at the end of the 1930s: I will take the most simple and obvious example. In Brazil there now reigns a semi-fascist regime that every revolutionary can only view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil. I ask you on whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will answer for myself personally—in this case I will be on the side of “fascist” Brazil against “democratic” Great Britain. Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be a question of democracy or fascism. If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must know how to distinguish exploiters, slave-owners, and robbers![14]

 



[1] See e.g. RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/ as well as the corresponding chapters in our past World Perspectives documents.

[2] On the Syrian Revolution see e.g. The Syrian Revolution and the Assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Joint Statement of the International Secretariat of the RCIT and Sınıf Savaşı (Section of the RCIT in Turkey), 21.12.2016; Michael Pröbsting: The Looming Kerry-Lavrov Agreement – A Great Power Conspiracy against the Syrian Revolution, 06.10.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-kerry-lavrov/; Joint Statement: Solidarity with Aleppo! Hands off Syria! 4 October 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/joint-statement-aleppo/; Syria: For an Independent Revolutionary Road! Down with the Bombing and Siege against Aleppo! Stop the Turkish Invasion and Occupation! No to the Imperialist Conspiracy against the Syrian Masses! Joint Statement of the RCIT and Sınıf Savaşı (Turkey), 25.09.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/defend-aleppo/; Yossi Schwartz: The Revolution in Syria won a Tactical Victory! Down with Assad the Butcher! 21 August 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/aleppo-victory/; The Imperialist Counterrevolution Threatens the Syrian Revolution! Down with the Great Powers’ Wars! Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution against the Assad Dictatorship! For a Socialist Federation in the Maghreb and Mashreq! Joint Statement of the Agrupación de Lucha Socialista (ALS) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 07.12.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/imperialist-counterrevolution-syria/; RCIT: Great Powers Aim to Liquidate the Syrian Revolution! Mobilize for International Solidarity with the Syrian Liberation Struggle against the Assad Dictatorship! Stop the US, Russian and French Air Strikes! No to Daesh/IS-Terrorism! 18.11.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/great-powers-syria/; RCIT: Revolution against Russian Imperialism! Stop the US, UK and French Air Strikes! Smash the Assad Dictatorship! 9.10.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/defend-syria-against-russia/; RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/; RCIT: The Arab Revolution is a central touchstone for socialists! Open Letter to All Revolutionary Organizations and Activists, 4.10.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/open-letter-on-arab-revolution/. For many more RCIT documents on the Arab Revolution see on our website: http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/

[3] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Looming Kerry-Lavrov Agreement – A Great Power Conspiracy against the Syrian Revolution, 06.10.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-kerry-lavrov/

[4] Iran: More than 1,000 soldiers die in Syria since 2011, 22 November 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/iran-1000-soldiers-die-syria-2011-161122132955852.html

[5] Hashmatallah Moslih: Iran 'foreign legion' leans on Afghan Shia in Syria war, 22 Jan 2016 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/01/iran-foreign-legion-leans-afghan-shia-syria-war-160122130355206.html

[6] Ruslan Leviev: Here’s why Assad’s army can’t win the war in Syria, 09.09.2016, https://citeam.org/here-s-why-assad-s-army-can-t-win-the-war-in-syria/

[7] RCIT: Yemen: Condemn the Massacre in Sana'a! Down with the Al-Saud Gang of Aggressors! 11.10.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/yemen-massacre/

[8] See e.g. Alex Lockie: Why the US confronted Iranian-backed militants in Yemen, and the risks that lie ahead, 13.10.2016, http://www.businessinsider.de/us-yemen-strike-houthi-iran-saudi-arabia-2016-10?r=US&IR=T

[9] See RCIT: Following the Murder of Mousine Fikri: Solidarity with the Mass Protests in Morocco! 06.11.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/morocco-mass-protests/

[10] See Sınıf Savaşı (Section of the RCIT in Turkey): Turkey: Immediately Release All Arrested HDP Leaders! 06.11.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/turkey-hdp-arrests/; Sınıf Savaşı: TEK YOL DEVRIM! Action Program for Turkey, October 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/program-turkey/

[11] RCIT: Tunisia: Solidarity with the Workers’ and Youth Uprising! 23.01.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/tunisia-uprising/

[12] To give just one example of the fanatical hatred of some centrists against the Syrian liberation fighter we quote from a recently published article of the IMT’s leader Alan Woods: “This means that a small group of Jihadi fanatics are holding the population of East Aleppo for ransom, using them in effect as human shields in the face of attacks by the regime and its Russian allies.” (Alan Woods: Syria: Aleppo, Mosul, and imperialist hypocrisy, 21 October 2016, http://www.socialist.net/syria-aleppo-mosul-and-imperialist-hypocrisy.htm)

[13] See e.g. Foreign Backers and the Marginalization of the Free Syrian Army, 19 November 2016, http://notris.blogspot.co.at/2016/11/foreign-backers-and-marginalization-of.html

[14] Leon Trotsky: Anti-Imperialist Struggle is Key to Liberation. An Interview with Mateo Fossa (1938); in: Writings of Leon Trotsky 1938-39, p. 34.