A Revealing Statistic Shows Who are the Real Terrorists in the Syrian Civil War
Commentary (with three Charts) by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 10.10.2018, www.thecommunists.net
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has published its latest calculations about the civilian death toll (including women and children) in the Syrian civil war. The results of its research are both shattering as well as revealing.
According to the SNHR a total of 222114 civilians have been killed between March 2011 and September 2018. Among them are 27,989 children and 25,179 women. (See the three Charts below.) This is a graphic demonstration of the horrible consequences of the barbaric war which the Assad tyranny has began when it started to slaughter peaceful demonstrators in spring 2011. There are only few wars in recent history which bear a similar barbaric character – the horrific civil wars in Congo and Sudan as well as the slaughter of the Chechen people by Russian imperialism (1) and of the Bosnian people by Serbian chauvinists (2) come into one’s mind.
The study also calculates which parties are responsible for how many of these casualties. The results are revealing. As it is well-known, the pro-Assadist and pro-Russian media (including their Stalinist and semi-Stalinist minions) like to denounce the Syrian liberation fighters as “terrorists”. (3) The Western media – which are more critical against the regime in Damascus because Assad is a puppet of Moscow and not of Washington – are more selective. But they too regularly slander the Islamist rebels (like Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham/HTS) as “terrorists”.
The latest SNHR study reveals, once more, who are the real terrorists in Syria. It is first and foremost the Assad tyranny! The regime is responsible for nearly 90% of all civilian death, for more than 85% of all women and 80% of all children killed. These shattering figures prove us right once again that the capitalist dictatorship of Assad – and its Russian and Iranian masters – is the main enemy in the Syrian civil war and that all revolutionary, democratic and righteous forces must support the insurrectional people fighting for freedom!
The charts also reveal that the imperialist armies likewise act as killing machines – first and foremost Russia (4) but also the U.S., France and Britain. (5) Despite the fact that they have relatively few troops on the ground, their air forces have killed more than 9,000 civilians since they began their intervention in 2015.
It is noteworthy that not only Russia but also the Western forces are responsible for more women and children killed than Daesh/ISIS. The later is, no doubt, an arch-reactionary force which revolutionaries can only detest. However, as a matter of fact the imperialist Great Powers prove to be more efficient killers than the barbaric Daesh! (6)
Compare the mass killing of civilians by the Assad regime with the relative small figures for which the rebels are responsible – despite the fact that they had for many years up to 200,000 fighters in their militias! The facts revealed by the SNHR demonstrate once more that the rebels are a force representing the people and their struggle for freedom. Their strength relies on the support by the popular masses without which they could not survive. In contrast, the strength of the Assad regime relies on terrorizing the people and its support from a monstrous military machine boosted by the air force and troops of Russia and Iran.
It is also noteworthy that HTS – the petty-bourgeois Islamist movement which is the most intransigent force in the struggle against Assad and Russia – is responsible for less civilians killed (including women and children) than anyone else! This is also true in comparison with the Kurdish PYD/YPG which is the darling of the Stalinist pseudo-left. And this despite the fact that HTS is the most significant and strongest force among the rebels. (7) It should be mentioned that SNHR has no sympathy for HTS which is demonstrated by the fact that it lumps it together with Daesh/ISIS in its charts.
All these facts confirm once again the urgent necessity of all socialist, democratic and righteous forces in Syria and around the world to continue the support for glorious Syrian Revolution. The RCIT calls all similar-minded organizations and activists to join forces in fighting for this sacred goal!
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The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements and articles on the Syrian Revolution which can be read on a special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/
(1) See e.g. RCIT: Solidarity with the Liberation Struggle of the Chechen People! February 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/solidarity-with-the-liberation-struggle-of-the-chechen-people/; LRCI/FT: Russian Troops Out! Self-determination for Chechnya! 30.06.1996, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/freedom-for-chechnya/
(2) See e.g. Almedina Gunić: Bosnia: Never forget Srebrenica - learn the lessons for today! August 2012, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/bosnia-war/; Michael Pröbsting: International Workers Aid: Our Solidarity Work with the Liberation Struggle of Bosnia in 1992-95, 11.2.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/bosnia-international-workers-aid/; Michael Pröbsting: Are the Bosnian Muslims a Nation? March 1994, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/bosnian-muslim-nation/; LRCI: The Breakup of Yugoslavia, February 1999, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/breakup-of-yugoslavia/
(3) For a critique of the failure of the pseudo-left to support the Syrian Revolution see e.g. Yossi Schwartz: The Myth of Assad’s Syria as an Anti-Imperialist Regime, November 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/myth-of-assad-s-anti-imperialism/; see also Yossi Schwartz: Victory to the Revolution in Syria! The second anniversary of the uprising in Syria, 15.3.2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/victory-to-syrian-revolution/; Michael Pröbsting: Syria and Great Power Rivalry: The Failure of the „Left“. The bleeding Syrian Revolution and the recent Escalation of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the US and Russia – A Marxist Critique of Social Democracy, Stalinism and Centrism, 21 April 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syria-great-power-rivalry-and-the-failure-of-the-left/; Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/
(4) On Russia’s role in Syria see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: 63,000 Troops. Russian Imperialist Forces back up the Reactionary Assad Regime in Syria, 27.08.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/63-000-russian-troops-in-syria/; For the RCIT's analysis of Russia as an imperialist power see e.g.: Michael Pröbsting: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character, August 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/; Michael Pröbsting: Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 21, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/
(5) On the U.S. role in Syria see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Revelations of a U.S. General on Washington’s Allies in Syria, 27.10.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/revelations-of-u-s-general-on-washington-s-allies-in-syria/; Michael Pröbsting: High-Ranking U.S. Delegation Meets Assad’s Security Chief, 30.08.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/high-ranking-u-s-delegation-meets-assad-s-security-chief/; Michael Pröbsting: U.S. Imperialism Wants to “Re-Engage” with the Assad Tyranny, Comment on an Article by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter published in the New York Times, 28.08.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/u-s-imperialism-wants-to-re-engage-with-the-assad-tyranny/; For the RCIT's analysis of Western imperialism and the rivalry between the Great Powers see e.g.: Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, RCIT Books, Vienna 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2018/; Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-of-the-south/; Warmongering in the Middle East: Down with all Imperialist Great Powers and Capitalist Dictatorships! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), Alkebulan School of Black Studies (Kenya), Pacesetters Movement (Nigeria), Pan-Afrikan Consciousness Renaissance (Nigeria), Marxist Group ‘Class Politics’ (Russia), and Sınıf Savaşı (Turkey), 13 May 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/joint-statement-warmongering-in-the-middle-east/
(6) On the RCIT’s assessment of Daesh see numerous articles collected on a special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/. See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Syria: Assad opens once again a Corridor for ISIS/Daesh, 09.02.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-assad-opens-once-again-a-corridor-for-daesh/; see also RCIT: The Revolutionary Struggle against Daesh and the Imperialist Aggression in the Middle East, 28.02.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/resolution-daesh/
(7) For our characterization of HTS see e.g. RCIT: Denounce the US terror listing of Syria’s Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham! The Trump Administration delivers another blow to the Syrian Revolution. Continue the Solidarity with the liberation struggle of the Syrian people! 03.06.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/denounce-the-us-terror-listing-of-syria-s-hts/; Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/; Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, February 2018, Chapter V, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/worldperspectives-2018/chapter-v/.
(8) Syrian Network for Human Rights, October 2018, http://sn4hr.org/blog/2018/09/24/civilian-death-toll/
(9) Syrian Network for Human Rights, October 2018, http://sn4hr.org/blog/2018/09/24/child-death-toll/
(10) Syrian Network for Human Rights, October 2018, http://sn4hr.org/blog/2018/09/24/women-death-toll/
Chart 1: Civilian Death Toll in Syria from March 2011 to September 2018 (8)
Chart 2: Child Death Toll in Syria from March 2011 to September 2018 (9)
Chart 3: Women Death Toll in Syria from March 2011 to September 2018 (10)