An assessment of the US/SDF/YPG war against Daesh
By Yossi Schwartz, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, April 2017, www.thecommunists.net
These days the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by U.S. Coalition airstrikes, advance on Ar-Raqqa. They occupied the Ahmad Assad Silos located some 40km east of Raqqa city after clashing with the Islamic State organization.
The Ahmad Assad Silos are located outside of the Syrian Kurdish autonomy, known as Rojava. What should be the attitude of the supporters of the Syrian revolution to these events?
To answer this question it is necessary to examine all of the parties involved in the battle from the perspective of the international working class. (1)
The Kurds are an oppressed nation. As such, they have the right to self-determination, namely to set up their own state. Around 30 million Kurds live in the mountainous region of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. They are the fourth largest ethnic group in the region. They speak Kurdish, an Indo-European language, and are predominantly Sunni Muslims. Kurds have a distinct culture, traditional dress, and holidays, including Nowruz, the spring-time New Year festival that is also celebrated by Iranians and others who use the Persian calendar.
Syria's roughly 2 million Kurds live in several non-contiguous regions. Around 30% of the Syrian Kurdish population lives in the highlands northwest of Aleppo, known as Kurd Dagh (Mountain of the Kurds). The Ain al-Arab (Kobani) region, where the Euphrates enters Syrian territory, is home to roughly 10%, while 40% live in the northeastern half of the Jazeera Governorate. The rest are settled in urban neighborhoods around the country, such as the Hayy al-Akrad (Quarter of the Kurds) suburb of Damascus.
For the oppressed to win a right, it is necessary not only to fight for this right but to know how to win it. Clearly, the Kurds by themselves alone, like the Palestinians, cannot achieve their right to self determination. The struggle for a free Kurdistan, which means carving a new state out of lands currently controlled by Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran, cannot be won short of a revolution that is part of the Arab revolution.
Thus, the formation of a free Kurdistan requires the support of the Arab workers and poor peasantry. The Arab masses will not support such a formation unless they will consider the Kurds as brothers and sisters - not as a tool in the hands of the imperialists.
Needless to say, the enemies of the Arab revolution - the imperialists and their local servants - will do everything in their power to prevent a free Kurdistan for the same reason they have been fighting and destroying the region to prevent a successful Arab revolution.
Therefore, the interest of the Kurdish masses is to join forces with the Arab revolution and to fight for its victory. However, the Kurdish bourgeois and petit bourgeois time and again have joined the imperialists and the regional powers: Turkey and Iran, instead of joining forces with the revolutionary struggle.
The Kurdish region has seen many invaders and conquerors: Ancient Persians, Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs in the 7th Century, Seljuk Turks in the 11th Century, the Mongols in the 13th Century, the Ottoman Turks from the north in the 16th Century and most recently, the United States in its 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Russian and American imperialists in their current intervention in Syria.
In 1916, the British and French imperialists made a secret pact named the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the former territories of the Ottoman Middle East between themselves. The result of this agreement was the creation of five states: Lebanon and Syria under French control, while Palestine, Jordan and Iraq under British control.
The Treaty of Sevres provided for a referendum to decide the issue of the Kurdistan homeland. The Kurds were promised by the British an independent state if they wish for it. This treaty, however, was ignored and replaced by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that gave the Anatolian peninsula to the new Turkish Republic, including the Kurdistan homeland in Turkey. Following the Treaty of Lausanne the Kurdish territory was partitioned between Turkey, the French mandate of Syria, the British mandate of Iraq, and Persia.
The Kurdish parties in Iraq and their contradictory role
Following the 1968 Baath coup in Iraq, the regime in Baghdad and Barzani the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq, agreed in 1970 on an autonomy plan to be implemented within four years. A group in the Barzani camp, describing themselves as Marxist-Leninist (i.e. Stalinists), formed the Kurdistan Toilers’ League (KTL, or Komala).
Baghdad stalled on the promised autonomy, making Barzani increasingly receptive to US, Israeli and Iranian (at that time of the Shah) offers of support should the KDP take up arms again against Baghdad. Relying on the imperialists once again has led to a disaster. In 1974, Baghdad unilaterally decreed a Kurdish autonomous region on its terms and launched a military offensive against the KDP. Iran of the Shah and Washington ended their support for the KDP in March 1975, following an agreement between Baghdad and Tehran. Thousands of peshmerga, Kurdish armed forces, surrendered to Iraqi forces, while 100,000 to 200,000 peshmerga and their families and supporters fled, mostly to Iran.
The KTL and other lower middle class leftists joined Jalal Talabani, a leading Barzani critic within the KDP political bureau, and they formed the petit bourgeois Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in June 1975.
In Syria, Assad the father, sponsored the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) of Turkey in the early 1980s. After relocating to Damascus, PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, publicly condemned the fight for Kurdish national rights in Syria and echoed the Assad regime's claim that most Syrian Kurds are not native to Syria. (2)
During the 1980s war between Iraq and Iran the Kurdish parties in Iraq collaborated against Saddam Hussein. The KDP was supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran. In 1986 the Iraqi regime reacted by a genocidal campaign, known as Al-Anfal, aimed at crushing the Kurdish fighters and kill Kurdish civilians. An estimated 50,000–200,000 Kurds were killed.
In 1991 the US led coalition attacked Iraq. This was an imperialist war in which the defeat of US-led coalition was in the best interest of the international working class. The role of overthrowing the oppressive regime belongs to the working class and the Iraqi masses, not to the imperialists that helped Saddam Hussein take power in 1979.
In 1991 a revolutionary wave known as the Sha'aban Intifada began against the regime. The Kurdish parties led by Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani used the war and demanded an autonomy from Saddam Hussein. The peshmerga military forces (Kurdish for "those who face death") took control of Irbil and Sulaymaniyah and clashed with Saddam's army.
Defending the Kurds against the regime was the correct position to take as long as the peshmerga did not subordinate itself to the US led coalition. Under the protection of the US-led coalition the Iraqi KDP and PUK gained a status of unrecognized autonomy within one of the Iraqi no-fly zones, established by the coalition.
In the 1992 elections, that were held in the Kurdish autonomy, the KDP led by Barzani won 50.8% of the votes and the PUK led by Jalal Talabani won 49.2%. This led in 1994 to a civil war between the two parties. Some fighters of the PKK fled from Turkey to Iraq.
On March 1995, Turkey sent some 35,000 troops into northern Iraq in an attempt to wipe out the PKK. Iran opposed it while the US supported Turkey. The KDP also sided with Turkey, while the PUK joined Iran in denouncing Turkey.
Iran with the help of the PUK entered Northern Iraq which weakened the KDP. The KDP then made a deal with Saddam Hussein that permitted Barzani to retake Irbil from Talabani in August 1996. However, the PUK, with Iranian support, had regained all of its lost territories by the end of October 1996.
In 1998 the two parties signed the so called Washington Accords, but in reality, each party controlled part of the Kurdish Regional Government, KRG. In the 1990s civil war two to five thousand Kurds were killed. (3)
The peshmerga served the US-led coalition that ousted Saddam Hussein from power in 2003. They also helped capture Saddam Hussein as well as Al-Qaeda member Hassan Ghul, who provided the necessary intelligence which led to the assassination of Osama bin Laden. (4)
While it was necessary to overthrow the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein by a socialist revolution, joining forces with the imperialists against Iraq was a betrayal of the Iraqi people. The occupation of Iraq by the US-led coalition brought only more misery to the Iraqi masses. (5)
The PYD/YPG and the Syrian Revolution
After the Arab revolution began in Syria, for some years, the Syrian Kurdish petit bourgeoisie tried to play a neutral role between Assad’s regime and the Syrian revolution. They acted to get control of as much territory as possible and benefited from the ongoing civil war.
The Democratic Union Party (PYD), affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), managed to become the dominant actor due to the influx of experienced PKK fighters that trained the Syrian Kurds. While Assad and the Syrian opposition fought over the rest of Syria, the PYD managed to consolidate its control over three Kurdish enclaves in northern Syria. The Kurdish region of Syria, a.k.a Rojava, is composed of three cantons: Afrin in the West, Kobane in the center, and Cizre in the East.
At the same time, the PYD has given up the demand for a Kurdish state. During 2012, a deal brokered by Iraqi Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani, was struck between Turkey and the PYD. The PYD promised not to fight against Turkey, and not to help the PKK. With the transformation to a separate Syrian Kurdish rather than a national Kurdish organization, the PYD developed its own political and military chain of command, separated from its PKK roots.
Giving up the struggle for a nation state began already with the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan who abandoned the goal of an independent and united Kurdistan and proposed a Turkish "democratic republic". The honeymoon between Turkey and the PYD did not last for too many years. Turkey and the PYD relations broke down when Turkish-PKK talks collapsed in July 2015, as Turkey and the PKK entered into conflict following two years of negotiations. This led to the current hostility between Ankara and the PYD.
The PYD's military wing – the People's Protection Units (YPG) – tends to support the American imperialists, however, some of them support the Russian imperialists: “America’s most effective ally on the ground in Syria is defecting to its chief adversary in the war against the Islamic State group, risking the very foundation of the U.S.-led effort to defeat the extremist network. At least some elements of the YPG, the militant arm of the main Kurdish political body in Syria, are now operating with the Russian military in support of the regime of Bashar Assad and his Iranian backers”. Sen. John McCain, said: 'I’m confident it’s not all the Kurds, but there is a segment that has aligned with the Russians because they want to win, and they see the Russians succeeding where we have failed,' McCain told a group of reporters last week. 'Now we are faced with a dilemma … because they think that’s the best way of winning.'” (6)
The close relations of the YPG with the US imperialists create some tension between the US and Turkey. “Ankara's threats to attack the nearby town of Manbij, held by U.S-backed Kurdish-led forces, prompted Washington to deploy new troops in the area to prevent Turkish advances. Turkey's Syrian allies have been fighting the Kurds around the town, reportedly with Turkish cover, raising the possibility of frictions with the Americans. At the same time, Turkish forces shelling Kurds hit Syrian government forces, whose patron Moscow reportedly has advisers in the area." (7)
As long as the YPG fought to defend Kurdish territories it was correct to side with the YPG, but once the PYD has begun to participate in the imperialist plan of isolation and occupation of the Islamic State capital of Raqqa, as it is doing now, the PYD has subordinated itself to the imperialist war against the Syrian revolution. In such a conflict where the YPG acts in the service of American imperialism working class revolutionaries want to see the defeat of the imperialists and their servants even by a reactionary organization like ISIL.
ISIL is a rotten reactionary force, but the worst enemies of the Arab revolution are the imperialists and in any war between the forces of ISIL and the imperialists backing the regimes in Syria and Iraq, the interest of the international working class is the defeat of the imperialists and the local forces they control. (8)
The reason is simple: the defeat of imperialism in a war is inspiring the oppressed masses to struggle against imperialism, while the victory of an imperialist force against nationalists or religious organization fighting imperialism is leading to demoralization of the masses. Additionally, when the imperialists win they put in power a brutal dictator who serves them better and oppresses the masses even more. (9)
The Liberal Anarchist Nature of Rojava
In the last few years, many groups on the left have been praising the democratic nature of the Kurdish autonomy of Rojava (in Kurdish, 'the West') where the PYD movement is trying to implement 'libertarian municipalism', based on the ideas of American anarchist Murray Bookchin. The ideas of Bookchin were transmitted via the incarnation of Öcalan, the historic leader of the PKK, from a Stalinist of sort into a strange liberal anarchist. The anarcho-communist website LIBCOM has the following to say about this transformation:
“This Renaissance is supposed to be realized in three intertwined projects: democratic republic, democratic autonomy and democratic confederalism. The ’democratic republic’ entails a reform of the Turkish state. Similar to the kind of statements Öcalan was making in the years before his arrest, the call is for Turkey to recognize the existence of minorities, especially the Kurds, among its population and to dissociate citizenship from the Turkish ethnicity. This theme is prominent in Öcalan’s defenses for the court.
“Democratic autonomy is a concept borrowed from Murray Bookchin (1921 – 2006), a US libertarian socialist and theoretician. After a brief period as a Stalinist in his teenage years, Bookchin joined the Trotskyist movement in the late thirties and became a member of the Socialist Workers Party. Like many Trotskyists, Bookchin had expected the Second World War to end with a wave of social revolutions, led by the working class, in which Trotskyists would play important roles. When this did not happen, and the Trotskyist movement remained small and isolated, Bookchin started to reconsider his ideas. Bookchin gave up on Marxism, which in his eyes had made a fundamental mistake in seeing the working class as the revolutionary subject, but remained anti-capitalist.
“It was clear for him that capitalism was a destructive system that had to be abolished. Its weak point, Bookchin reasoned, was not the contradiction capital-labor, but the contradiction capital-ecology. Capital, endlessly accumulating, destroys the environment. The struggle to save the eco-system takes on an anti-capitalist character and can unite everybody who see their lives threatened by the deterioration of the natural environment and who rebel against their alienation from it.
“To construct an ecologically sustainable society, Bookchin suggested, cities would need to be de-centralized and scaled back to allow people to use renewable energy, grow food locally and cut expenditures of energy on transport. These smaller cities would be governed by assemblies of their populations who would democratically make decisions. Bookchin is often called an anarchist but he did not reject participation in elections and the existing political structures the way many anarchists do. Instead, he favored the combination of social movements and cooperatives that would pre-figure the future, society with participation in local city-councils to gain vested, legal political power.” (10)
The Institute of Development Studies explains Bookchin's socioeconomic model: “Direct democratic participation entails the social administration of production and need determination as its corollary. Social administration of production requires a localized, decentralized economy, scaled down to 'human dimensions' (Bookchin 1982: 344), with various libertarian municipalities cooperating if they decide to do so.
“While decentralization enhances direct democratic participation it does not necessarily exclude the possibility of forms of local social hierarchy, and Bookchin is well aware of this. In any case, democratic processes might generate hierarchies as well. That is why he proposes a confederation of libertarian municipalities, in the final analysis, in the belief that a municipality that generated domination would be checked by others, besides internal democratic checks and balances (Biehl and Bookchin 1998: 108).” (11)
A close look at this so called direct democracy reveals not a very appealing regime:
“However, it is unhappily not enough to repeat the term democracy for the latter to function without hindrance. Because for the moment we are talking about a democracy without elections. If pluralism is lauded at the level of the different ethnic groups, its political dimension is rather absent. That the social contract designates the YPG as the armed forces of Rojava reflects the fact that the PYD is not inclined to share the control of the territories it leads. The imposition of the ideology of Öcalan is also visible at the level of education. All primary school teachers are obliged to undergo a training based on the texts of Öcalan and, in the canton of Jazira for examples, primary school books features the speeches of Öcalan and writings on the lives of PKK martyrs. But apart from these examples of imposition of an official ideology from a very young age (strangely resembling the experience of Kemalism) the authoritarian practices with respect to the other Kurdish parties and ethnic groups not accepting the domination of the PYD have been denounced many times.” (12)
Anyone who is familiar with the Bolshevik revolution can recognize the similarity with Machno's regime that was based on the peasantry. A close look at the economy of Rojava reveals that it is mostly agricultural with very little industry. Under the Baath regime of the Assad clan, Rojava had to provide wheat for the whole of Syria and had to export oil in order to make foreign currency for Syria, nothing else.
70% of the budget is used for weapons, ammunition, logistics, and so on. Then the families of fallen fighters need to be supported if they no longer have an income. They are given land and they are accepted into cooperatives. There are also cooperatives being opened in craft and trade specifically for them. Finally, because of the embargo, petrol and wheat cannot be exported and the prices for commodities like vegetables and textiles are climbing.
The 1,500 oil wells of Rojava used to produce 400 barrels a day, which were refined in Homs. Now, only a tenth of this is being refined with primitive methods. There is an industrial area only in Hesekê. There, they want to create 3,000 workplaces within two years. Apart from that, there is almost nothing.
During the war, Afrîn developed into a veritable center for textile production, since many firms moved there from war-torn Aleppo. Today, its 400 workshops count 17,000 employees. They supply the whole of Syria. In the Kobanî and Cizîrê cantons there are only tailor shops, many of them cooperatives for women.
In Hesekê, a thread-making workshop (with 270 employees) will be opened again on 1st May . There is also a cotton mill. Agriculture is recovering after the fighting. Building materials are being privately produced, especially bricks. The only brick-making cooperative is in Dirbêsiyê. The biggest brick factory is in Hesekê. It is private and is being supported by the administration, which supplies fuel. (13)
Centrism is glorifying the PYD/YPG
Those on the middle class left that claim to be Marxists tend to tail the YPG. While at the beginning of the Arab Spring, many left wing groups supported the revolution, most of them have given up on the Syrian revolution long ago in particular when the Islamists have taken the leadership in the civil war imposed by Assad. These days, many of these middle class leftists would like to see the defeat of ISIL by the imperialists and in collaboration with the YPG.
The right wing centrists – like e.g. the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) led by Alan Woods, in its internet site "In Defense of Marxism" – advocates what they know best and it is to subordinate the working class and the poor peasants to the PYD and its military wing, the YPG, that have been serving the American imperialists. They spread illusions in the leadership of the PYD by glorifying the PYD-led Rojava enclave and by failing to raise any criticism to the PYD leadership's subordination to US imperialism. Quiet the opposite the IMT hopes the PYD could spread the revolution! They wrote:
"The Kurdish movement developed its own popular democratic organs of rule which were distinctly non-sectarian. Rojava, as the area is known, became a de facto independent entity and its forces, fighting for their homeland and on a democratic platform, became very effective. The US army, unable to commit its own ground troops, saw in the movement an alternative anti-Assad and anti-ISIS, as well as non-Iranian force"[…] "The Kurdish movement cannot trust US imperialism in securing its interests. As the negotiations carry on, the US is merely positioning itself to sell out the movement they see as a threat to Iran itself[….] The Kurds can have no trust in the reactionary rulers of the US, Iran or any other nation. They can only trust in their own forces and those of the working masses of the region. The only way forward for the Kurdish movement is to widen its struggle by waging a revolutionary class-based war, with the aim first of all of uniting the Kurdish areas in Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. This would have to be accompanied by an appeal to the working masses of these countries to rise against their own ruling classes which are wreaking havoc in the region". (14)
In the real world the PYD has betrayed the people by joining the imperialist war against the Syrian revolution. To expect the PYD to lead an independent revolutionary struggle is to believe that a donkey can bark.
The PYD has been leading the Kurds to a disaster. Once ISIL will be defeated the Kurds will be thrown to the dogs and not for the first time in history. For the Kurdish masses the only way forward is to replace this misleadership with the best fighters committed to the socialist revolution. Only such a leadership will be able to appeal to the workers and the oppressed in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran for a united struggle against the imperialists and their servants.
Socialist Alternative and the Committee for a Workers International (CWI) have a very similar position to the IMT: Praising the PYD and supports them against ISIL even when the YPG are used as troops for the imperialists.
They wrote: "The PYD (Democratic Union Party) have established a Kurdish enclave in the North of the country (Rojava), and have rightly been praised for their heroism and their successes in imposing military defeats on ISIS. There is no doubt that this determination on the battlefield is largely fuelled by their hopes of building a different type of society in Rojava, based on people’s solidarity, gender equality, and on the rights of the Kurds to determine their own future after decades of oppression" […] The latest developments, unfortunately, tend to give substance to the early warnings made by the CWI about the YPG troops being increasingly used as foot soldiers for the war goals of US imperialism.” (15)
And in another article, the CWI states: "Despite the many fault-lines in the PYD’s political methods (such as a top-down administration and a short-term military strategy based on problematic deals with imperialist forces) the Kurds living there were granted rights suppressed for decades by Assad’s rule, which helped reinvigorate the Kurdish people’s struggle against oppression within Turkey and in the broader region." (16)
But if the YPG fighters are used now as foot soldiers for the war goals of US imperialism why to side with them against ISIL? As to the "non-sectarian" nature of the PYD, reports from Amnesty International give us a different account:
"Amid the bevy of armed groups fighting in Syria, none has received the sort of fawning heaped on the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its political arm, the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Their prowess against the Islamic State, embrace of secularism and non-Muslims and emphasis on gender equality have made them the darlings of the international media and top allies of the United States. So it may come as a shock that the London-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International is accusing the autonomous administration that runs the areas of northern Syria under Kurdish control known as Rojava of committing war crimes. In a 38-page report, "'We Had Nowhere Else to Go': Forced Displacement and Demolition in Northern Syria," Amnesty International catalogues allegations of forced evictions of Arabs and Turkmens and the destruction of their homes and property. "In some cases, entire villages have been demolished, apparently in retaliation for the perceived support of their Arab or Turkmen residents for the group that calls itself the Islamic State," Amnesty International noted. Villagers said they were ordered to leave at gunpoint, their livestock shot at. The watchdog used satellite imagery and video footage to verify the claims." (17)
The British Socialist Workers Party (SWP) interviewed Ghayath Naisse, a member of the Syrian Revolutionary Left Current. In this interview he denies that the revolution was turned to a religious sectarian war and insists that the revolution is still alive. However, on the Kurdish PYD he said:
"Alongside this we have the Kurdish forces—the PYD and its People’s Protection Units – that already have decades of guerrilla experience in Turkey and in the mountains. It was the only Kurdish party with its own military power. With the withdrawal of the regime from some areas of northern Syria in 2012, these forces—linked to the PKK—seized them immediately and consolidated their military presence. This took place from July 2012, and it was followed by a dynamic of self-administration and the creation and development of the Women’s Protection Units. Last year they allied with some battalions of the Free Syrian Army to form the Democratic Syria Force, a Kurdish-Arab or Arab-Kurdish force in the north of Syria. We are in a close fraternal dialogue with part of this grouping, in particular, a democratic nationalist alliance including Assyrians, Turkmen and Arabs, with a presence to the north and the west of Aleppo." (18)
What he "forgot" to mention is the fact that this force the Democratic Syria Force, is fighting as part of the imperialist war in Northern Syria and it helps Assad’s regime.
We saw the de facto alliance between YPG forces and Assad already in the siege of Aleppo: "As thousands of civilians flee eastern Aleppo following the simultaneous advance of Syrian 's government and Kurdish-led forces, rebel groups have alleged close coordination between the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, and the Syrian army in its move to retake the city.
The Kurdish forces and rebels have clashed several times in Aleppo during the civil war around the strategically important Sheikh Maqsoud area which is controlled by the Kurds. But in recent days, as the Syrian government forces press their advance on the east, Kurdish fighters have taken over areas abandoned by rebel forces, and allowed civilians trapped during months of siege to cross over to their territory."What we see is the regime and the YPG collaborating in Aleppo. They may not be fighting directly together, but they are working together," said Aleppo-based journalist Zohair al-Shimale.
"The Kurdish forces came in from Sheikh Maqsoud and the regime moved in from Haydariyya. They met in the middle. [The Kurds] helped the regime advance."[…] Photos showing the Syrian national flag and the yellow YPG flag raised on top of buildings in Bustan al-Basha were circulated heavily across social media, suggesting that the Kurdish-led forces and Syrian army were in fact fighting together." (19)
However, the worst on the left however are some anarchists mostly Americans that are joining the YPG these days. (20) They are on the same side of US imperialism.
The heroic story of the Syrian people fighting against Assad’s regime shows that the masses will come out to fight oppression and exploitation and that the enemies of the revolution will do everything to smash the revolution. The imperialists will use the actions of reactionary organizations like ISIL to justify their attacks on the masses.
The middle class left cannot fight on a working class revolutionary theory, program, strategy or tactics. The theory that explains the situation in Syria and the failure so far of the Arab Revolution is Trotsky's theory and strategy of the Permanent Revolution. The tasks of the democratic revolution in countries that have not gone through the democratic revolution are falling on the shoulders of the working class that once in power will continue with the socialist tasks. The most important task is to build the working class revolutionary party.
(1) For the RCIT's analysis of the Arab Revolution in general and the Syrian Revolution in particular we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents on the Africa and Middle East section of our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. In particular we refer readers to the following documents: RCIT: World Perspectives 2017: The Struggle against the Reactionary Offensive in the Era of Trumpism, Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 18 December 2016, Chapter IV. The Middle East and the State of the Arab Revolution, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2017/part-4/; RCIT: World Perspectives 2016: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 23 January 2016, Chapter IV.2. Counterrevolutionary Offensive: The Retreat of the Arab Revolution Continues Despite Heroic Popular Struggles, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/part6/; RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/
(5) Manish Rai: Kurdish Peshmerga Can Be A Game Changer In Iraq And Syria, Khaama Press, (6 October 2014), http://www.khaama.com/kurdish-peshmerga-can-be-a-game-changer-in-iraq-and-syria-6802
(6) US NEWS How the U.S. Lost the Kurds March 1, 2016, https://goo.gl/e76kSr
(7) Sarah El Deeb: Turkey, Kurds, Russia, U.S. forces make up a confusing, violent pageant in Syria Chicago Tribune March 11. 2017, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-turkey-kurds-raqqa-20170311-story.html
(8) For the RCIT's analysis of Daesh see RCIT: The Revolutionary Struggle against Daesh and the Imperialist Aggression in the Middle East, 28.02.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/resolution-daesh/; Yossi Schwartz: Why Revolutionary Marxists Oppose Daesh/ISIL, 15.12.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/marxists-vs-daesh/
(9) See on this also: RCIT: Defeat the Imperialist Invasion in Syria – Victory to the Revolution! Down with the American and Russian interventions! No to the imperialist plan to divide Syria! Down with the butcher Assad and his imperialist allies! 13.03.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/imperialist-invasion-in-syria/
(14) Hamid Alizadeh: Syria: The battle of Aleppo a turning point in world relations, 12 January 2017, https://www.marxist.com/syria-the-battle-of-aleppo-a-turning-point-in-world-relations.htm
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