U.S. troops set up on Syrian border

The first contingent of up to 400 U.S. troops arrived in Turkey on Jan. 4 according to the Pentagon. (CBSnews.com) Their mission is to set up two Patriot missile batteries 31 miles north of the Syrian border in the city of Gaziantep. The soldiers are being airlifted from Fort Sill, Okla., and will be joined in Turkey by troops and missiles from Germany and the Netherlands.

The missile batteries are expected to be operational by the end of January and represent a serious escalation in the threat against the Assad government of Syria. The U.S. and NATO have given open and covert support to the Syrian and mercenary contra-rebels for the past 22 months, trying to effect regime change and install a compliant puppet government.

Technical reports on the Patriot missile batteries describe them as “highly mobile” with all components mounted on trucks and trailers. The batteries can be moved and set up “in less than an hour.”

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNACpeace.org) recently issued an alert against the growing likelihood of a direct U.S.-NATO invasion of Syria. The imperialist powers are losing hope for the success of the rebellion they have armed, encouraged and diplomatically recognized. The so-called “National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces,” created under Hillary Clinton’s tutelage this past November, appears unable to rally wide support inside Syria.

The New York Times of Jan. 5 complained: “Rebellion at Stalemate.” This organ of Wall Street capitalism found widespread dissatisfaction and disillusionment across Syria with the contra-rebels. “Doubts … about the direction of the revolution and how a rebel-ruled Syria would look” have led businesspeople, intellectuals, government officials and soldiers to keep from embracing the armed rebellion, even though many who were interviewed did not support the Assad government. One soldier told the Times that he had defected to the contras, and then left the country in disgust with their behavior and policies.

Other forces inside Syria, however, are not sitting on the fence. A statement from the Syrian Communist Youth Union appeared on redyouthuk.wordpress.com on Jan. 2. The Youth Union strongly denounced the anti-Assad rebellion as a product of “the world imperialist attack … using most reactionary forces with full support and funding of the Arab reactionary regimes.”

The communist youth warn that “the treason forces who are call[ing] themselves ‘the Syrian opposition’ are asking for external intervention on Syria by NATO,” citing “the criminal imperialist model that we witnessed in Libya and Iraq.”

The Syrian Communist Party has a long history inside Syria, sometimes suppressed and other times legalized by the ruling Baathist regime. However both the Party and its youth arm call for “supporting the Syrian national steadfastness” aware that “Syria is the stronghold facing the imperialist plans and projects in the region … caus[ing] it to win the hostility of imperialists, Zionists, reactionaries and their traitors.”

But the youth also show that the Assad regime made itself vulnerable to attack and criticize “neo-liberal economic policies that have been applied in recent years [that] led to impoverish the masses of people,” more unemployment, cuts in nationalized production and public services. “This is what Syrian communists have warned and struggled against.”

These communist youth, however, are rallying to the defense of their nation against foreign domination. Their slogans include “Syria will not kneel down” as well as a call for reinforcing the public sector, national production and maintenance of “the social rights of Syrian people and youth, especially free education, free health care and to find work opportunities, adequate housing … [and] to widen the democratic freedoms.”

They end with the call: “No revolution with world imperialism! No revolution with NATO!” n