Thursday, 4 June 2015

No-Fly Zone: A dangerous illusion

The Syria Solidarity Movement UK is hosting a debate on the merits of a No Fly Zone for Syria*. Most are in favour, I tend to sympathise with the argument against by Mark Boothroyd, one of the most active of the few Syrian solidarity activists in the UK, so not one of the numpties claiming the West is the main enemy in Syria, but just that they are not coming to help protect Syrians from Assad. The picture is one Mark tweeted, showing Peter Tatchell holding a placard calling for a NFZ.

 "While this demand would be supportable if those countries [Britain, France and the US] were honest and pure in their intentions towards Syria, they are not. They are imperialist powers whose history of interference and reactionary policy in the region goes back to the Sykes-Picot agreement and before.

 Their actual intentions can be gauged by their actions towards the Syrian revolution so far, and particularly their actions in the last few months as the demand for a NFZ has been raised in earnest by the White Helmets and other campaign groups.

 Throughout the entire course of the Syrian revolution these countries have refused to give the armed opposition anti-aircraft weapons to protect themselves and civilian areas against air attack. A number of spurious reasons have been given for this, none of which stand up to much scrutiny.
 The argument was raised that the weapons might fall into the wrong hands (meaning Da’esh or Al-Nusra), yet far more weapons have been taken by Da’esh from the Iraqi army—armed and funded by the US—than have ever been taken from Syrian armed opposition groups. And it was the refusal by the US, Britain and France to arm the nationalist and secular opposition forces loosely organised in the Free Syrian Army, which lead to these groups becoming marginalised due to lack of weapons and resources, leading eventually to what little arms and fighters they had being taken or absorbed by better funded and armed Islamic rebel groups."


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