«Idlib, the Battle for truth»

Translated "Avante!"article by Ângelo Alves, Member of the PCP Political Committee

As I write these lines, an illegal and dangerous escalation of Turkey’s aggression in the northeastern Syrian province of Idlib province is under way. Since the beginning of February, Erdogan’s regime has been intensifying its provocations against the Syrian Armed Forces and the Russian military that are legally stationed in the territory following a request by the Syrian government. In violation of the compromises reached at the Astana talks and the Sochi - Agreement that foresaw Turkey’s cooperation with Syrians and Russians in pacifying the region and combating terrorist organizations -, the Turkish regime has done everything in its power to hinder stabilization. It is currently trying to save Al-Qaeda from a military defeat, fighting alongside the terrorists, supplying them with all kinds of weaponry and deploying special forces to “supervise” their “military actions”.

The motive behind the Turkish decision to revive the military conflict and openly support terrorism is to impede the almost certain military victory of the Syrian forces and the reestablishment of Syrian territorial integrity. After nine years of resistance, the Syrian armed forces are now in control of the vast majority of the territory; they have recaptured major strategic spots and Aleppo, the country’s second largest city; they are retaking control of major roads (namely the M5 linking the North and South of the country); and, most importantly, they have encircled the terrorist organizations in the province of Idlib that now face a stark choice: to withdraw by crossing the border with Turkey, a return to the “homeland” for many of them, or to surrender…

Turkey’s decision was – it should be noted – preceded by yet another global misinformation operation which presented Syria’s legitimate actions to recover its territory as an “occupation” and “humanitarian catastrophe” and the deeds of the terrorist gangs as the “rebels’ heroic resistance”. None of this happened by chance, just as it was not fortuitously that Israel intensified its attacks inside Syrian territory to coincide with the crossing of the border by Turkish troops.

What emerges from these developments is that Turkey is not acting in isolation. It is coordinating its actions with Israel while pandering to the interests and decisions of the USA, which have kept at least 500 soldiers in Syria and are considering the deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey whilst pushing the country towards a conflict with Russia and trying to get NATO’s European arm directly involved in the war in the Middle East. The threat of a new migratory “crisis” is part of this strategy and its dramatic outcomes are there for everyone to see.

The forthcoming days will tell us to what lengths Turkey and, most importantly, the USA and NATO are willing to go.The very dangerous situation developing on the ground demands a clear condemnation of the Turkish aggression. International law must be upheld and Syria supported in its struggle for territorial integrity and against terrorism. NATO’s stance and that of several European governments, including Portugal, point in the opposite direction. This is not at all surprising. We all recall who and how this war began. That is why Idlib is also a battle for truth.

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