Statement from Syria Solidarity UK on yesterday’s Stop The War demo:
Syria Solidarity UK and Stop the War have very different concerns regarding Syria: Syria Solidarity is concerned with ending the suffering of Syrians under the Assad dictatorship; Stop the War with opposing any UK military involvement regardless of consequences for Syrians.
We oppose the British government’s proposal to merely mimic the American ISIS-only counter-terrorism war; not only do we believe it is immoral to fly missions in Syria against ISIS while leaving the even greater killer, Assad, free to bomb civilians en masse, we also believe that any war against ISIS that doesn’t put the needs of the Syrian people first will be a failure that can only prolong their suffering.
We do call for action to protect civilians in Syria, including limited military action to enforce a no-bombing zone.
Stop the War similarly oppose British government proposals to bomb ISIS, but not because they would leave Assad alone; for Stop the War also oppose any action against Assad. This puts Stop the War against Syrians who are being bombed by Assad: it puts them not just against Syrian revolutionaries but also against Syrian doctors, against Syrian White Helmets rescue volunteers, and against Syrian civil society activists, all of whom call for international action to stop Assad’s bombs.
This is why Stop the War don’t want to listen to Syrians.
That is why we do not support their demonstration today.
DON’T BOMB SYRIA?
If Stop the War’s slogan “Don’t bomb Syria” is to have any meaning, let them demand the end of the regime whose bombs have killed so many.
If Stop the War oppose imperialism let them demonstrate their sincerity outside the Russian Embassy. Let them demonstrate with placards calling for Russia to stop bombing Syrian hospitals.
WHO IS KILLING CIVILIANS IN SYRIA?
The vast majority of violent deaths of civilians documented by the Syrian Network for Human Rights since March 2011 have been attributed to Assad’s forces. The following figures from SNHR’s report, The Main Conflict Parties Who Are Killing Civilians in Syria, are for the period from March 2011 to the end of October 2015.
Civilians killed from March 2011 to Oct. 2015
|By Assad forces:||180,879||95.96%|
|… armed opposition groups:||2,669||1.42%|
|… unidentified groups:||2,002||1.06%|
|… Kurdish self management forces:||379||0.2 %|
|… al-Nusra Front:||347||0.18%|
|… Russian forces:||263||0.14%|
|… International Coalition forces:||251||0.13%|
The SNHR also release monthly reports. For October 2015 they documented the following numbers of violent civilian deaths.
Syrian civilians killed in October 2015 alone
|By Assad forces:||793|
|… armed opposition groups:||45|
|… unidentified groups:||50|
|… Kurdish self management forces:||10|
|… al-Nusra Front:||1|
|… Russian forces:||263|
|… International Coalition forces:||1|
All reports can be found on the Syrian Network for Human Rights website: http://sn4hr.org/