Canada must withdraw from Syria, oppose Turkey’s aggression
The Canadian Peace Congress is alarmed that NATO countries are escalating their aggression against Syria, and calls for the immediate and full withdrawal of all Canadian military from the region. Furthermore, Canada must condemn and oppose Turkey’s military action against Syrian government forces who are fighting terrorist organizations in Syria. The current surge in intervention by NATO countries will only deepen the suffering of the Syrian people, prolong the war that has already claimed 260,000 lives, and increase the risk of an expanded regional conflict.
It is shameful that, despite a grandiose pledge to withdraw Canadian fighter jets, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau actually increased the number of airstrikes against Syria. The US-led airstrikes were deliberately coupled with renewed material and organizational support to anti-government groups in Syria. Justin Trudeau’s statement that Canada will increase its troop presence for “training purposes” is completely in line with this agenda, and needs to be stopped.
Throughout the Middle East, the United States, European Union and their NATO allies aim to impose a patchwork of fragmented Arab states who are too weak to challenge Western domination or Israeli expansion. In the process, they have produced a breeding ground for reactionary religious forces like ISIS (Daesh) and al-Nusrah. NATO countries have, in turn, armed and financed these groups because they are valuable assets whose terrorist activities provide a pretext for direct military intervention in Syria.
The Canadian Peace Congress asserts that the Syrian people alone have the right to determine their social, political and economic development, free from foreign interference. Related to this, the Syrian people and their government have the right to defend themselves from foreign intervention – including in the form of foreign-backed terrorists – and to invite the assistance of their allies.
Canada, Turkey and other NATO countries are not allies of Syria and have not been invited to intervene.
In fact, Turkey’s military action violates the recent agreement in Geneva, by non-terrorist groups in Syria, to support a negotiated solution to the conflict. The Turkish government’s decision to use military force, with the blatant aim of assisting terrorists fighting the Bashar al-Assad government of Syria, is an act of war against a sovereign state. It is a gross and dangerous violation of Syria’s sovereignty and threatens to escalate the war into an open regional conflict.
Canada must repudiate this act and demand that Turkey immediately and unconditionally cease its military action against Syria. Furthermore, the Canadian government must oppose the escalation of the conflict by other state actors, including NATO and Saudi Arabia.
The Canadian Peace Congress reiterates our demand that:
- Canada immediately and completely withdraw all Canadian military forces from Syria and the region;
- The Canadian government respect Syria’s sovereignty and oppose intervention by NATO countries, Saudi Arabia and all foreign states operating in Syria without the express agreement of the Bashar al-Assad government;
- Canada immediately and unilaterally withdraw from NATO, and call for the dissolution of this aggressive military alliance.
The international confrontation in Syria, which involves nuclear weapons states, is creating an explosive situation that risks dire consequences. The Canadian Peace Congress calls on all peace and peace-supporting organizations to mobilize against the current escalation and to promote a peaceful, political solution.
Canadian Peace Congress Executive Committee
February 15, 2016