Syria Rejoins the Arab League


14-05-2023: Syria (officially the Syrian Arab Republic) has been readmitted to the Arab League after an absence of 12 years. The Foreign Ministers of the 22-member body[1] voted to readmit Syria after suspending its membership in 2011, allegedly for a crackdown on protestors.[2] In reality, 2011 was the start of a Western led war of regime change, one of the most horrific proxy wars ever waged. Qatar was the only Arab state to abstain from voting in favour of the readmission of Syria and has stated that it will not move to normalise relations. However, Qatar did not move to block Syria’s readmission. This means that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may attend the next Arab League summit, to take place in Saudi Arabia.[3] In fact, Saudi Arabia was one of the main drivers towards Syrian readmission, despite originally being a part of the US led coalition bent on the violent overthrow of Syria.

Regime change war is over

Saudi Arabia’s role in pushing the welcoming of Syria back into the Arab fold is a flow on from the rapprochement of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which had been arch foes for decades previously. This deal was brokered by Wang Yi, the foremost foreign policy official of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Under the agreement, Saudi Arabia and Iran will re-establish diplomatic relations and re-open embassies.[4] Iran has been a major ally of Syria for years, and it actively assisted Syria in the defeat of the imperialist led regime change war, along with Hezbollah and some Palestinian militia groups. Decisive in turning the tide of the proxy war was the entry of the Russian Federation, at the invitation of the Syrian government, in 2015. Despite enormous losses, Syria has won a war for its own survival, and Western imperialism has been defeated.

Syria’s readmission to the Arab League coincidentally arrives on the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Baath Party in the Syrian capital Damascus in 1943.[5] The Baath Party pioneered Pan-Arab nationalism and a certain form of anti-imperialism. Today, the foreign ministers of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq met in the Jordanian capital Amman and issued a joint statement calling for the end of the presence of terrorist organisations and armed groups in the territory of Syria. They also called for an end to foreign interference in Syria and to support Syria in its efforts “to establish control over all of its territory and impose the rule of law.”[6] In practice, this effectively means that the US imperialist led war of regime change on Syria is over. It may take some time to finally remove all US troops and their sponsored allies, but Syria – and elementary justice – has prevailed.

In 2019, US General Kenneth McKenzie told reporters that there is no end date for the presence of US troops in Syria.[7] Given recent developments, however, it is now only a matter of time before US troops either leave of their own accord or are forced out. The only allies that remain for the US are the treacherous and absurdly named “Syrian Democratic Forces”, which in reality are militants of the PKK (“Kurdistan Workers Party” – but in practice neither left-wing nor progressive) and its terrorist YPG militia. These Kurdish groups (which do not represent Kurdish people as a whole) would be wiped away if their US military benefactors vacated the scene. Over the last period, the US troops in Syria have been coming under sporadic but sustained attacks from the Syrian armed forces, Iranian Shia backed militias, and overflights from Russian air support.[8] The days of the US troops in Syria are numbered, and US imperialist influence in the Middle East is also fading away.

While it is true that troops from Türkiye are also in the north of Syria, its government – regardless of the outcome of its upcoming election – agreed to withdraw its troops after meeting with representatives of the Russian government late last year. Türkiye did have legitimate security concerns justifying its intervention, as PKK forces often threaten Turkish people inside their own country. During the Russian mediated talks, both Ankara and Damascus agreed that the PKK/YPG are agents of the US and Israel and pose a grave threat to Türkiye and Syria. What is more, the Turkish representatives stated that they respect Syria’s territorial integrity, and that its only goal is the fight against terrorism, whether in the form of the PKK/YPG or ISIS/ISIL.[9] Granted, this is a marked U-turn from the early years of the Western led regime change war, when at that stage the Turkish government was sponsoring a swathe of “Islamic” terrorist units crossing the Turkish/Syrian border.

The intervention of Russia on the side of Syria also solidified the plans of the US ruling class for destablisation, Balkanisation and ultimately regime change against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Arguably, US imperialism had to target Syria in order to isolate its ally Iran, but it was also an attempt to take down a Russian ally in the Middle East. In this sense, the regime change war on Syria was aimed at Syria, Iran and Russia – regardless of the human cost. Moreover, Russia’s assistance to Syria from 2015 onwards had the effect of the Pentagon doubling down on the arming and training of Nazi militia in Ukraine in the wake of the Western backed violent coup in Kiev in 2014. Washington definitively lost any hopes they had of bringing Russia into the imperialist fold when Putin delivered his famous speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference, where Putin warned the West that Russia’s patience with the eastward expansion of NATO was coming to an end.[10]

War on Syria a turning point for the Left

Western imperialist attempts to destabilise Syria date back some 75 years,[11] but the regime change war started in 2011 was fought by so-called “moderate rebels” in Western corporate media lingo. Yet there is ample evidence that these “rebels” were in fact ISIS and Al Qaeda barbarians sponsored by the governments of the US, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and Türkiye.[12] The intervention of Russia in 2015 was a game changer, ultimately leading to Syria’s victory today. Yet the war on Syria was a major imperialist war which tested the political left and its constituent parts, and it was an acid test which the vast majority of the Western left utterly failed. With a few exceptions, most self-described socialist parties capitulated to the false narrative of a “Syrian revolution” – supposedly led by Western government funded cutthroats. Following on from NATO’s destruction of Libya, which many left parties in the West also cheered on, the war on Syria marked a significant shift to the right for all shades of liberalism and their “revolutionary” hangers on.

Arguably, Syria was the precursor for the mega-capitulation of virtually the entire Western left in March 2020, with the beginning of the civil war waged on working people by finance capital under the guise of a “Covid pandemic”. The prostration of the Covid left before capitalist state power did not fall from the sky but was preceded by earlier genuflections to the dictates of the billionaire classes and their agents. While the abject submission of the Covid left in March 2020 was truly monstrous, it should be recognised that this overt yielding was prepared by some ten years of knee-bending before imperialism with its devastating wars on Libya and Syria. NATO’s proxy war on Russia via Ukraine followed Covid terror and brought yet another round of left betrayal.  

The Arab League is a cross class institution, as are the governments still resisting US imperialism in the Middle East. Nevertheless, working people have a stake in the defeat of the West’s Empire wherever it attempts to hold on to a previous era. Workers should extend military support to the non-imperialist Arab states in the Middle East and Africa. However, the vital political interests of the working class lie in the formation of genuine Marxist vanguard parties in the Middle East and beyond, as sections of an international committed to the establishment of workers’ states and the final victory of a new socialist order.

Workers League  


[1] (10-05-2023)

[2] (10-05-2023)

[3] (10-05-2023)

[4] (10-05-2023)

[5] (10-05-2023)

[6] (10-05-2023)

[7] (10-05-2023)

[8] (10-05-2023)

[9] (10-05-2023)

[10] (10-05-2023)

[11] (10-05-2023)

[12] (10-05-2023)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s