Corbyn’s fundamental sameness with Tony Blair (and the US) on Syria

“Last night, Jeremy Corbyn was hanging out with “counter-extremist” and pro-Assad campaigner Marcus Papadopoulos, of the “European Centre for Counter-Extremism” (ECCE). The ECCE has previously invited representatives of the Assad regime to speak on its platform [1].

Papadopoulos has an “edgy” record of previously saying the Bosnian genocide at Srebrenica “didn’t happen” and citing the Arab Spring as a “Western conspiracy”. On Syria Papadpolouos incidentally shares the same view as another notable Labour politician, Tony Blair, whose thinktank slandered most of Syria’s armed revolutionaries as “extremists” [2]. Unfortunately, Jeremy has also repeated the same anti-revolutionary slander in parliament [3]. He has also proclaimed that the problem in Syria was “regime-change” – i.e. the 2011 cry of “The People demand the downfall of the regime” – rather than Assad’s genocidal violence [4].

Thus far from moving on from the days of Blair (indeed, Jeremy’s foreign secretary is someone who repeatedly opposed an investigation into the Iraq War), is Jeremy, in presenting these views, representing a fundamental continuity disguised under an “anti-establishment” veil – not unlike the likes of Farage and Trump?

What happened to being against the War on Terror, Jeremy?

[1] http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambridge-syria-extremism-rowan-williams-12845074
[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/20/most-syrian-rebels-sympathise-with-isis-says-thinktank
[3] http://jeremycorbyn.org.uk/articles/jeremy-corbyns-speech-against-military-intervention-in-syria/
[4] https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/05/jeremy-corbyns-chatham-house-speech-full-text”

 

Response to some idiot (going under the page name “We are the Sinister Fringe”) who responded to the below Corbyn post by saying: “Doing your stuff for MI5 boys? Your war is over and you can shut your mouth about your Hollywood style B movie disaster shite fantasy chemical attacks. Go and eat some pizza yourself your fucktards”

“Syria Solidarity Campaign “Doing your stuff for MI5” – We are the Sinister Fringe

Syrian activist’s passport seized by UK government at the request of the Assad government:
http://www.independent.co.uk/…/uk-seizes-syrian…

West cooperating secretly with Damascus against militants: Assad:
://www.reuters.com/…/us-mideast-crisis-syria-assad…

Assad’s foreign secretary: US airstrikes going in right direction:
://www.reuters.com/…/us-syria-crisis-minister…

MI6 in secret talks with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime: http://www.mirror.co.uk/…/isis-air-strikes-mi6-secret…

With help from US and Hezbollah, Assad retakes Palmyra: linkis.com/washingtonpost.com/ov6qC

Dozens of more references: https://www.facebook.com/events/312534259134453/

If anything, it is you and your types who have spent years misrepresenting *actual* Western policy on Syria. You have failed miserably to understand even the most basic reality of it – either because you find it too “complicated” or because it’s simply much less tasking to fashionably condemn the West’s rhetorical commitment to Syrian Democracy (despite it for years being actually being at odds with its practical policy), instead of doing the actual scrutinizing work of finding whether Western policy actually matches the lofty and expected “we support democracy” rhetoric. By trying to pose as “opposite” to the most obvious and basic posturing by Western governments of “supporting” the Arab Spring, you have completely failed to document the *real* crimes of how Western governments have actually collaborated with regional regimes in killing the uprisings. Instead, you fashion idiotic and abstract conspiracy theories that are fashionable in some “chic” radical circles which you may belong to – circles which have probably never invited a Syrian to speak at – and which deny the agency and suffering of millions. Theories like “Assad is unfairly demonised” as if there was no uprising of millions of Syrians against him; or “the West funds ISIS” whilst Western governments blitzkrieg ISIS-held areas (with thousands of civilians killed as a result). Theories which make you think you’re cool and alternative but ultimately have no relation whatsoever to reality; even less to “anti-imperialism”.

Meanwhile, by the very same virtue of wanting to mindlessly (and ironically, inaccurately) appear “alternative” to your Western establishments, you might also have supporter Hitler during the Second World War, the fascist who was also claiming to be fighting “the West”. You are no anti-imperialist, you are simple prey for the forces of dictatorship, imperialism and reaction.”

Other exchanges:
Corbyn defender: “believe me, I’m no supporter of Assad (who could not be aware of the terrible suffering of the Syrian people?) but I’d rather have talks than guns and barrel bombs, and that has always been Corbyns approach.”
“If Corbyn actually wants a balanced playing field in Syria free from foreign intervention, we’re all for it. In fact, for those who have followed and actually studied Syria policy for years, Western intervention (though Corbyn thinks its the opposite) has been crucial in preventing the collapse of the regime. See this for details how for instance: https://www.facebook.com/events/312534259134453/
 
The problem with Corbyn’s lines – like “there is no military solution in Syria, only a political one” and “Syria’s fate should be decided by the Syrian people” – is that these are heavily contextually-loaded lines repeated by Russian and Iranian propaganda and are in short code for “There should be no condition for Assad to step down”. The notion that Russia and Iran – who have intervened militarily with thousands of bombs and tens of thousands of soldiers – actually think that “Syria’s fate should be decided by the Syrian people” is an Orwellian propaganda line not dissimilar to Israel’s “The Palestinians refuse to recognise Israel and live in peace with it” – as if it wasn’t the Israelis who were occupying the Palestinians not the other way round. The opposition has long accepted a political solution with the regime (which is far from the revolutionary ideal) where core regime members and institutions are integrated into a transitional government (probably including those who would’ve undoubtedly committed crimes in defence of the regime). So what political solution do Russia and Corbyn talk about if it excludes the absolute minimum of one person – Assad stepping down? Well that’s exactly it: a “solution” which drops the condition of Assad stepping down, which is non-negotiable. That’s why Corbyn’s lines – though sounding nice and theoretically unproblematic – are absolutely vacuous; because of their established contextual applications.
 
So if Corbyn *actually* uses the phrase in its genuine sense, regardless of whatever convoluted understanding he has on the conflict (i.e. demonising rebels etc.), then fine. And in that case, without external intervention (Assad’s army being mainly now made up of invader foreign militias) Assad would collapse within a matter of months. That would be “Syria’s fate decided by the Syrian people”. Unfortunately, the option of the revolutionaries forcibly collapsing the regime has been opposed for years (www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-13/cia-director-says-assad-s-collapse-would-risk-terrorist-takeover) not only by Russia but by the US as well, as the US does not want to replace a regime it knows how to do business with with an unknown variable (www.cbsnews.com/news/dempsey-syrian-rebels-not-ready-to-back-us-interests/). The US preference instead was a political solution which maintains most regime institutions intact and replaces Assad with another regime figure – in other words an intra-regime coup (https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-pursued-secret-contacts-with-assad-regime-for-years-1450917657) This is what was achieved in other Arab Spring domains (such as Egypt and Yemen – in the former case the regime now is even more repressive than Mubarak, who remember was also “asked” to leave by the US).
 
The most ironic thing therefore is that far from being “alternative” to Western policy, the likes of Corbyn (and many, many others) have so badly misunderstood it that in a roundabout way they actually end up advocating the same existent Western position. Want proof? Here’s Trump also saying “Assad’s fate should be decided by the Syrian people” – effectively removing the “Assad should go” condition (https://www.rt.com/usa/382839-tillerson-assad-syrian-people/), and here’s Kerry saying that Assad should be able to stand for presidential elections (www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/30/world/middleeast/john-kerry-syria-audio.html?_r=0).
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The US and Iran destroy Mosul together

 

Syria Solidarity Campaign:

“The “liberation” of Mosul by the US airforce and Iran’s ground forces. A site of popular Arab Spring protests against the US-installed and pro-Iran Iraqi government, ISIS eventually hijacked people’s disillusionment and occupied the city in 2014. The entire city has been collectively punished as a result. As in Syria, the symptom of the problem – ISIS – was forcibly eradicated whilst the cause – the sectarianism of Iran’s allies in Baghdad and Damascus – was ignored and rewarded. Far from empty rhetoric of opposition between the two sides (a necessary show to justify themselves domestically), this is what the US and Iran have jointly done to Mosul.

Today there are fears of sectarian reprisals against Mosul’s residents by pro-Iran brigades within the Iraqi military (known as the Popular Mobilisation Units) who’ve advanced under the cover of US airstrikes. The PMUs are also fighting across the border for Assad in Syria (and have even been provided US military support there in places like Palmyra). The Arab Spring was replaced by the US with an Iranian Winter.

Is this what awaits Raqqa?”

Why ignoring US intervention in Syria in favour of Russia’s is a counter-revolutionary and pro-Assad position

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This response is from part of a debate within a pro-revolution organisation on the merits of holding a demonstration in front of the US embassy. The person being responded to raised the issue as to whether this was the best approach: whilst the US is historically an imperialist power and committed crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and its support of Israel, in Syria only it has the potential to confront Assad-supporting Russia. Protesting against the US may thus risk alienating it when we should be seeking its intervention against Assad.
“Thanks for your opinion. Unfortunately the US has arguably played a more decisive role in preventing Assad being overthrown than Russia has, and I’ll explain how. Since 2012 the US has enforced a blockade on the provision of certain types of weaponry (like anti-aircraft defences) as well as limiting the quantities of ammunition etc. that was provided by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to the Syrian resistance. The reason they’ve done that is because they have always been against the regime being forcibly overthrown (so-called “regime-change” – uk.businessinsider.com/john-kerry-regime-change-syria-bashar-assad-2015-12?r=US&IR=T) – their preference is for a political solution where a new face takes power and the rest of the regime (including military, police and security forces) is maintained. This is what happened in other Arab Spring countries like Egypt and Yemen. The way they would ideally like to achieve this is by pressuring Assad to go via pressuring the power-holders within the regime, for instance it was SCAF (the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) in Egypt that effectively nudged out Mubarak and pressed him to resign. They wanted to do the same kind of intra-regime coup in Syria (https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-pursued-secret-contacts-with-assad-regime-for-years-1450917657) but Syria was not Egypt or Yemen (not least because of sectarian dynamics), and the regime’s core held loyal to Assad.
Since then the US actually *opposed* the rebellion getting militarised, I remember at the start of the FSA the US opposed it saying it would bring “an escalation of violence” – and effectively limited (via officials on the Turkish and Jordanian borders) the quantity and quality of externally-provided weaponry that could go in to the rebels (one example: http://www.worldtribune.com/2014/05/20/report-cia-blocked-u-s-groups-effort-arm-syrian-rebels-russian-made-weapons/). After Assad’s 2013 Sarin attack the US “officially” changed its anti-arming position, but it would later become clear that it conditioned direct military support on the recipients agreeing not to fight Assad (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/31/key-rebels-ready-to-quit-u-s-fight-vs-isis.html). Thus the groups which have received direct US support in Syria are groups that largely don’t, like the SDF and the New Syrian Army. So first US preference was Assad to resign to be replaced by someone else acceptable to the regime. Second preference was that Assad stays in place if the regime doesn’t want to get rid of him. Simple: both pro-regime options were seen as preferable to the third option of allowing the rebels forcing Assad out by overthrowing his entire fascist regime.
So far from the problem with US policy being simply a matter of “weak support”, the problem is its “decisive weakening” of the rebellion. To my eyes, the US role in blocking proper military support to the rebels (https://mkaradjis.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/us-and-jordan-demand-southern-front-rebels-stop-fighting-assad-cut-off-support/) actually was more decisive in preventing the collapse of the Assad regime than Russia’s direct support. When someone sets your house on fire, the person who stops you putting it out can be even worse than the guy who did it, because you could’ve saved the people inside if you had the fire-extinguisher you were banned from. Simply speaking, the rebels always had the capacity to overthrow Assad even with Russia’s support, his army became decimated by 2014. It is however precisely because of the lack of external backing of the rebels that they didn’t.
In fact, the US went further and actively supported pro-Assad forces repeatedly “against ISIS”, provided intelligence to Assad and actually bombed mainstream anti-ISIS rebel groups far more than they have the regime (one example: http://www.thedailybeast.com/did-the-us-just-kill-5-kids-in-syria). Until three months ago, the US had bombed mainstream rebel groups about 7 times, al-Nusra (whose rank-and-file is mainly Syrians including ex-FSA who joined it because of its better military capacities) dozens of times, killing by 2015 (those are the statistics I have) 200 rebels. The US even bombed a rebel-held part of Aleppo *during the Assadist siege* before it fell (https://www.facebook.com/doamuslims/posts/326235621052962), leading to revolutionary protests there (https://www.facebook.com/SyriaSolidarityCampaign/posts/339374613072396). We’re not even talking about the hypocrisy of bombing ISIS and ignoring Assad, we’re talking about bombing rebels. Throughout that period, the US did not bomb pro-regime *foreign* militias once. In fact, some times it actively supported them (linkis.com/washingtonpost.com/ov6qC). Lets make that clear again, the US has given aircover to foreign sectarian militias on Syrian territory which it has never done to native forces fighting Assad.
Honestly, the inability for many pro-revolutionaries to understand the difference between the effective positions of “Assad should diplomatically step down by pressure from within the regime” and “We should allow the rebels to militarily overthrow Assad” has *severely* hamstrung the ability of Syrian organisations to make demands of Western governments. The West will never intervene to take out Assad and has been decisively intervening on his side for a long time – and not just as a “by-product” of anti-ISIS policy: preventing the collapse of the regime *has always been the policy*. Its not hesitation, or Obama being weak or wanting to appease Iran or whatever. Its because US policy has always been against regime-collapse in Syria (https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2015/3/14/us-does-not-want-to-see-syrian-regime-collapse). Why? Because rebels do not serve US interests (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dempsey-syrian-rebels-not-ready-to-back-us-interests/), and because the regime by contrast has been historically dependable (http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=2442). What we should be demanding is for them to stop doing the latter.
Staying silent loses us our leverage which we could employ in public domains and media and from which we could extract concessions from Western governments. Imagine how much stronger our demands could be when we say “you’re supporting Assad” instead of “you’re doing nothing about Assad'”. With the former, they’re already committed. With the latter, you give them an exit clause allowing them to say “its not our business”. That’s the massive problem with not documenting the pro-Assad nature of US intervention, in the hope that after seven years of being pro-Assad it would change its mind. I’m not suggesting anything people on the ground – who’ve repeatedly protested against the US since 2014 – haven’t done. The FSA founder himself said that the US policy in Syria was pro-Assad (https://en.zamanalwsl.net/news/6704.html).
To not know about these things – the (well-concealed) full nature of US support for Assad is something, to know about it but to still continue to refuse to cover it on the hope that the US changes its position is criminal, counter-revolutionary, and counter-productive. We don’t refuse to condemn US supporting Israel on the hope that it changes its opinion, do we?”
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The cowardly Assad regime disproves its own claims (and that of groupies such as Seymour Hersh) about the Sarin gas attack

If anyone needed to know how Assad’s propaganda worked (and how the regime speaks out of both sides of its mouth), read this.

Following the recent publication of the OPCW report which confirmed the use of Sarin gas in Khan Sheikhoun (unfortunately, international politics again means that the “mandate” of the OPCW report did not include assigning blame), Russia reportedly accepted the OPCW report findings in official international fora [1]. As it did not assign blame, the report did not contradict Russia’s claim that Sarin gas was in some way “released” – or prove that it was “dropped” from a regime helicopter, Russian Foreign Secretary Lavrov noted [2].

Assad had previously called the attack and the footage of the victims a “100% fabrication… They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack” [3] –
in fact contradicting simultaneous Russian claims that Sarin gas was released after a “rebel factory was hit”.

The investigators were not given “security permission” to access the town, which the OPCW said hampered the fact-finding mission. Under international threat of being accused with completely obstructing the investigation however, the regime facilitated the transferring of soil samples provided by locals from the area.

The soil samples provided by the *regime itself* – and tested by both regime and OPCW laboratories – proved the presence of Sarin. This comprehensively disproved any pro-regime claims that the attack was a “hoax” [4] or that it was in fact “supplies of disinfectants or fertilisers” (not Sarin) which were released – the allegation made by Seymour Hersh [5]. In other words, conspiracy theories promoted by the regime were disproved – under international threat – quietly by the regime. Luckily, the regime could afford to have such lies disproved as it has Russia’s own back-up conspiracy theory –
of Sarin gas being “accidentally” released in an undocumented coincidental bombing of a “rebel factory” – as a cushion to fall-back on.

Despite the report not assigning blame, the regime nonetheless condemned the OPCW report (which it helped bring about) within its domestic propaganda outlets, and has repeated the line that the Sarin gas attack was a “fabrication”.

In conclusion: The regime is a psychopathic liar.

[1] https://twitter.com/UK_OPCW/status/882542808917266433
[2] https://financialtribune.com/articles/international/67386/russia-says-opcw-does-not-prove-assad-role
[3] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4408648/Assad-brands-chemical-weapon-claims-100-fabrication.html#ixzz4m3x4zkBT
[4] http://al-bab.com/syria-and-chemical-weapons-3#chem39
[5] https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

 

On recent developments in North Syria: Afrin

 
Russia has seemingly acquiesced to an assault by Turkey and certain Turkish-backed rebel groups on the North Western province of Afrin. Afrin is held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dominated by the Kurdish YPG. Confusingly, the YPG/SDF has simultaneously been backed by Russia: indeed some areas around Afrin had previously been taken by the YPG/SDF under Russian aircover from the rebel groups. The YPG/SDF has since threatened to give up the area to the regime instead of allowing it to fall to the Turkish-backed FSA. Other areas had been taken by the YPG/SDF under US aircover, indirectly from the local rebel groups (who had been expelled by ISIS, only to be replaced by the YPG/SDF instead. Only those who agreed to give up the fight against Assad and were “vetted” by the YPG were allowed into the US-backed SDF).
 
This ironically may suit Turkey – whose priority is containing the Syrian Kurds, not taking on the Assad regime – but may not highly suit their rebel allies. It is unclear what the US response will be to the Turkish-Russian maneuvers. Previously, US Special Forces deployed to protect the YPG/SDF from the Turkish-backed rebels around the city of Mabij (areas which the YPG/SDF eventually gave up to the regime), and the US has also recently show down a regime airplane during a spike in clashes with the YPG/SDF.
 
On the other hand, whilst the Turkish-backed rebels are primarily concerned with the regime, they nonetheless have an axe to grind with the YPG/SDF – who they have accused of collaborating with the regime (as well as the US and Russia previously) at their expense. For instance, the YPG collaborated with the Syrian regime during the fall of Aleppo (http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/what-role-are-kurdish-ypg-forces-playing-aleppo-554547107), and even handed over the city of Manbij to the regime instead of letting it fall to the Turkish-backed FSA (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-north-idUSKBN1684SB). The Turkish-backed rebel factions are of course not faultless, and some have been accused of violations against Kurdish civilians – including recently by a (pro-opposition) Kurdish council (http://aranews.net/2017/06/hundreds-of-yezidi-kurds-displaced-by-turkey-backed-rebels-northwest-syria-kurdish-council/). The increasing alliance with Turkey, which is far more concerned with anti-Kurdish sentiments than it is with the regime, can have troubling consequences if not restricted.
 
Meanwhile in North East Syria, the YPG/SDF continues to be backed by the US-led Coalition around Raqqa. Almost 300 civilians have been killed in one month, with Raqqa’s trapped civilians being terrorised – not “liberated” – by punitive US airstrikes and SDF shells. Under the six months of Trump’s administration, more than 2,000 civilians have been killed in ISIS-held areas. This is a form of collective punishment.
 
In South East Syria, there are reports that the US has airlifted an anti-ISIS Sunni Arab group from a garrison at-Tanf after they came into conflict with pro-regime Shia militias, including some the US has backed against ISIS (notably in Iraq). If true, the US would have in effect surrendered a further land-corridor between Iran, Iraq and Syria to Iran. The US had earlier during the week repeated its welcoming of the regime (i.e. foreign pro-regime militias) taking areas from ISIS. Of course, this has been effective US policy for years, and pro-regime (foreign) ground forces have even been backed by the US airforce under both the Obama and Trump Administrations.
 
In all cases, the regime is winning by US-Russian-Turkish agreement.

Vanessa Beeley gets destroyed on Assad’s “anti-imperialism” – Assadists come to her defence and are rebutted

 

Post comment by Assadist:

“I find your description of this exchange more than a little lacking. A member of the Syria Solidarity Campaign attends an event, and makes a speech full of sectarian talking points. The quote marks around “anti-imperialism” are a big clue here. As part of this rambling speech, he asks the question, “Aren’t you more pro-Assad than Assad himself? (When did you stop beating your wife?) He then continues talking. The people attending the meeting grow impatient with his monologue, and tell him to bloody ask a question. (Some of them appear to have missed the question, not surprisingly.) At one point, as people beseech him to shut up and sit down, he sits down.

When he does, Vanessa answers the only question he asked, with the obvious answer: she is NOT “pro-Assad,” she’s pro-Syrian-sovereignty. She gets a hand from the people at the meeting, who are clearly not pleased by the young man’s intervention. After the young man repeats some of his points, Vanessa was about to reply, but is stopped—by the people running the meeting.

So, when you say she was “unable to answer,” your nose is stretching. The organizers asked her to stop, so, politely, she did.

Quite a few of those following events in Syria have heard these arguments before, for example, somehow Assad is “cooperating” with the Americans, not being attacked by them. Sorry, it doesn’t wash, no matter what obscure quotes you can come up with. The Syria Solidarity Campaign, which out of one side of its mouth wants an end to foreign intervention, but out of the other wants a no-fly zone, doesn’t impress me as a group that can come up with a solution to the conflict.

So if we think all the foreign humanitarian regime changers should just piss off and let Syrians determine their government for themselves, that makes us “Assad propagandists”? Don’t think so. Myself, I don’t give a toss if Assad stays or goes, it’s not my decision. What “Western” leaders do in MY name certainly is.

In any case, I see from my FB wall that Vanessa Beeley was not “destroyed” by that intervention. She’s alive and well.”

Comment by guy in video:

“Hi, I’m the young man in question.
The sectarian talking point, was that the one where I said the regime supported the Shia Amal against the Shia Hezbollah in the late 80s? Yeah, real sectarian. You wouldn’t hear it in the video (and nor do I have to prove it to your likes) but I also made it clear that I supported the Bahraini uprising and opposed Saudi’s brutality in Yemen.
As for Beeley “responding”, are you on crack? When did she respond to my question of how Assad’s “anti-imperialist” allies include al-Sisi (Israel’s friend, o Palestine hero) and the US-installed regime in Iraq? As for her not getting a chance to respond (she actually did and came back to address me), this is why the full video link is attached, go check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3MmV43Zw1g
(Incidentally a few other “anti-imperialist” Western allies of Assad that I didn’t mention include the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) in the West Bank (other anti-Israeli heroes of course), the US-installed regime in Afghanistan and the likes of Pakistan, Oman, Algeria, Lebanon, etc.).
Besides sharing airspace (which involves basic coordination to prevent accidents, something both Assad and the US have admitted), the US and the regime have also carried out joint bombings of anti-Assad towns and cities (mostly held by ISIS):
 
But of course you undoubtedly know much better than the Syrians who’ve been getting bombed by the US and the regime in the same day:
“We are seeing coalition warplanes hit targets during the day in Raqqa province and then Syrian warplanes follow-up with more indiscriminate strikes at night,” a commander with the Free Syrian Army told The Daily Beast. “This is not a coincidence—to argue that it is stretches credulity”” – [http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/10/here-s-how-obama-and-assad-team-up-against-isis.html]
“The politics don’t matter to the people here, all we see is one type of death – it comes from the sky, whether the Americans are dropping the bombs or Assad, it makes no difference. They are both murdering us. What do you expect any sane person to think here? One day American airplanes and the next Bashar’s, how do they not crash or shoot each other? It is simple, they call each other and say today is my turn to kill the people of Raqqa, please don’t bother me, it will be yours tomorrow.” -[http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/sharing-skies-assad-america-s-predicament-syria-1105355734]
…“Syrian warplanes used to shell us two or three times a week but now they target us every day thanks to the coalition forces,” Faris Samir, from Harm in the northern Idlib region, complained on Thursday. “We are losing martyrs and many get injured but no one pays any attention. Now the Syrian [regime] army is taking areas bombed by the coalition forces after the Islamic factions withdraw. I have to say that the coalition military campaign is in the interest of the Syrian regime and against the Syrian people.”’ -[http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/09/syria-isis-bashar-al-assad-coalition-air-strikes]
As for the “obscure” quotes, oh definitely. “They attack us politically and then they send officials to deal with us under the table, especially the security, including your [the Australian] government”. That’s real obscure: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-assad-idUSKCN0ZG28G?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social
Assad’s regime welcomed the US intervention in 2014, and said they were going in the “right direction”: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4576118,00.html
Here’s some examples of regime media celebrating the US intervention in 2014:

1) “The Syrian Army and the United States in the same ditch against terrorism”

2) “Meanwhile, the pro-government news network Damascus Now hailed the strikes on Wednesday as a historic moment, in which “happiness was etched on the faces of the majority of Syrians, because they found international support towards eradicating a cancer which has been rooted in the diseased Syrian body,” referring to the rebels.”: http://syriadirect.org/news/syria-direct-news-update-9-24-14/
Most rebel groups by contrast rejected the US intervention, there were loads of protests across rebel-held Syria against it, and the FSA’s founder called the US intervention an “attack against the revolution”: https://mkaradjis.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/syrian-rebels-overwhelmingly-condemn-us-bombing-as-an-attack-on-revolution/
Here’s the US just a few days ago welcoming Assad taking territories from ISIS: https://www.voanews.com/a/united-states-would-welcome-effective-syrian-effort-defeat-islamic-state/3913697.html
The US has of course directly supported Assad on limited occasions in doing so, most recently earlier this year in Palmyra: linkis.com/washingtonpost.com/ov6qC
The US has also coordinated intelligence with Assad, as has the MI6:
Here’s a Syrian refugee fleeing Assad having her passport taken from her by the UK “on the Syrian government’s request”: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/24/syrian-journalist-zaina-erhaim-passport-held-assad-request
Here’s one revolutionary protest against the US bombing rebel-held areas of Aleppo *during the siege* a few months ago: https://www.facebook.com/SyriaSolidarityCampaign/posts/339374613072396
And for a bit of recent history:
Here’s Assad warning Europe about Syrian refugees, saying they’re going to have terrorists amongst them: https://twitter.com/presidency_sy/status/346700451087015937?lang=en
Here’s a video of your heroic regime representative side by side Arafat and Sadat-style with Israeli foreign minister Barak: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scPYA8p1FRs
And here’s anti-imperialist hero Tony Blair who wanted the queen to knight Assad, whose thinktank has (undoubtedly like you) called most of the Syrian revolutionaries “extremists”: https://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/the-press/20120702/281805691024479
now let’s see some of the US statements. Contrary to the idiocies and foolishness your likes promote, the US did not sponsor or support the revolutions. As in Egypt and Yemen, where the US told its its former collaborators to step down in order to *better preserve the rest of the regime* with a different face, the US has throughout the war been against “regime-change” in Syria too. Its preference is a political solution where the figurehead of the regime steps down to calm popular anger and stabilise the rest of the regime, to be replaced by another regime member. Which is what happened with the military edging out Mubarak in Egypt and Saleh being pushed out in Yemen. Regime-rehabilitation with a different face, in other words. Syrians have long said this and its been admitted by US officials as well: uk.businessinsider.com/john-kerry-regime-change-syria-bashar-assad-2015-12?r=US&IR=T.
The US attempted to encourage an intra-regime coup during 2011 to bring this to fruition (https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-pursued-secret-contacts-with-assad-regime-for-years-1450917657), but it failed due to the regime’s internal cohesiveness. The US actually opposed the militarisation of the rebellion (initially saying that it would “escalate the violence which is what Assad wanted”) until after the regime chemical attack in 2013. And even then they always conditioned groups which received direct support (prime amongst them of course the leftist love-child, the YPG) to not fight Assad (http://www.thedailybeast.com/exclusive-syrian-rebels-backing-out-of-us-fight-vs-isis).
In the absence of the first preference of Assadism without Assad, the US second preference has actually been straight out accepting Assad to stay. It has never supported the option of a rebel military victory, an option Obama called a “fantasy” as they were a bunch of farmers and students, etc. (http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/barack-obama-rebukes-syrian-fantasy-109890). The US for years told the rebels to stop fighting Assad and just focus on ISIS, even publicly declaring it in 2015: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kerry-idUSKBN0TN1D120151204
And actually far from being “anti-Western”, your bullshit vacuous cliche about “if Assad falls terrorists will take over” was long the US position: http://www.timesofisrael.com/cia-us-does-not-want-to-see-syrian-regime-collapse/
and your bullshit vacuous cliche of “letting the Syrian people decide” (i.e. after they rebelled and hundreds of thousands died as a consequence you bellend) – code for letting Assad stand for elections – was advocated by none other than the anti-imperialist that is John Kerry: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/30/world/middleeast/john-kerry-syria-audio.html
The fact that you know little of this is because your anti-war movement’s leaders are racist tankies who’ve refused to listen to Syrians and ironically have ended up completely misrepresenting actual US policy in the country. Only idiots would think that four out of more than 9,000 airstrikes in Syria constitutes “regime change”and btw, the US has attacked mainstream “moderate” rebels far more than that, something that of course you wouldn’t have heard about as your “anti-war” leaders covered up because it was an inconvenient contradiction to their regime-change bullshit. This is one example: http://www.thedailybeast.com/did-the-us-just-kill-5-kids-in-syria).
The rest of the 9,000 fyi oh radical “anti-imperialist” have come exclusively in areas that revolted against the regime in 2011, regardless of whether they’re held now by ISIS or someone else (of course if you were nearly as bravely “anti-imperialist” as you portend you would be supporting ISIS, not a “beardless” Islamophobia-promoting regime with decades of Western-collaboration and indeed still doing so).
This is why Syrians have set up pages like this (https://www.facebook.com/%D8%A3%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%83%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%B9%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%AF-102929846719076/). And its why unlike your radical-chic fake anti-imperialist bubbles that only wake up to Syria when there’s a bit of talk about wrist-slapping Assad, the SSC has actually protested in front of the US embassy.. Go read up the event description, if its not too “complicated” in explaining how the US and its allies have hidden their support of Assad behind their vacuous statements that your “critical” types swallow up so easily. https://www.facebook.com/events/312534259134453/
So far from “foreign regime-change tossers” (am I the foreign one here lol, a guy who’s lived in the Middle East most of his life?), you’re the counter-revolutionary, scabbing, pro-regime tosser who stood against what the “masses” (to use the leftist terminology that is inevitably just a fashion statement to you) demanded in 2011: “The people want the downfall of the regime”. and if your priviliged shittly little posing types – who incidentally wouldn’t baulk twice at calling the “imperialist police” if your house got robbed and wouldn’t baulk twice at campaigning for your “imperialist government” to spend more on the NHS and welfare (ironically from the wealth they usurped from the regions whose people you now demonise) whilst acting radically chic by disparaging those asking for no planes to fly because they’ve been getting bombed 24/7 by them for five years on end – don’t like it, you could go fuck off.”