Friday, February 26th
Last night, Biden dropped seven 500-pound bombs on a small cluster of buildings on the Syrian side of the Syria-Iraq border¹. The bombings destroyed these buildings, ammunition and weapons stored inside, and killed at least 17 militia members affiliated with Kataib Hezbollah and other groups.² These militia members are Iraqi, backed by Iran through Iran’s policy of expansionism in the region.³
We knew Biden would continue the U.S. War on Terror, despite decrying “forever wars” in the presidential debates,⁴ because war is a bi-partisan effort in the United States. The U.S. Led Coalition— started by Obama and carried forward by Trump and Biden— is responsible for over 13,000 civilian casualties across Iraq and Syria.⁵ Yesterday’s targeted airstrike from the Biden administration is a continuation of our proxy war with Iran: last year, Donald Trump ordered targeted strikes against Qassem Suleimani and members of Kataib Hezbollah. Our political analysis is the same: No war with Iran. No war with Iraq. No war with Syria.
The people of Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have paid the price of these proxy wars: the actors may be positioned differently depending on the context, but the themes are the same. This coming March will be the 10 year anniversary of the Syrian Revolution: a grassroots, popular, pluralistic movement calling for a democratic Syria for all Syrians.⁶ A central part of this politic is democratic Syrian agency and plurality, and a complete rejection of all authoritarianism, be it from the Assad regime or privately armed militias like Jabhat al Nusra, Daesh (ISIS), or Hezbollah. Syrians regularly protested against Russian, Iranian, and U.S. interference, as well as Turkish self-interest and expansionism and the need for accountability from all parties.
And so in solidarity with the Syrian struggle for freedom, we say in the context of this recent airstrike: U.S. out of Syria. Iran out of Syria. Assad regime out of Syria. Militias must disband and cease their operations. Free all political detainees and push for accountability processes from all warring parties. Divest money spent on war and reinvest in reparations and life-affirming resources. Our vision with regards to Syria is the same that we have for ourselves and for the world— free from authoritarianism, settler-colonialism, and rooted in justice and accountability.
War Resisters League