The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on June 13.
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Since the uprising against the government of Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 the death toll in Syria is now estimated to have exceeded 10,000. As the violence escalates, Western government leaders are openly canvassing launching a military intervention. We oppose imperialist military intervention.
Socialist Alliance supports the Syrian people’s right to rise up for democracy and economic justice. We recognise the secular and anti-imperialist nature of much of the mass democratic opposition.
We do not recognise the Syrian National Council, or any other exile elements now unilaterally being promoted by the imperialist powers, as representative of the Syrian uprising.
We condemn the violence of the Syrian government and the killings by religious sectarian gangs that are directly or indirectly supported by the imperialists or the Syrian regime.
The Syrian people have a right to use arms to defend themselves from the violence of government military and paramilitary forces.
Some Sunni fundamentalist gangs have been armed and supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with imperialist encouragement and covert involvement, and have been attacking the Alawite, Shi’a and Christian communities.
Such sectarian attacks are not only war crimes, they also play into the hands of the Assad regime that, since the outset of the uprising, has been attempting to exploit sectarian conflict to undermine and discredit legitimate opposition.
We oppose the imperialists’ attempt to use direct and indirect military aid to assist these reactionary forces’ attempts to hijack the Syrian people’s legitimate uprising.
Socialist Alliance condemns the Australian government’s hypocrisy in opposing violence by the Syrian government while being silent on, or supporting, similar repression by pro-Western governments such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
We oppose the Australian government’s hypocritical expulsion of the Syrian charge d’affairs because it is part of the imperialists’ move to justify supporting regressive armed groups in Syria and to make military intervention politically palatable.
We demand an end to the Australian government’s military alliance with the US and other countries that are fuelling the violence and threatening invasion in Syria.
We reject the claim that imperialist military intervention could save civilian lives. This same argument has been used to justify imperialist military interventions in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and numerous other countries. In all instances, civilian deaths have increased exponentially as a result.