Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt on February 11 that a threatened ground invasion of Syria by Western allies Turkey and possibly Saudi Arabia would lead to a “new world war”. On February 18, Hawar News Agency reported that “dozens” of Turkish armoured vehicles had advanced 200 metres across the Syrian border.
Indirect internationally-brokered peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and a Saudi-backed coalition of some opposition groups were suspended on February 3 — just two days after they started. Associated Press said that day that “neither the government nor the opposition even acknowledged that the negotiations had officially begun”. Inside Syria, meanwhile, fighting intensified and the humanitarian situation deteriorated. Advances by government forces, backed by Russian air strikes, were the apparent cause for the talks’ collapse.
'We need our version of the Rojava Revolution right here' -- speech to Melbourne meeting marking PKK founding
Below is the speech given by Socialist Alliance member Dave Holmes to a Melbourne meeting and concert to mark the founding of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). About 400-500 people attended the November 28 event organised by the Kurdish Association of Victoria at the Kurdish House centre in Melbourne’s Pascoe Vale.
In July 2012, the residents Kobanê rose up against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, making it the centre of the liberated cantons of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan). In the rest of Syria, various forces — including the regime, the so-called "Islamic State" and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front have turned the country into a battleground, fuelled ethnic and religious divisions and competed with each other in cruelty to civilians. By contrast, in Rojava's liberated cantons a new society based on participatory democracy, ethnic equality, religious tolerance and feminism is emerging.
The statement below was released by four mayors of cities in the Spanish state — Barcelona, Cadiz, Zaragoza and A Coruna — and signed by many well-known figures from Spanish media and culture. It was translated for Green Left Weekly by Dick Nichols. * * * The brutal attacks in Paris on November 13 were designed to install a climate of terror in the population, raising walls of suspicion and hatred between neighbours, shattering community life and bringing the politics of fear into our daily lives.
British parliament sat late into the night on December 2 before eventually voting up Prime Minister David Cameron's proposal to join the US-led air war in Syria. Opposition Labour Party leader and veteran anti-war activist Jeremy Corbyn argued strongly against bombing Syria, as did protesters outside parliament. However, many right-wing Labour MPs supported the government.
A meeting in Rojava's capital, Qamislo, of the Assyrian ethnic minority. Photo from www.robertgraham.wordpress.com.
Since the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, the world's leaders and media have predictably reminding the world that the attacks' perpetrator – ISIS – has declared war to the death against humanity. ISIS would not deny this. Indeed, making this point was the reason it carried out the Paris attacks, which killed 129 people.
The Socialist Alliance and its youth wing, Resistance, expresses our solidarity with the people of Paris and Beirut who were targeted in back-to-back acts of terror by ISIS forces in the past few days. In Paris, coordinated bombing and shootings at six separate locations on November 14 killed 129 people and injured 200 others. In Beirut, 43 people were killed and more than 200 injured in two suicide bomb attacks just 24 hours earlier. We condemn these acts of violence.
Peter Boyle speaking at World Kobanê Day rally, Sydney, November 1. Peter Boyle gave this speech on behalf of Socialist Alliance at the Sydney rally for World Kobanê Day on November 1. * * * I am here to bring you greetings from the Socialist Alliance and the progressive newspaper Green Left Weekly.