From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 1 October
With effect from 3 September, the EU, which buys most of Syria’s oil, has brought in a ban on importing that oil with a view to crippling Syria’s economy and bringing about the downfall of the Syrian government of Bashar Assad.
Syria produces only about 400,000 barrels of oil a day, less than 1 percent of global production, and exports about 150,000 barrels a day, 95 percent of it to Europe. The exports provide about 25 percent of Syria’s income, which is already under pressure from the IMF. By denying the government this income, the imperialists are hoping to frustrate the attempts of the Syrian government to meet the demands of the Syrian people with such popular measures as fuel subsidies.
The US government is openly planning for the future of Syria after what they hope will be the certain downfall of Assad. While other imperialist countries have withdrawn their embassies from Damascus, the US in all its arrogance has left its ambassador, Robert Ford, in place, with a view to his liaising with opponents of the Syrian government.
According to one report, “In coordination with Turkey, the United States has been exploring how to deal with the possibility of a civil war among Syria’s alawite, druse, christian and sunni sects.” (‘US is quietly getting ready for Syria without Assad’ by Helen Cooper, New York Times, 19 September 2011)
Imperialism is desperate to overthrow the Syrian regime because of its alignment with Iran and Hizbollah, as well as its influence in Lebanon among those who battle for national independence and safeguarding their national sovereignty from imperialist interference.
While claiming, as in the case of Libya, to be intervening to prevent the regime from ‘killing its own people’, it is perfectly clear that US imperialism knows perfectly well that the overthrow of the Assad government poses a serious risk of unleashing a sectarian civil war in which tens of thousands will die and further tens, if not hundreds, of thousands will be forced into exile. Certainly the christian minority in Syria – about 10 percent of the population – is extremely fearful of the consequences of Assad’s possible overthrow.