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1. On HTS:

It does appear that relations between Turkey and HTS are currently hostile, 
despite the fact that Turkish troops were accompanied by HTS forces when they 
first entered Idlib province.

When SDF spokespeople said that "Jabhat al-Nusra" members participated in the 
invasion of Afrin, I assumed they were referring to HTS. But perhaps they were 
referring to former Nusra members recruited into Turkey's proxy forces.

In my most recent message I did not say that HTS is a Turkish proxy. I referred 
to Ahrar al-Sham and Faylaq al-Sham as proxy forces

I did however describe HTS as reactionary and hostile to the democratic goals 
of the 2011 revolution.

2. On speculation about a deal between the SDF and Assad:

I don't know what has been discussed between the SDF and the Assad regime.  But 
it seems to me that the SDF would only agree to military cooperation if it 
included action against the Turkish occupation of Afrin.

This would imply the breakdown of relations between the Assad regime and Turkey 
- in other words, the end of the Astana agreement.

This has not happened up to now.  It is a hypothetical possibility that the SDF 
might perhaps be exploring.

While unlikely, I would not rule it out completely.  Assad is probably not 
entirely happy with Turkey's occupation of a significant amount of Syrian 
territory.  If it appears that Erdogan wants to continue the occupation 
indefinitely, Assad might try to use support for the SDF as a pressure tactic 
to get him to withdraw.

Chris Slee

From: Marxism <marxism-boun...@lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of RKOB via 
Marxism <marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu>
Sent: Sunday, 5 August 2018 3:36:28 PM
To: Chris Slee
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Syria: Towards the Final Battle in Idlib

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Chris Slee criticized our article on the looming Assadist onslaught
against Idlib

In reply I would like to say the following:

Chris Slee writes: “Michael Probsting describes Idlib as "the last
remainng liberated area". But the Turkish army has bases in Idlib, and
much of the province is controlled by groups which are Turkish proxies.”

To be precise, the Turkish army has 12 “observations positions” at the
demarcation line between the rebels and the Assadist/Russian/Iranian
forces. Yes, as we have explained in past articles, Turkey tries to get
influence over the region and instrumentalizes the Astana factions for
this purpose (see e.g.

But if Turkey would really control Idlib, there would be much less
problems for Putin, Rouhani, and Erdoğan and they could implement their
Astana agreements in Idlib without major complications (as they have
just done in Deraa in the Southwest).

Chris Slee has always claimed that HTS is a proxy of Turkey. This has
been the propaganda line of the YPG/SDF – the servants of US
imperialism. We have always denied this and provided numerous facts for
this (see e.g.

I have no intention to repeat all what has been written. But it seems
particular silly to me that Chris Slee keeps this slander even now
instead of admitting that he was completely wrong! (I remember well how
Chris Slee even tried to defend the hilarious accusation of YPG/SDF that
the HTS would have joined Turkey’s attack on Afrin!) The whole world –
outside of the YPG/SDF bunker – reports about the demands of Damascus,
Moscow and Teheran on Erdoğan to clamp down on the HTS and their allies.
How can Chris Slee explain all those efforts of Turkey to unite the
various FSA factions against HTS? If all factions in Idlib would be
Turkish proxies it should be very simply for Ankara to unite them.
Obviously this is not the case!

Even our enemies are forced to accept this. Look what the Assadists are
saying themselves! Al-Watan, a regime paper, wrote yesterday:

“/Militants from Al-Nusra Front have rejected Turkey’s demand for
dissolution of the terrorist group’s units in Idlib province in Syria’s
northwest, according to the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan./

/The developments came after Ankara demanded that al-Nusra Front
militants join the so-called “Northern Syrian Army,” which is being
formed by the Turkish military./

/Also, Turkey urged al-Nusra Front’s foreign mercenaries to return to
the countries from which they arrived and surrender to the law
enforcement agencies there./

/Al-Watan reported that Ankara also plans to use the recently
established National Liberation Front, made up of several rebel groups,
to drive al-Nusra Front terrorists out of Idlib/.”

(HTS not disbanding in Idlib, they prepare to fight, 2018-08-04

Denying the contradictions of reality is not only an assault on
dialectic but also on simple common sense.

This is even more the case with the particularly original (to use
parliamentary language) line of defense of Chris Slee: “/Probsting
claims that the YPG has offered to join Assad's assault on Idlib.
However the quotation he gives from an interview with Salih Muslim
refers to "military operations against Turkish-backed militants in Idlib
and Afrin", and says nothing about doing this jointly with Assad./”

But how should the YPG/SDF join the attack on Idlib if not in
coordination with the Assadist army? The whole liberated area is
surrounded by the Assadist forces (except in the North where the
Turkish-occupied Afrin is)! It is simply not possible from a military
point of view to attack Idlib without coordination with the regime,
Russia and Iran!

And anyway, what is the context of the YPG leader’s statement that they
are ready to attack Idlib? It is their negotiations with Assad in order
to make a deal with the regime! The very article from which we quoted
the YPG leaders statement is published by a pro-YPG source (Kurdistan24)
and is titled: “Kurdish leader reveals details of first meeting with
Syrian government”.

Or does Chris Slee also want to deny that the YPG/SDF is currently
negotiating with the regime? Is this another Trump-like “”Fake News”?!

I can only conclude by saying: Chris Slee, please leave the YPG fantasy
world and return to the earth!

Revolutionär-Kommunistische Organisation BEFREIUNG
(Österreichische Sektion der RCIT,www.thecommunists.net)
Tel./SMS/WhatsApp/Telegram: +43-650-4068314

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