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Michael Karadjis says:

"Incidentally, while people like Raed and the Idlib civil resistance in
general were closer to the anti-HTS rebels in Idlib (ie, all of them except
HTS), due to HTS’s greater penchant for attempting repression, they were by
no means proxies for Ahrar or anyone else, even the FSA, and definitely not
for Turkey. Actually, the civil movement tended to be very critical of the
Russia-Turkey-Iran Astana process, in this sense their criticisms
paralleled HTS’s own criticisms, whereas the Turkish-backed front
hesitantly supported it."

This suggests to me that Raed Fares and Hamoud Juneid may have been murdered by 
the Turkish state or a group under its control.
 
Chris Slee

________________________________
From: Marxism <marxism-boun...@lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of mkaradjis via 
Marxism <marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, 27 November 2018 1:21:02 AM
To: Chris Slee
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Raed Fares, leader of Kafranbel killed by HTS gunmen in 
Idlib

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Responding to my post on the murder of Syrian revolutionaries Raed Fares
and Hamoud Janeed, RKOB rightly cautions about the article title, which
directly accuses HTS of the killing.

It is quite true that there is no clear evidence for this. Certainly, in as
much as Raed fares allies are accusing HTS, their opinion seems well worth
taking into account. At the same time, I haven’t seen any more clarity the
last couple of days. I tend now to think this is much more likely the work
of Assad regime agents rather than HTS. Certainly they had much more to
gain, by trying to sow even deeper divisions than already exist; and of
course the regime has always wanted people like Raed dead. HTS has in the
past arrested, detained and harassed Raed and people allied with the civil
resistance, but then released him and belted up. It is unclear what they
would gain by killing him at this moment.

That said, a few comments on RKOB’s comments.

“1) They were killed in Kafranbel which is NOT under control of HTS but
Ahrar al-Sham.”

Clearly RKOB is not accusing Ahrar al-Sham of doing it, merely pointing to
difficulties for HTS, Ahrar’s enemy, getting close. But this does raise an
interesting general political point.

By Ahrar al-Sham, I think RKOB means the general military coalition Ahrar
is part of, the anti-HTS, Turkish-backed National Liberation Army, but
Ahrar may dominate in this part of Idlib. Here, Raed fares and his
democratic, secular, socially progressive Syrian civil resistance has run
the show throughout the entire Syrian revolution, as it does in many other
cities and towns in Greater Idlib. Yet virtually all commentary on Idlib in
the imperialist media, the alt-“left” media, and the Apoist media, paints
Idlib, war-on-terror style, as a theocratic tyranny “run by al-Qaida”
(“Al-Qaida” more or less doesn’t exist in Idlib, but they lyingly mean
HTS). Even though half of Idlib (including this region) does not even have
an HTS presence, the fact that an Islamist organisation with a spooky,
scary name like ‘Ahrar al-Sham’ is there would mean the same to this mass
of ignorance. We even read that Ahrar al-Sham is the Syrian equivalent of
the Taliban, an assertion straight out the theatre of the absurd. Not that
I like Ahrar, which has essentially become a Turkish proxy, but even in
that role, the fact of Kafranbel running its own show once again
demonstrates the relationship between the armed rebel groups and the
people’s revolution, showing we cannot judge the rebel-held regions on the
basis of the politics of armed factions.

“3) The people close to Fares have a political interest to accuse HTS of
this because they are very close to US and EU imperialism. Raed Fares
himself worked for a U.S. funded radio station
(
https://www.stripes.com/prominent-syrian-activist-killed-in-rebel-held-province-1.557758)
.”

I think you need to be just as careful about these kinds of assertions as
those I remarked on above, who think anyone with a scary Islamic name is
“al-Qaida’ or the Taliban. The Syrian revolution has no friends except
other people’s movements, but plenty who would try to coopt for their own
purposes.

In this case though you might have added that the Trump regime ended that
Obama-era US funding of Radio Fresh, and for the entire civil movement in
Syria (as well as, of course, ending the long defunct remaining bit of
funding for some FSA units). Yes, the US had been providing some $200
million in civil funds, some of which went to good projects such as this,
till Trump scrapped it. The civil movement accepted whatever cash it could
get, just like the Red Cross, Red Crescent, UNWRA and countless other
organisations around the world have to rely on such funding. To say “he
worked for a US-funded radio station”, rather than he helped set up a
people’s revolutionary radio station which reached out and acquired some
western funding, turns reality on its head. I’m not sure how this made him
“close” to anyone; I suggest the refusal of both the civil movement and the
FSA to ever become American proxies is why Trump made the decision to scrap
what he called this “dangerous and wasteful” funding.

“As far as I know he called for Western military intervention in Syria.”

We need better evidence than that, but if true, what kind of
“intervention”? Many in Syrian civil movements wanted some kind of no-fly
zone to prevent Assadist warplanes slaughtering them every day. Hell, who
wouldn’t want that? It’s this strange human characteristic to want to be
protected from being slaughtered, even by the devil. The fact that we see
this as any different to people calling the racist and murderous US cops to
protect them when confronted with a more immediate threat to themselves and
their children, is simply testament to the problems we as the western left
have with internationalism, as Syria has starkly revealed. Especially since
the west, especially the US, has been intervening in Syria for years, but
not by preventing Assadist warplanes from anything, but rather by just
joining in the bombing, bombing Anyone But Assad. No-one ever called on the
West to invade and take out the regime, and certainly Raed did not support
the actual US intervention in Idlib, which consisted of bombing Nusra/HTS
alongside the regime.

Incidentally, while people like Raed and the Idlib civil resistance in
general were closer to the anti-HTS rebels in Idlib (ie, all of them except
HTS), due to HTS’s greater penchant for attempting repression, they were by
no means proxies for Ahrar or anyone else, even the FSA, and definitely not
for Turkey. Actually, the civil movement tended to be very critical of the
Russia-Turkey-Iran Astana process, in this sense their criticisms
paralleled HTS’s own criticisms, whereas the Turkish-backed front
hesitantly supported it.

“4) Finally: as sad as this killing is, let us not forget that, in this
year alone, about 390 people have been assassinated in Idlib. The majority
of them affiliated to HTS. Why is there no outcry about this?”
Good point, these killings should be condemned. Not sure if it is Assad
agents or Turkish agents behind these killings.


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