Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Morning Star Hails Alepo ‘Liberation’.

with 18 comments


Galloway has added his own unique claim that ISIS was in Aleppo…..

This is  the latest, a careful and sober report of what’s happening.

Asma Ajroudi. Al Jazeera.

As the Syrian government forces, backed by allies, inch closer to a decisive victory in the ravaged rebel stronghold of east Aleppo, t he impending fall of the city to regime forces would be the biggest setback for rebels since the conflict broke out in 2011.

It could also mark the start of a wider military shift that sets the course of the war in the Syrian regime’s favour.

In less than a month, Syrian troops, with unfettered Russian air support, were able to recapture 90 percent of the eastern part of Aleppo. On Monday, the Syrian army claimed that 98 percent of east Aleppo was in the hands of regime forces.

Reports also indicate a massive exodus of people to either remaining rebel-held districts or government-controlled areas in the western part of Aleppo. The Russian Defence Ministry claimed that 13,346 civilians had left rebel-held areas in the past 24 hours, and 728 rebels laid down their arms and surrendered.

The United Nations human rights office had warned on Friday that hundreds of men have “gone missing” after crossing into regime-controlled areas of Aleppo as Russian and Syrian air strikes continue to pound the city.

The Independent reports,

UN chief warns of ‘atrocities against large number of civilians’ in Aleppo.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has raised alarm over “reports of atrocities against a large number of civilians, including women and children” in Aleppo, his spokesman said.

Syria’s army, loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, are reportedly close to capturing all of east Aleppo which has been a rebel stronghold in the country’s civil war.

Residents in the besieged areas of the city have described the situation as “doomsday”, with many unable to flee the fighting.

Le Monde carries this as its lead-story:

Syrie : l’ONU alerte sur des exécutions sommaires commises dans Alep par des forces pro-Assad

Le commissariat de l’ONU aux droits de l’homme s’appuie sur plusieurs témoignages en provenance de la partie est d’Alep, qui subit une terrible offensive depuis quatre semaines.


It is extremely unwise to talk of ‘liberation’ in these conditions – to say the least.

The French left group Ensemble says, Solidarité avec le peuple syrien, avec son combat pour la paix, la justice et la liberté !

  • L’arrêt immédiat de tous les bombardements et la levée des sièges des villes. ( An immediate stop to bombing, and raising the siege of cities and towns).
  • Une mobilisation internationale pour apporter une aide humanitaire massive aux populations. (World-wide efforts to bring humanitarian aid to the Syrian people).
  •  Le départ de Syrie de toutes les armées et milices étrangères.(All foreign armies and militias should leave Syria.)

Written by Andrew Coates

December 13, 2016 at 1:02 pm

18 Responses

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  1. “The Fall of East Aleppo is a heavy defeat for the Syrian people and their revolution.”

    what revolution? ISIS have been defeated! You don’t know who you’re supporting with your make believe revolution.

    Victory to Assad!

    This is why the AWL needs to be expelled from the Labour Party!


    December 13, 2016 at 2:22 pm

  2. Labour have spend days trashing Tatchell whilst genocide is happening and made up spin to do so. Me > http://paulocanning.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/how-labour-trashed-tatchell-not-assad.html

    Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

    December 13, 2016 at 4:32 pm

  3. Unions like Unite must seriously reconsider their funding of the filthy, lying Stalinist rag, the Morning Star.

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2016 at 4:45 pm

  4. Tomorrow’s Morning Star as imagined by me.

    John Rogan

    December 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm

  5. This is also worth nothing: Barbara Speed.

    There was no excuse for the Morning Star’s front page on Aleppo’s ‘liberation’

    Horrifying accounts filled social media yesterday, as the civilians of the last stronghold of rebels in East Aleppo sent pleas and final messages out to the world. Civilians – women, children, medics – were reportedly being executed by pro-Assad forces.

    Other voices piped up, claiming that these reports from terrified Syrians, and the warning by UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon of possible “atrocities” taking place in Aleppo, and the Red Cross’s statement about a “deepening humanitarian catastrophe”, were mere propaganda.

    Footage circulated (Note: See Comment by leading member of the British Communist Party on this Blog) of Syrians celebrating in Aleppo at the impending government victory. Then there was the Morning Star, a socialist daily tabloid. Its front page declared the near-“liberation” of Aleppo this morning, while other publications raised the possibility that “massacres” were being committed there. (Social media was quick to pick up on the fact that when the Berlin wall fell, the paper ran with “GDR unveils reforms package” as its front page splash.)

    The reports coming out of East Aleppo last night are the worst we’ve seen in this conflict. Reporters who have followed the Syrian conflict through thick and thin called it a “window into hell“. The politics became irrelevant: something seemed to be happening the likes of which we always hope we’ll never see again, but do, in Rwanda, in Cambodia, and now, perhaps, in Aleppo.

    So yes, in one way, the Morning Star’s assertion that “liberation is in sight” for Aleppo makes sense: it is a partisan paper, and it has deemed than Assad victory is, for now, the best outcome. Many others agree.

    But it ignores the rest of the story – what is, for the world, the main story – which is a potentially huge and uncalled for loss of human life, verified by more and more reports from reputable agencies. It’s like running with “warmer seas for all”, without mentioning climate change.

    Or “worthwhile discussions about sexual violence held all over the United States”, without citing the misogynistic president-elect who inspired them. Make no mistake: this is a war, which we wish weren’t necessary, and in this particular conflict it is hard to throw in your hat with any of the opposing sides. But there is still morality, even in war.

    As the Red Cross has said: “A deepening humanitarian catastrophe and further loss of life can be averted [in Aleppo] only if the basic rules of warfare – and of humanity – are applied.”

    Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/aleppo-morning-star-no-excuse/

    Andrew Coates

    December 13, 2016 at 5:17 pm

  6. Nick Wright quotes RT as if it is an actual, proper news source. It isn’t.

    Meanwhile, the BBC carry reports of arbitrary executions of civilians, backed up by evidence from the UNs human rights office:


    I do wonder what is behind the disdain for universal human rights on the regressive left. A penchant for expressions of a purported “greater good” at the expense of the individual? A hatred of the west so deep that leads to excuses for a variety of tyrants? Or a genuine affection for the macho hardman against the “limp” liberal?

    alex ross

    December 13, 2016 at 6:11 pm

  7. This is civil war. They’re generally the most brutal and vicious of all wars. The “rules of warfare” and of “humanity” rarely apply in civil war. Here in the west, the cheerleaders for all sides in this conflict bear their share of the responsibility for the humanitarian catastrophe. That includes the brain-dead “revolutionaries” who cheered on the “Syrian people’s revolution”. If you play with “revolution”, if you take on forces who have everything to lose by being humane, and nothing to lose by being brutal, this is what you get. Assad did not want to meet Gaddafi’s fate. Nobody should be surprised by that.


    December 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm

  8. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

    December 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm

  9. Say the people who think that Russian hackers swung the EU referendum. Alex Ross quotes the BBC as if it were an actual, proper news source. It isn’t.

    There is much castigation of the Morning Star for its coverage of Aleppo. But it is unique among national newspapers in having opposed every British military intervention of the last 20 years. The best that can be said of the war in Sierra Leone is that it failed to deliver any improvement. All of the others have been catastrophic. I say again that the Morning Star is the only national newspaper to have opposed each and every one of them.

    A small number of MPs is also in that venerable category. Of those, by far the most prominent today is Jeremy Corbyn. He even voted against the war in Libya, and how about that for civilian casualties? Only a handful of Labour MPs did that. But precisely one Conservative did so. One.

    Possibly more than anything else, the British Right now defines itself by reference to its having supported the wars of Clinton and Bush, Blair and Cameron. Russia and Iran can do no good in its eyes. Israel and the Gulf tyrannies, supremely Saudi Arabia, can do no evil. America was in the latter category, and it looks as if the next President might keep it there after all.

    The British Right is first and foremost the War Party, and it is very proud to be so, despite having been proved horrifically wrong over, and over, and over again. Against, which is the key point, Seumas Milne and Andrew Murray, Lindsey German and John Rees, Tariq Ali and John Pilger. Against Diane Abbott and John McDonnell, George Galloway and Ken Livingstone. Against Ken Loach and two million people, including the young Richard Burgon, on the streets of London in 2003. Against Dennis Skinner and Ronnie Campbell, the ghost of Tony Benn and the ghost of Michael Foot.

    Against the vulgar and presumptuous interference of organised labour in political affairs. Against the vulgar and presumptuous existence of organised labour at all, for it is not a coincidence that the hated rail unions are all stalwarts of the anti-war movement. Against Jeremy Corbyn and the Morning Star.

    The liberation of Aleppo is not a pretty sight. But what do you think that the liberation of, say, Paris looked like? A tea dance? Putin and Assad are bad. But their enemies are worse. Far, far, far worse. Those enemies are armed by Saudi Arabia, on occasion even fighting under its flag. In that full knowledge, Britain arms Saudi Arabia. The head-choppers, crucifiers and heart-excisers are armed by Britain.

    David Lindsay

    December 14, 2016 at 3:29 am

  10. If what’s happening in Aleppo is liberation then that word means nothing. And Assad and Putin’s enemies aren’t ISIS or al-Nusra — it’s ANYONE opposed to Assad’s fascist rule of Syria. That’s a lot of “ordinary” people. Who are getting slaughtered in unimaginable numbers.

    BTW — question for Andrew, Jim, any other principled democratic socialist on this blog. What exactly has Corbyn said about Assad and Syria? Because I’ve read contradictory reports.


    December 14, 2016 at 6:39 am

  11. Andrew Coates

    December 14, 2016 at 12:40 pm

  12. Today the Morning Star has come under attack for its use of the term “liberation” referring to the capture of eastern Aleppo by Syrian government forces after years of occupation by insurgent groups.

    As has been well documented by the Morning Star and other newspapers, the Syrian opposition is dominated by violent extremist sects, most notably Isis and al-Qaida affiliates.

    In East Aleppo these include Nour el-Din el-Zinki, which beheaded a 12-year-old boy earlier this year and posted a video of it online – as reported at the time in many British papers including the Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3697770/US-backed-Nour-al-Din-al-Zenki-behead-boy-accused-al-Quds-spy-Assad.html).

    There are no journalists in East Aleppo for the simple reason that Syrian opposition organisations cannot be trusted not to kidnap or behead reporters. As a result, many newspapers are taking at face value statements from the very groups they cannot trust with the lives of their journalists.

    These groups have also been responsible for using civilians as human shields and have gunned down residents who try to flee, as has been documented by columnists at other newspapers including Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn of the Independent.

    The capture of the eastern part of the city by government forces is preferable to its continued occupation by Islamist terrorists and is a step towards ending this terrible war, an ongoing outrage which is claiming thousands of innocent lives.


    Andrew Coates

    December 14, 2016 at 1:34 pm

  13. Reply to Jason, re Corbyn: as far as I’m aware he’s said *nothing* significant about Syria – which was why Peter Tatchell and Syria Solidarity UK protested during his speech on Saturday. Of course, in remaining silent on Syria, Corbyn is merely following the lead of his friends in Stop The War.

    Jim Denham

    December 14, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    • I can’t recall anything he’s said beyond platitudes either.

      Andrew Coates

      December 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm

  14. Today the Russian propaganda machine put this out.

    Their UN Ambassador claimed that children were being covered in dust and filmed.

    To answer the Useful Idiot above:

    a/ the BBC would never do anything like this
    b/ the BBC is answerable to the British people

    Russian’s media war machine is not.

    Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

    December 14, 2016 at 10:04 pm

  15. Re: the cartoon above: if (say) the Daily Mail portrayed any Muslim like that, much of the UK left (including the Morning Star) would be up in arms screaming “Islamophobia!”

    Jim Denham

    December 14, 2016 at 11:55 pm

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