By FABIO BOSCO
The series of earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria on February 6th have already left more than 46,000 dead and millions homeless in the intense cold of winter. The center of the earthquakes was in Turkish territory where more than 40,000 people died, Syrian refugees among them. International aid has arrived but it is insufficient to save lives on a larger scale and to assist millions of homeless people.
In Syria 6000 people have died and there is a devastating humanitarian crisis. Among the areas affected are Syrian territories under the control of the regime and others outside the control of the regime of dictator Bashar el Assad: Idlib, Afrin and part of the Aleppo province.
Three problems with humanitarian aid
The first question is that basically only Arab countries sent aid to Syria and handed it over to the Syrian regime.
The second one is that, in areas controlled by the regime, only part of the aid has been delivered to the affected population. The other part was diverted to enrich the bourgeois sectors and the state apparatus linked to the dictator Bashar el Assad.
Thirdly, the very little aid did not arrive in time to rescue people under the rubble in areas beyond the regime’s control. In addition, the main help came from Syrian families from the city of Deir az-Zour in eastern Syria who sent eight trucks with supplies, cold weather clothing and tents. The international aid that arrived via Türkiye was made by just six trucks. And the Syrian regime has not sent anything and has not opened any internal crossings into Syrian territory, only on the border between Türkiye and Syria with a 10-day delay.
The three military forces occupying the country: Russia, Iran, and the United States sent nothing. It is worth remembering that the three occupying countries are major producers of oil, the main product that is lacking to guarantee heating for homes, but they did not send any. If each of them sent just one oil tanker with fuel, it would be enough to guarantee the heating of all those affected until the end of winter.
Out with foreign troops! Down with the Assad regime!
The Assad regime, its Russian and Iranian backers, and the U.S. imperialism are impediments to large-scale humanitarian aid.
It’s time to help the millions of homeless people and, at the same time, restart the campaign to expel foreign troops and overthrow dictator Bashar el Assad. A workers’ and peasants’ government is needed to assist the homeless and rebuild the country’s economy on socialist foundations.
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