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Greek Communists Protest US-led Syria Strikes, Deny Chemical Weapons Used

April 15, 2018

ATHENS – After Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece wouldn’t join NATO partners, protesters led by the Communist party rallied against airstrikes that hit Syria for using chemical weapons against its citizens, including children.

The KKE Communists, who have around 6 percent support in the country and have been politically irrelevant for decades, indicated they believed claims by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia that no chemical weapons were used and that the images and videos showing victims were faked, despite being verified by independent sources.

Tsipras, the Radical Left SYRIZA leader, wants NATO’s support against continued violations of Greek airspace and waters by Turkey, which is buying missile systems from Russia, who Tsipras has been trying to court.

The protesters gathered April 14 at Athens’ central Syntagma Square before marching to the U.S. Embassy, chanting anti-U.S. slogans and carrying banners. Some wrote on the pavement in red paint:

“Americans, murderers of people,” but didn’t denounce al-Assad for killing his own people.
Police vehicles barricaded access to the embassy and protesters left peacefully. KKE occasionally has rallies few outside their circles even notice, which don’t work and have seen the party stuck at the same level for scores of years.

KKE leader Dimitris Koutsoumbas, blasted Greek politicians for believing “flimsy excuses about a use of chemical weapons” by Syria, even though Greece didn’t take party the strikes that US President Donald Trump were aimed at “Animal Assad.” Koutsoumbas also criticized what he called Tsipras’ “subservience” to the European Union and NATO, as well as support for Israel.

He told the crowd “the imperialists once again spill the blood of the local people. They destroy and splinter states by using fabricated evidence,” disbelieving the videos shown around the world without saying how or why he thought they were faked and never happened.

Tsipras called French President Emmanuel Macron, who is trying to help the Greek leader get debt relief to say he wouldn’t in return, back France which took part in the strike by American, British and French forces against multiple Syrian targets

The Greek prime minister condemned the use of chemical weapons and said that the European Union needs to take decisive action towards a peaceful resolution, but stressed that Greece would not become involved in military operations in the war-torn country, asking others for helping without giving any.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

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