Russian Foreign Ministry: Chemical Weapons in Syria Just a Pretext for US Military Intervention
Aug. 22, 2012 (LPAC)–President Obama’s “red line” for attacking
Syria, that is, Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, is seen in
Moscow as little more than a pretext for US military
intervention. A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told
Kommersant Daily that this secnario is considered very probable.
“Our Western partners and Israel have recently made such
statements,” the source said. “We believe they can follow up on
these threats.” That this may have been a topic of discussion
between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a Syrian
delegation in Moscow, led by Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil,
was suggested by comments that Jamil made to reporters after the
meeting. “The West is looking for an excuse for direct
intervention,” he said. “If this excuse does not work, it will
look for another excuse.” Jamil also spoke against Western
military intervention, warning that it could ignite a regional
conflict. “Those who are contemplating this, evidently want to
see the crisis expand beyond Syria’s borders,” he said.
Kommersant’s source also reported that the Russian
government is actively working with Syrian authorities to make
sure that those weapons stay safe. The Foreign Ministry has
concluded from its dialogue with the Syrians, that the Assad
regime has no intention of using those weapons, and is capable of
keeping them under control. At the same time, Russian diplomatic
sources say, the U.S. is pressuring the Syrian opposition to also
stay away from the stores of chemical weapons. “Opposition groups
are listening to them [the U.S.] and are not making any attempts
to seize chemical weapons,” one diplomatic source said. “This
indicates that the West can have very specific influence on
Asad’s opponents when it wants to.”
The problem, of course, is that the U.S. doesn’t actually
control all of the elements that oppose the Assad government.
“These are primarily groups linked to al-Qaeda,” the source said.
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