Forces opposed to the Syrian government have accused Bashar Assad of using poison gas against civilians in Damascus, killing 1300, while the Syrian government has rejected such a claim. This issue has turned into a good excuse to consider resorting to the military option in Syria. In an interview with Iranian Diplomacy, Amir Mousavi, an analyst of defense and strategic issues, believes that the US and its western allies will not carry out a military attack on Syria and will rather use Iran’s influence on the Assad government to end the crisis.
Can the chemical attacks which have occurred near Damascus lead to the US resorting to the military option and does Washington basically have the capability to militarily intervene in Syria under today’s chaotic conditions in the region?
The US needs a few excuses to intervene militarily. In other words, the US is assessing the situation and preparing itself. Therefore, if the ground is prepared, the US will then take such a measure. The US has usually pursued such a policy in the past where it sets several options on the table. Different excuses, such as the use of chemical weapons, the security of the Zionist regime and support for organizations which the US considers as terrorist like Hezbollah, have always existed and the US coordinates different options based on these excuses.
But at the present time, the conditions for a military intervention do not exist and the US is assessing the situation in Lebanon and Egypt and waiting to see what the future holds for Lebanon and if the army can contain the movements of the Muslim Brotherhood and the terrorists who are in the Sinai Desert. If new conditions are created which would lead to a threat against the security of the Zionist regime, then it seems that the US would consider its options to create developments in the region which would be to the benefit of the Zionist regime. On the other hand, the US, through psychological war, shows itself to be ready to enter into a war with Syria.
Can it be said that the Libya scenario will be repeated in Syria?
The situation in Libya was completely different because this country was surrounded from inside and outside. This is while the same situation does not exist in Syria and its neighbors like Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and also Iran, which supports the people of Syria and the line of resistance in the region, will not easily allow such conditions to be created in Syria. The US knows well through experience that when Iran is against an issue, it cannot advance its objectives, as was the case in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus, it seems that the situation in Syria is different from Libya, for in the case of Libya, Algeria and Egypt did not help while Syria’s neighbors such as Lebanon and Iraq are totally different.
If a war starts in Syria, it will be much more complicated than what happened in Libya. Another important issue of difference between these two countries is the presence of Israel as Syria’s neighbor where the chaos and conflict in Damascus might spread to. Therefore, the freedom of action which existed in Libya will not exist in Syria; hence the conditions in these two countries are different from each other.
If the US initiates this war, will the European countries or other regional opponents of Bashar Assad also be involved in it?
If a military intervention is to take place in Syria, a widespread alliance will be formed where, besides the Zionist regime and the US and the EU, the Persian Gulf littoral states and the Takfiri groups will become allies, and this is completely contrary to what we observed in Iraq, meaning that the Takfiri groups were against intervening in Iraq, but this time they will be in line with the intervention of the US and Israel and some Persian Gulf littoral states and have planned for it. Right now many of the injured members of al-Nusra and the Syrian opposition are being treated in the Occupied Palestine. In fact, this is a cooperation to create friendship between the Syrian opposition and the Zionist regime. This is while such an alliance did not exist at the time of the attacks against Iraq and even Afghanistan. Therefore, it must be reiterated that a widespread coalition will be formed against Syria which could lead to the occurrence of another world war. The reason is that Syria’s friends will not remain silent and an all-out war will be formed in the region.
In the case of Libya, Turkey opposed the military option but in the case of Syria, Turkey has always stressed the need to resort to a military or semi-military option. Will Turkey be a member of this alliance for military intervention?
This could well be the case because Turkey demands the intervention of NATO and the US and if such a thing happens, Turkey will participate fully as a member of NATO and a serious enemy of Syria. Right now the situation is completely different from that of Iraq. As you may remember, during the Iraq war, Erdogan stated from the beginning that although Turkey is a member of NATO, it would not get involved in this war. But today Turkey demands NATO’s involvement.
It must be reiterated that the western parties and the US are not seriously willing to enforce these threats; many of them rather believe that this issue must remain at the level of threats and a symbolic alliance and it seems impossible that they would pursue this path, unless the conditions reach point zero. If the western parties and the US intend to attack, they will prove the usage of chemical weapons even if it is not true and declare that the government of Syria has used chemical weapons, thus, they would have an excuse to intervene militarily in Syria.
The US Navy has decided to keep the USS Mahan in the Middle East. How would you analyze this decision? Does the US intend only to threaten the government of Syria with such a measure?
I believe that it is impossible for the US to attack. With regard to these decisions, it can be said that perhaps the US wants to exert pressure on Russia in order to follow up on the domestic situation in Syria and the Geneva-2 conference. It can be predicted that conditions will move towards dialogue.
The US knows that, with the presence of Hassan Rohani as Iran’s president, the region can resolve many of these dossiers through dialogue and political solutions. Yesterday, Rohani strongly condemned the usage of chemical weapons. Therefore, it seems that diplomatic opportunities still exist and the invitations sent to Zarif demonstrate the search for a major solution in the region and not only with regard to Iran. Under its new conditions and after the election, Iran can be an effective and helpful element in solving many regional issues without war and bloodshed. If a political understanding is established between the West and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the ground will then be prepared for new diplomatic efforts.
Considering the fact that Iran’s position with regard to Syria has not changed and the international community recognizes Iran as one of the staunch supporters of the government of Bashar Assad, is it possible that Iran might be invited to solve the crisis in Syria?
Yes, it seems that a change has occurred on the other side and the opposition groups are hopeful about Hassan Rohani’s presence. Most probably, many of these groups will accept the Iranian president’s efforts to act as a mediator and some of them, especially those who reside in Istanbul, have already sent messages in this regard. Therefore, it seems that good relations have been established between the foreign ministers of Iran and Turkey. There is the possibility that a plan could be proposed by Iran to attract Syria’s opposition groups, leading to a political solution. Right now, the western countries know well that the military option will not be the ultimate solution and, even if Bashar Assad is overthrown, the future of Syria will be uncertain and an all-out civil war and terrorist actions will be spread in the entire region.
It seems that Iran and Turkey have begun important efforts and knowing that, the western countries have already invited Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, to visit the European capitals and important meetings will be held on the sidelines of Rohani’s trip to New York and the conditions are moving in favor of diplomacy.
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