Wednesday, 5 December 2012

US trying to distract UN attention from Israel’s nuclear weapons: Analyst

A Damascus-based political analyst tells Press TV that the recent accusations by the US President Barack Obama regarding the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against the militants aim to distract the attention of the UN General Assembly from Israel’s nuclear facilities and weapons.

The comment comes as US President Barack Obama surmised that Damascus might have plans to use chemical weapons against foreign-backed militants in Syria. On Monday, Obama, whose country is accused of being a key member of an international coalition attempting to destabilize Syria, warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad not to use chemical weapons against the militants.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Tahsin al-Halabi, a political analyst from Damascus, to further talk over the issue.

The video also offers the opinions of two additional guests: Sharif Nashashibi, chairman of the Arab Media Watch in London, and James Jatras who is the former US Senate foreign policy analyst from Washington. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: We had Vladimir Putin saying in the news when he visited Turkey that Syria will never attack its neighbor and that these missiles will only lead to more tension. Now that decision has been made and NATO says it is going to send the missiles. Will they, do you think, lead to more tension?

al-Halabi: First of all, we should look at the declaration of Putin and the agreement with Turkey, if I might say, it is a kind of agreement that Russia would guarantee that Syria would not make any clash or war or act of war against Turkey.

    So such guarantee would mean that Turkey should stop all its hostile activities against Syria through the boundaries and through hosting those insurgents with their weapons and with their training.

So Putin was very clear and I think, in this [situation], Turkey would be the aggressor if any war would take place and I suppose that there is not any possibility for Turkey to make such a war or to start such a war against Syria unless NATO and the USA would make the comprehensive military intervention of certain Western powers against Syria.

Press TV: Mr. al-Halabi, how valid do you see the statement by the US and its allies that Syria actually possesses chemical weapons and could use them?

al-Halabi: I think this declaration of Obama and the NATO about the mass destruction weapons in Syria, its goal is going towards two points. One point is to distract the attention of the General Assembly decision that Israel should agree to receive a team of the nuclear international committee to check all the nuclear facilities in Israel, one point.

Second point, it is a kind of making a pretext in advance to frighten Syria to terrorize the Syrian regime in order to prepare for certain military intervention because Syria did not officially or in any occasion said that it has such chemical or mass destruction weapons.

Press TV: What do you think could be the aims behind a military intervention? I mean if military intervention does take place, where will it be to?

al-Halabi: I think the target of such military intervention has been declared from the beginning before two years or from the beginning of those insurgents’ actions in Syria.

    First of all, it would be for Israel very useful to get rid of such a regime in Syria that support the resistance and that its history of supporting the resistance made very painful and very harmful defeats to Israel in South Lebanon, in Gaza Strip and also in that kind of balance of power between Syria, Iran, the resistance and Israel.

I disagree with what my colleague said in Washington. Maybe the Israeli public would prefer certain stability for the regime of Bashar al-Assad as long as it can deal with a certain official government. But the government of Israel knew very well that any case, that any division, that any control of those fundamentalists in Syria, God forbidden, if they would topple the regime, it will be very useful to Israel.

Look at Morsi in Egypt. Morsi in Egypt is a Muslim Brother; nevertheless, it kept the same policy of Hosni Mubarak and more than this, it started to destroy all the tunnels that the factions in Gaza Strip would use for smuggling weapons and medicine and food.

Press TV: We have heard the Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi saying that surprising events are going to happen in Syria very soon and a lot of speculations have been made. Some have been saying is Assad going to resign? Are insurgents close to taking over Damascus and taking control of the international or airport? Or are we getting close to a military invasion? What are your thoughts?

al-Halabi: First of all, I would like to just quote Mr. [Burhan] Ghalyun, the first head of the opposition of the Syrian parties, when he said no more Hezbollah, no more Palestinian factions in Syria if the opposition would come to have the government. This is one point.

The second point: also the new insurgents’ opposition leadership declared the war against Hezbollah and the Shias and Iran. For this reason, it is very clear that if the insurgents would come and they are supported by the USA, Britain and France, how Britain and France would keep them to assist or help and support the Palestinian factions? It is incredible. It is insane.

So for this reason I think what Nabil al-Arabi said about all those things in Syria, first of all, let me remind you that in Haleb [Aleppo], there is an airport and Turkey brought thousands of insurgents with weapons from Turkey to Haleb and could not control the airport in Haleb.

So what about Damascus? In Damascus, I think there is no danger for the airport because in Haleb there are not really tens of thousands of insurgents coming from this base of Turkey for the insurgents inside Syria. I think and am sure that this leadership is targeted…

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