Following August 3 Statement by the Chairman of the UN Security Council directed against Syria, Moscow’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin [above] warned of the dangers of military escalation. Rogozin said: “NATO is planning a military campaign against Syria to help overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad with a long-reaching goal of preparing a beachhead for an attack on Iran… “[This statement] means that the planning [of the military campaign] is well underway. It could be a logical conclusion of those military and propaganda operations, which have been carried out by certain Western countries against North Africa,” In an interview with the Izvestia newspaper, the Russian diplomat pointed out at the fact that the alliance is aiming to interfere only with the regimes “whose views do not coincide with those of the West.”
DANGEROUS CROSSROADS: WAR ON SYRIA. BEACHHEAD FOR AN ATTACK ON IRAN
by Michel Chossudovsky
Following the August 3 Statement by the Chairman of the UN Security Council directed against Syria, Moscow’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin warned of the dangers of military escalation:
“NATO is planning a military campaign against Syria to help overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad with a long-reaching goal of preparing a beachhead for an attack on Iran,…
“[This statement] means that the planning [of the military campaign] is well underway. It could be a logical conclusion of those military and propaganda operations, which have been carried out by certain Western countries against North Africa,” Rogozin said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper… The Russian diplomat pointed out at the fact that the alliance is aiming to interfere only with the regimes “whose views do not coincide with those of the West.”
Rogozin agreed with the opinion expressed by some experts that Syria and later Yemen could be NATO’s last steps on the way to launch an attack on Iran.
“The noose around Iran is tightening. Military planning against Iran is underway. And we are certainly concerned about an escalation of a large-scale war in this huge region,” Rogozin said.
Having learned the Libyan lesson, Russia “will continue to oppose a forcible resolution of the situation in Syria,” he said, adding that the consequences of a large-scale conflict in North Africa would be devastating for the whole world. “Beachhead for an Attack on Iran”: NATO is planning a Military Campaign against Syria, Novosti, August 5, 2011)
A scenario of an attack on Syria is currently on the drawing board, involving French, British and Israeli military experts. According to former the Commander of the French Air Force (chef d’Etat-Major de l’Armée de l’air) General Jean Rannou, “a NATO strike to disable the Syrian army is technically feasible”:
“Nato member countries would begin by using satellite technology to spot Syrian air defences. A few days later, warplanes, in larger numbers than Libya, would take off from the UK base in Cyprus and spend some 48 hours destroying Syrian surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and jets. Alliance aircraft would then start an open-ended bombardment of Syrian tanks and ground troops.
The scenario is based on analysts in the French military, from the specialist British publication Jane’s Defence Weekly and from Israel’s Channel 10 TV station.
The Syrian air force is said to pose little threat. It has around 60 Russian-made MiG-29s. But the rest – some 160 MiG-21s, 80 MiG-23s, 60 MiG-23BNs, 50 Su-22s and 20 Su-24MKs – is out of date.
….”I don’t see any purely military problems. Syria has no defence against Western systems … [But] it would be more risky than Libya. It would be a heavy military operation,” Jean Rannou, the former chief of the French air force, told EUobserver. He added that action is highly unlikely because Russia would veto a UN mandate, Nato assets are stretched in Afghanistan and Libya and Nato countries are in financial crisis. (Andrew Rettman, Blueprint For NATO Attack On Syria Revealed, Global Research, August 11, 2011)
THE BROADER MILITARY ROAD MAP
While Libya, Syria and Iran are part of the military roadmap, this strategic deployment if it were to carried out would also threaten China and Russia. Both countries have investment, trade as well as military cooperation agreements with Syria and Iran. Iran has observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Escalation is part of the military agenda. Since 2005, the US and its allies, including America’s NATO partners and Israel, have been involved in the extensive deployment and stockpiling of advanced weapons systems. The air defense systems of the US, NATO member countries and Israel are fully integrated.
THE ROLE OF ISRAEL AND TURKEY
Both Ankara and Tel Aviv are involved in supporting an armed insurgency. These endeavors are coordinated between the two governments and their intelligence agencies.
Israel’s Mossad, according to reports, has provided covert support to radical Salafi terrorist groups, which became active in Southern Syria at the outset of protest movement in Daraa in mid-March. Reports suggest that financing for the Salafi insurgency is coming from Saudi Arabia. (See Syrian army closes in on Damascus suburbs, The Irish Times, May 10, 2011).
The Turkish government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan is supporting Syrian opposition groups in exile while also backing the armed rebels of the Muslim Brotherhood in Northern Syria.
Both the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) (whose leadership is in exile in the UK) and the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir (the Party of Liberation) are behind the insurrection. Both organizations are supported by Britain’s MI6. The avowed objective of both MB and Hizb-ut Tahir is ultimately to destabilize Syria’s secular State. (See Michel Chossudovsky, SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention”, Global Research, May 3, 2011).
In June, Turkish troops crossed the border into northern Syria, officially to come to the rescue of Syrian refugees. The government of Bashar Al Assad accused Turkey of directly supporting the incursion of rebel forces into northern Syria:
“A rebel force of up to 500 fighters attacked a Syrian Army position on June 4 in northern Syria. They said the target, a garrison of Military Intelligence, was captured in a 36-hour assault in which 72 soldiers were killed in Jisr Al Shoughour, near the border with Turkey.
“We found that the criminals [rebel fighters] were using weapons from Turkey, and this is very worrisome,” an official said.
This marked the first time that the Assad regime has accused Turkey of helping the revolt. … Officials said the rebels drove the Syrian Army from Jisr Al Shoughour and then took over the town. They said government buildings were looted and torched before another Assad force arrived. …
A Syrian officer who conducted the tour said the rebels in Jisr Al Shoughour consisted of Al Qaida-aligned fighters. He said the rebels employed a range of Turkish weapons and ammunition but did not accuse the Ankara government of supplying the equipment.” (Syria’s Assad accuses Turkey of arming rebels, TR Defence, Jun 25 2011)
Denied by the Western media, foreign support to Islamist insurgents, which have “infiltrated the protest movement”, is, nonetheless, confirmed by Western intelligence sources. According to former MI6 officer Alistair Crooke (and high level EU adviser): “two important forces behind events [in Syria] are Sunni radicals and Syrian exile groups in France and the US. He said the radicals follow the teaching of Abu Musab Zarqawi, a late Jordanian Islamist, who aimed to create a Sunni emirate in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria called Bilad a-Sham. They are experienced urban guerillas who fought in Iraq and have outside finance. They infilitrate protests to attack Assad forces, as in Jisr al-Shagour in June, where they inflicted heavy casualties.” (Andrew Rettman, Blueprint For NATO Attack On Syria Revealed, Global Research, August 11, 2011, emphasis added).
The former MI6 official also confirms that Israel and the US are supporting and financing the terrorists: “Crooke said the exile groups aim to topple the anti-Israeli [Syrian] regime. They are funded and trained by the US and have links to Israel. They pay Sunni tribal chiefs to put people on the streets, work with NGOs to feed uncorroborated stories of atrocities to Western media and co-operate with radicals in the hope that escalating violence will justify Nato intervention. (Ibid, emphasis added).
Political factions within Lebanon are also involved. Lebanese intelligence has confirmed the covert shipment of assault rifles and automatic weapons to Salafi fighters. The shipment was carried out by Saudi-backed Lebanese politicians.
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