‘Syria strikes are beginning of broader renewed US military campaign in Mid East’
RT:According to reports the US military is planning to attack up to 20 targets. These strikes are being carried out without the Syrian government's approval. What could the ramifications of that be?
Abayomi Azikiwe: They do not recognize the government in Damascus as being legitimate - they have been saying this for over three years. This is why they are providing military, diplomatic, intelligence and financial support for the armed opposition groups in Syria. The ISIS was one of these groups, and in fact, objectively the US has created these conditions in which the Islamic State has spread its influence to other region, and now they are turning right back around and engage in this type of air bombardments. It’s the direct result of the contradictions and failures of the US foreign policy in both Iraq, as well as Syria.
RT:Iran and Russia say that no operation should be launched without authorization from President Assad. What kind of international ramifications can we expect?
AA: Clearly the Obama Administration is going to have to answer not only two or various international and regional powers in the Middle East and in Asia, but they also are going to have to answer to the public opinion here in the US, as well as around the world. Thirteen months ago the Obama Administration had plans to engage in bombings in Syria, but due to the outpouring of opposition in the US and within the UN they were not allowed to go forward with their plans.
Building up ISIS as what they described as “the worst terrorist organization” they have ever seen provides them with the rational to engage in these types of airstrikes as well as ground operations. It’s quite obvious, based upon the testimony of the top-ranking US military officials last week before the US Congress, they are recommending ground troops to a greater degree to be deployed against so-called IS forces in northern Iraq. So I think this is just a beginning of the much broader renewed US military campaign in that region.
RT:President Obama earlier planned to address the UN in order to drum up support for military action against Islamic State. Do you expect this to happen after already launching the campaign? And are you surprise with such a behavior?
AA: Not at all. At the recent NATO summit that was held in Wales, there was an attempt to put together so-called new coalition of the willing, where 10 imperialist states and their allies committed to escalate military activity in Iraq as well as in eastern Ukraine. So this is a consorted effort led by the US and the Obama Administration to, in fact, reengage militarily with Iraq and also create conditions for the further destabilization of the government in Syria.
They do not recognize Bashar Assad as the President of Syria, and therefore, they have said on many occasions that they want to overthrow his government. This provides them with a further opportunity to increase hostilities inside of Syria. We have seen what is going on right now in regard to the movement of refugees across the border into Turkey and this will escalate as the result of these air bombardments that are carried out by the US and its allies.
RT:Would you expect the international community to react on that and provide extra humanitarian aid for refugees in that region?
AA: To a certain extent we will see that, but at present the humanitarian organizations even those that work within the rubric of the UN are stretched. There was report issued just earlier this year under the UN refugee program that says today throughout the world there are more refugees than in any other times since the conclusion of WWII. And they cited various geopolitical reasons, one of which was Syria, also the current situation in Somalia and there were other areas like Afghanistan and Central Asia. These are all wars that have been financed, directed and coordinated by the US.
The US government, if we look at it objectively is responsible for a lot of internally-displaced persons, refugees, and this problem is burgeoning throughout the world. That is going to be very difficult for the humanitarian organizations to effectively respond to this crisis because there is not enough resources and you can’t have the situation where on the one hand, you have the NATO countries that are increasing hostilities that are engaging in offensive operations, that are attempting to control larger sections of the international community. You cannot have that - it doesn’t coincide with having effective humanitarian efforts related to all of these countries.
RT:How long this intervention in Syria will go on for?
AA: It will continue as until the international forces in favor of peace and genuine security can mobilize and organize to in fact politically drawback the US, Pentagon and NATO. This is a question of the Obama Administration continuing what the Bush Administration was involved in during the entire tenure of his administration. And what is the only distinction? The only distinction is that when Obama came into office he said he was going to seize US military hostilities in Iraq, and in fact, what has happened now is that they have resumed and they have been spread into Syria as well. So this is really an escalation of the US and NATO militarism under this current administration.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.