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23 Nov, 2016 13:50

‘Obama administration searching for casus belli in Syria before Trump takes over’

‘Obama administration searching for casus belli in Syria before Trump takes over’

Claims by the White House about what the Russian and Syrian government are doing are becoming highly speculative, emotive and without any real evidence to back them up, says Greg Copley, president of the International Strategic Studies Association.

According to the US State Department, Russia is responsible for anything the Syrian regime's doing, so can be blamed for all manner of things.

The State Department has accused Moscow of allegedly attacking Syrian hospitals and insists the information comes from credible sources.

RT: Washington says Russia is always guilty simply because it's backing Assad - what's your take on such a 'guilty by association' policy?

Gregory Copley: It is becoming more and more ludicrous by the day. What we do see is that the Obama administration is moving as fast as it can to create a casus belli for the US to get militarily involved directly in Syria and in Yemen before it leaves office. We see the growth of unsubstantiated claims by the State Department in particular and attempts to bring the US into a direct confrontation as it continues its claim that the Syrian government is the cause of all the problems. We can expect to see this escalate continuingly until January 20. The Trump transition team is resisting the urge to allow both the Obama administration and some Republican hawks like Senator John McCain to get the US militarily involved in these adventures. The Trump administration is now looking to play this down, it is looking to find solutions to this. And frankly, I think this is becoming evident to a lot of people that the Obama administration’s claims about what the Russian government and the Syrian government are allegedly doing are becoming highly speculative, emotive and without any real evidence to back them up.

To cite the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which may intend to do well, but as a ‘credible source’ doesn’t amount to credible intelligence. All these are allegations. And we know that all of the external bodies, including the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, are relying on very tainted information sources. So, I wouldn’t put a lot of credibility on their statements or particularly on the State Department. I think this is an outrageous situation. There are a lot of even former State Department officials are decrying the lack of professionalism here.

If you look at the number of allegations that have been made against the Syrian and Russian forces in the region, none of these hospitals would be left standing the number of times the State Department has alleged that they have been attacked. And we have to remember also - as with the chemical attacks - there are a lot of false flag attacks by the Islamist groups, particularly those controlled by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. We saw the Ghouta attack in 2013 in the suburbs of Damascus claiming to be a Syrian government chemical attack which was nothing but a pre-placed Saudi-built sarin device. We are seeing those sorts of things going on again today.

RT: In the past couple of months Washington's gone from blatant accusations to basing these allegations on various sources, however, questionable these sources are. Why such change in rhetoric?

GC: I don’t think there has been a change in rhetoric. I think we’ve seen the Obama White House pushing harder and harder to get the US involved in the war in Syria, which it was complicit and starting, particularly with the Turkish, Qatari and Saudi government to try to promote the idea of an Arab Spring in Syria. It created a civil war and kept it alive by feeding in weapons and fighters from outside to keep this war going. The Obama administration tried in 2013 to get Syria to cross the red line and do something which would evoke a US military response. That failed. But the Obama administration has not ever given up on that objective.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.