‘Syrian rebels, not the Assad government, have motive to use chemical weapons’
The US statement on Syrian plans to use chemical weapons is to see how far they could push before Iran reacts. Then we will have a war against Iran which the administration in Washington seems to want, says former CIA officer Philip Giraldi.
The US government has accused the Syrian government of planning a chemical weapon attack and warned it would pay a heavy price for such a move.
Russia has condemned that threat as unacceptable.
RT: The State Department was asked about evidence to back up this allegation against Syria. No evidence was offered. Why is that, do you think?
Philip Giraldi: Particularly, in this case, you would be compelled to provide evidence because the only basis you have for this is allegations about a plan, apparently, and you are basing those allegations on a claim which is quite speculative that the government in Damascus was responsible for earlier attacks using chemical weapons. There is considerable debate as to whether the government was involved; indeed, the so-called rebels had much more motivation and controlled the area where these attacks took place.
RT: Do you think this is simply a pretext for further US military action against Syria?
PG: I was shocked when I read this account from this latest demarche from the US government. It is just shocking to have this presented in a way that the US government, which is in Syria illegally, is threatening the legal Syrian government and legal Syrian government allies Iran and Russia. It is almost like a provocation to see how far they could push this in the hope that maybe the Iranians would react in some way and then maybe we will have a war against Iran, which this administration in Washington seems to be well set on.
RT: Russia has condemned the threat as unacceptable. And Sergey Lavrov urged Rex Tillerson to avoid provocations in Syria. Do you think the US will listen to those concerns?
PG: I think the problem is that the State Department is not really in the loop on a lot of this stuff. The reporting here in the US has certainly been that both the State and Defense Departments knew nothing about this latest commentary coming out of the White House, about how there would be a harsh response, and also tying in Iran and Russia with the Syrian government. They seem to have known little or nothing. And the claim that we are engaging in negotiations to basically use diplomacy to resolve these issues, I think is a kind of a lie, too. There is no evidence that diplomacy is being used in any effective way.
RT: If it were true that Assad was planning a chemical attack, what could he stand to gain from that?
PG: Yes, that is the question of motive. Obviously, the Syrian government has no motive to use chemical weapons. It is winning the war without chemical weapons. And it is the rebels that have a considerable motive to use chemical weapons. Now that we made a statement coming out of the White House, you can bet that the rebels are trying to figure out a way to use chemical weapons and to blame it on the Syrian government.
RT: Why there is no international discussion about this?
PG: This is the great mystery, isn’t it? I think what we are seeing here in both Europe and the US is that the media and government are working hand in hand. This is a story that they’ve embraced, just like they’ve embraced ‘Russiagate.’ The fact is that they are not going to let it go. It is a given for the media and a given for the Western governments that Assad has used chemical weapons, even though the evidence has never been presented.
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