'Suspension of military aid to Syrian rebels is pure rhetoric'
RT:We are hearing that atrocities and cruelty have happened in Adra, where 80 people have been killed. In your experience is it taking the atrocities to a new level?
Michel Chossudovsky: We have to ask who is behind these atrocities. This is a new wave of killings; it is part of the humanitarian crisis. But we must understand that from the very outset of this conflict the Western military alliance has covertly supported the terrorists with a view of destabilizing Syria’s nation state. There's ample evidence to these facts that the United States, NATO and Israel are behind the rebels, and that these rebels are trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and then they come in and commit atrocities. The issue is who the underlying masters behind this humanitarian disaster are, what the geopolitical implications are, what the agenda is.
RT:In terms what’s been reported in Adra, there is very little mainstream media coverage of this, although we hear a lot about the alleged government attack on Aleppo recently. Why, do you think, that is?
MC: I can’t address this issue. The issue I’d like to address is the fact that in the recent weeks there has been an important shift in the relationship between the US government on the one hand and what is now being presented as the New Islamic Front. We see now that the United States is, in fact, negotiating and establishing a dialogue with the leaders of these terrorist organizations. There is also a possibility that the aid to Al-Nusra, to the jihadist groups involved in these atrocities will be channeled not through the Syrian Free Army, which is in disarray following the ransack of its headquarters, and the fact that General [Salim] Idris has, in fact, resigned and he is no longer in command.
RT:But negotiating is a way forward, isn't it?
MC: Well, you don’t negotiate with terrorists, but in this particular case the people who are dialoguing with the terrorists, they have blood on their hands because they have facilities to train these mercenaries in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They have provided funding; they have not provided a significant level of funding to the so-called moderate opposition forces, opposition brigades. And these moderate opposition brigades, in fact, are a myth. Most of the military, logistical and financial aid has been channeled to these Al-Qaeda affiliated organizations. That’s what we have to address. There can be no peace as long as the West military alliance supports terrorists.
RT:Shouldn't we be concerned that even though the US has now suspended all lethal and non-lethal aid to the Syrian rebels, but by now, these hard-line groups have already received some weapons?
MC: The suspension of military aid to rebels is pure rhetoric. We now have evidence that in the face of the defeat of rebel forces by the Syrian government forces and the pacification of large parts of the country the western military alliance and its Persian Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are now envisaging the recruitment of a new wave of Al-Qaeda brigades which they are sending in. There's a very disturbing report from Saudi Arabia to the fact that prisoners in Saudi Arabian prisons who are charged with criminal offences are being released on condition that they join the mercenary forces going into Syria. So in fact what's happening is that the rebels have in large part been defeated but they are now being replenished by a new influx of rebels that are being recruited, trained and sent into it to commit atrocities. And we cannot under any circumstances dismiss the role of the Western military alliance, NATO, Turkey, the United States and Israel in supporting these so-called freedom fighters. We know even that Israel has provided a safe haven in the Golan Heights for the Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels.
RT:There are deep divisions within the rebel forces on the ground. What impact could this have on the conflict?
MC: There are divisions on the ground and there is also division between what we might describe as the civilian society opposition both inside Syria and outside it, in exile, and what is happening on the ground, in the war theatre. But I should mention that the so-called moderate opposition forces, from my stand point, are virtually non-existent from the military stand point, that the only force which has funding, weapons and financial backing are the other Islamists, particularly Al-Nusra, and these rebel brigades are the ones who are committing atrocities. Now the divisions are occurring precisely because segments of the opposition realize that these terrorist brigades will not belong to the so-called opposition movement. And increasingly among Syrians both in Syria and overseas there's realization that this is not a civil war, this is a war of aggression. And people now realize this because they have information on the fact that these terrorists have been recruited by NATO, by the Turkish high command, in liaison with the United States. And it was even documented back in 2011 that a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in the Middle East countries and in the Muslim world was actually launched, and it was coordinated between Brussels and Ankara, in other worlds between NATO and the Turkish high command. Since then things have evolved. But what we must understand is that the Western military alliance is not fighting terrorism, it is in fact supporting the terrorists.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.