The US voices outrage at the Syrian Army’s success in clearing Syria’s largest city of Aleppo of anti-Damascus armed groups.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Sunday that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost all legitimacy by attacking the armed groups in the city.
This is while Syrian security forces are clearing more areas across the country of militants.
The United States has said it is enlarging its assistance to Syria's fractured opposition. Also, according to Reuters, the White House will soon authorize greater covert assistance to the armed gangs.
Washington has already thrown its support behind Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey for arming the Syrian opposition.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Professor Michael Chossudovsky, director of Center for Research on Globalization, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Heated statements by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, how do you perceive his comments?
Well, these are very strong statements because they accuse, they imply an accusation directed against President Bashar al-Assad to the effect that the Syrian government ordered these killings when, in fact, the Free Syrian Army - I’m talking about the killing of civilians - the Free Syrian Army is involved, and we know it, in terrorist activities right from day one for more than 16 months.
There’s ample documentation to the effect that the Free Syrian Army which is supported by NATO and the United States has committed unspoken atrocities against the civilian population; and this is documented - it’s even documented by the Vatican.
When the truth finally surfaces, it is not President Bashar al-Assad who should be held responsible but precisely the Obama administration and Leon Panetta. These are threats directed against a sovereign country.
I should mention another dimension. The feat of the Free Syrian Army, well the self-proclaimed Free Syrian Army, in Damascus and Aleppo is now leading the Western military alliance to a possible deployment of naval power and air power through the dispatch of aircraft carriers, both British and French, to the eastern Mediterranean which are scheduled through late summer.
This has already been announced by the British military defense and several voices have pointed to the fact that so-called humanitarian or armed Syria is contemplated beyond the support provided to the Free Syrian Army -- in other words, financing, training and military equipment which has been ongoing for several months.
Professor Chossudovsky, would you say that the manner in which the United States is conducting itself in the Syrian situation is a bit hypocritical when it calls for diplomacy on one hand, but on the other hand it’s facilitating the operation with arms and logistics; in addition to that, providing them with satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements?
I think there are no words to describe this. We could call it warship diplomacy. It’s the breakdown of international law.
They’re not satisfied with the United Nations Security Council resolutions because of the Chinese and Russian veto. So, there’s an impasse.
Now they are saying that if we cannot get it through the United Nations, all options on the table, and we are supporting a rebel force which is involved in criminal acts. They say it.
They say, yes, they are al-Qaeda. They are involved in terrorist acts. I have numerous quotations from official sources which acknowledge this.
They say, nonetheless, we go ahead and the objective is regime change.
Now they are contemplating a subsequent stage of this agenda which consists of deploying naval and air power, threatening Syria. I’m not suggesting necessarily this will lead to all out war but we are at a very, very dangerous crossroads.
Unfortunately, the broader public is mislead because the truth is being withheld as to the nature of this military intervention where the so-called Free Syrian Army are essentially the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. The Western military alliance is in the process of recruiting terrorists with the support of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
What are the implications of SNC Chief Abdel Basset Sayda visiting Iraqi Kurdistan? In the broader picture, what can the Kurdish regional government do for the fractured opposition of Syria?
We know that the regional government in northern Iraq is in effect very much “endeared” to Israel.
Israel has also been supporting Kurdish rebel factions in northern Syrian which are now, in fact, being trained with the support of the regional government in northern Kurdistan.
The objective of that relationship is ultimately, and it’s confirmed by Israeli sources, is the breakup of Syria as a sovereign nation. In other words, break up Syria along ethnic and sectarian lines.
The Kurdish separatist movement in northern Syria which is supported by the regional government in northern Iraq which in turn is supported by Israel, that is context with which we are in. All of which leads to a scenario either of regime change or the breaking up of Syria as a sovereign nation.
I should mention to conclude that the Western military alliance so far, it’s credibility is shattered; and its options even if it professes superior military strike force, it’s options are limited in relations to the Syrian government’s resolve and the Syrian people’s resolve to protect their country against foreign aggression.