Tel Aviv is trying to pave the way for a US-led foreign intervention in Syria by accusing Damascus of using chemical weapons. This is the same excuse, the weapons of mass destruction, that pro-Israeli neocon circles used in 2003 to launch the Iraq war. Later, this claim proved to be a lie as many experts from all over the world had warned in advance. For its part, Syria has denied that it has used chemical weapons. Syrian Information Minister was quoted as saying on 24 April that his country would not use this kind of weapons even in the event of war with its worst enemy, Israel.
On 15 April, head of Israel's Military Intelligence and former Head of the Institute for National Security, General Amos Yadlin, called for taking steps to break the axis of resistance - which consists of Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria - by weakening Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and ending his rule as soon as possible. The Channel 2 of the Israeli TV further quoted Yadlin as saying that “whoever that is not aware that the fall of Assad is a positive development for Israel, would be incapable of reading the situation correctly.”Yadlin added, in a statement at the conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INNS) in Tel Aviv, that he did not rule out a confrontation between Israel and Syria. However, he warned that it would be a tough war, because a war with the Syrian Army meant that Scud missiles, and maybe more advanced missiles, would hit Tel Aviv.” For his part, Brigadier General Itai Brun, head of the research and analysis division of Israeli military intelligence, said on April 24 that Syrian troops had probably used Sarin, a lethal nerve agent, against foreign-backed militants on several occasions in the past few months. Brun gave no indication that he had a solid evidence, such as soil samples, typically used to verify chemical weapons use. Significantly, he made the remarks as US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was ending a three-day visit to Israel focused on the Syrian crisis and Iran´s nuclear energy program. During his travel, Hagel rewarded Israel with a new whopping arms deal. The US has described any use of chemical weapons in Syria as a “red line”, which would probably lead to a military action. However, the US and its Western allies remained silent when the sole real example of use of chemical weapons, which took place in the Khan al Assal village, in the Aleppo province, happened. This is hardly surprising because since the beginning of its efforts to promote a civil war in Syria, Washington has relied heavily on the extremist forces that used the chemical weapons, particularly the Al Nusra front, which has just declared its official allegiance to al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar have sent weapons to these groups, while Washington has been engaged in a covert operation to help radical militants from Libya and other nations go to Syria in order to fight against the Syrian government. Even worse, the UN, under US pressure, refused to investigate the Khan al-Assal incident and put it at the same level as unfounded allegations by armed groups that Syrian troops had used chemical weapons. Of course, no real evidence was supplied to back such claims either. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced that the US and its European allies had blocked an investigation into claims of chemical weapons use. “Instead of sending a group of experts to a concrete location near Aleppo, as it was promised,” Lavrov said, “they started demanding the Syrian authority give access to all facilities on Syrian territory. They started to require allowing them to interrogate all citizens on the territory of Syria. It is an attempt to politicize the issue and attempt to give the same requirements to Syria as were given to Iraq long ago, where nuclear weapons were looked for.” Israel pressure on the Obama administration Shortly after Brun made his remarks, the US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel cast doubt on an Israeli general's conclusion that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons some months ago. “Any US response to Syria will be based on American intelligence findings. Suspicions are one thing,” Hagel told reporters. “Evidence is another.” For his part, in Brussels, Secretary of State John Kerry, pathetically declared that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “not in a position to confirm” Brun´s assessment, as if a confirmation by one of the worst enemies of Syria against that country was a kind of infallible word determining the truth.
US media reports claim that the allegations by the Obama government of the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria had led hawkish congressmen to put further pressure on the administration to act on his previous threat that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a “game changer.” Some Zionist Republicans, who are arms industry lobbyists as well, have been pressing the Obama administration to send arms to militant groups fighting in Syria or even launch a military invasion of the Arab country in an outright attempt to topple the government of President al-Assad.Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican Senator and former presidential candidate, demanded that Obama take action to enforce his “red line” by setting up a “safe area” on Syrian territory and a “no-fly zone.” Such steps would require American airstrikes and the involvement of US troops on the ground. Another Senator, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat for California and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that a military “action must be taken to prevent larger scale use” of chemical weapons. The Washington Post quoted a phrase in a White House letter sent to Congress - “no option is off the table” - and showed concerns that another US military action in Syria “would open up a new front in the Islamic world.” The newspaper, however, also claimed that the an American military invasion against Syria “could also serve notice to Iran that Obama means what he says when he draws red lines.” Unsurprisingly, the “national coalition,” set up by the American government and made up by some unrepresentative figures of the Muslim Brotherhood and other exiles, rapidly called for the US and other Western countries to act “urgently and decisively” to prove that the US president´s red line was not only “empty words.” This opposition group, considered as the “legitimate representative of the Syrian people” by Washington and its allies, does not hesitate to press for a war even though it means a devastation for their country. It is noteworthy to point out that US actions against Syria started some weeks ago. At that time, some media reported that Washington had already sent 200 American soldiers to Jordan’s border with Syria to train anti-Syrian militants and, in Hagel’s words, “improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios.” Senior US officials told Los Angeles Times that these scenarios included the deployment of 20,000 US troops to invade Syria with the excuse of controlling its chemical weapons stockpile. During the last meeting of the so-called “Friends of Syria” group, now reduced to 11 members, Kerry also announced the US would double its “non-lethal” aid to the Syrian terrorists to 250 million dollars. According to Reuters, a US official said that this aid “could include for the first time battlefield support equipment such as body armor and night-vision goggles.” “US officials have said in the past that the equipment could include armored vehicles and advanced communications equipment, but Kerry gave no specifics,” added Reuters. Another ruinous pro-Israel war? Today, just as it happened a decade ago in Iraq, untrue claims of the employment of Syrian chemical weapons against foreign-backed militants are used as an excuse to launch an aggressive war to benefit Israeli and US geostrategic interests in the Middle East. Some wonder why the US and Israel are trying to use the pretext of chemical weapons just now. The real reason is probably the changes in the battlefield in Syria. Actually, the Western-backed militants, including those having links with al-Qaeda-, have suffered a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of the Syrian army, including the loss of the strategic towns of Al Qussair, near the Lebanon border, and Otaiba, east of Damascus, both of which had served as important corridors for the passage of militants and weapons supplied by Western countries and Persian Gulf monarchies. These Western and Persian Gulf governments now fear that, without a direct Western military aggression, terrorists will be crushed and completely defeated in Syria. Zionist circles in the US link a possible attack on Syria with another war against Iran with the excuse of curbing its nuclear program. The real goal of this anti-Syrian and anti-Iranian campaign is to help Israel achieve hegemony in the Middle East and impose US control over the strategic and oil-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. These criminal policies threaten a wider conflagration involving the entire region, and are ultimately aimed at weakening or destroying China or Russia, US main rivals in the world, which are promoting a multipolar world. It is not only the people of Syria who would suffer the consequences of such an awful war. The American people would also pay a high price not only in terms of the lives of its soldiers sent to fight for Israel and US imperialism but also of the inevitable escalation of restrictive economic and social policies and attacks on living standards that would be implemented in order to finance this new and also ruinous pro-Israel war. YF/HN