In the latest anti-Damascus move, an Israeli deputy minister accused Syrian forces of using chemical weapons against civilians.
Ayoob Kara claimed in an interview with Israel Radio that Israeli medics, stationed on the border between Turkey and Syria, are reporting the use of such weapons.
To shed more light on Tel Aviv's escalating rhetoric against Syria, Press TV talked with Maya Nasser, a Damascus-based political analyst. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
What do you make of this report at this point, especially in context of the fact that armed groups themselves were saying that they we going to use chemical weapons at some point in their fight against the Assad government?
The Israelis have been spreading these rumors since almost a year right now. We have heard the Israeli president talking about it earlier.
It is a kind of mounting pressure against the Syrian administration to push the world, to push the international powers to launch airstrikes or airstrikes against Syria.
This is not the first time they do this. At the end of last year, they have already spread rumors like this. The Syrian army is not using any chemical weapons or even heavy artillery weapons against civilians.
We have seen the actions of the militias on the ground; we have seen the weapons they are using; they are using very sophisticated, anti-missiles weapons, anti-tanks and we are right now watching this on the ground.
So probably the next step for the Israelis, as the traditional enemy of Syria, is to mount up the pressure against Syria in order to motivate the whole world to airstrike the Syrian administration and Syrian forces on the ground.
Israel has been quite active in its criticism of Assad, while it had been quite negative on the Arab Spring as a whole. Does that in a sense not only prove Israel's hypocrisy, but also that there is more to the Syria situation than meets the eye?
We have to understand the Israelis and the Western powers right now are not after any kind of reform in Syria. They are aiming to topple the Assad administration.
We have seen the silence on Saudis’ actions in Qatif; we have seen the silence in Bahrain; we have seen the Western silence in Palestine itself.
This is not related to the human rights; this is not related to the needs of the Syrian people. It was politicized from the beginning; it is aiming to topple the Assad administration and they are not looking for any kind of spreading democracy because we have seen their actions in Iraq, earlier in Afghanistan.
This is the same scenario trying to be repeated in Syria again.