Press TV has interviewed Michel Chossudovsky, with the Center for Research on Globalization in Montreal, to discuss Russia's decision to provide Damascus with military supplies and humanitarian aid.
What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Russia’s call for the world to join and help the Syrian government in fighting ISIL terrorists, seems to have fallen on deaf ears at least in Washington. Instead, we have the US president saying that Moscow’s strategy in Syria is doomed to failure. Two questions here: First of all, what is Russia’s strategy that the West is so opposed to? And second: Why is the West so worried about what it calls an alleged Russian build-up in Syria?
Chossudovsky: Well first of all we have to distinguish between axis of aggression against the sovereign state which is what the United States is doing under the humanitarian mandate of going after ISIL when in fact we know and it is amply-documented that the ISIL is supported financed by the United States and its allies and what we might describe as bilateral military cooperation between two sovereign states namely Syria and the Russian Federation and that is something which has been ongoing you know for many, many years between the two countries. Russia has a naval base in the Mediterranean and it is also providing Syria with its air defense system, the S-300, as well as other areas of cooperation particularly focusing on training and weapons systems and so on. I do not think that implies in any way that they would be deploying ground forces. That will not happen.
And this is not something new; it is part of a longstanding relationship between the two governments. Now with regard to Obama, it is somewhat of a, well, diabolical statement. Since September of last year, and we now...commemorating one year of US humanitarian bombings directly against Iraq and Syria, there have been 53,000 sorties during that period those that official figures of which over 7,000 (6,700) have been what they call strike sorties. Now I would suspect that a large number of the 57,000 sorties are in fact get towards delivering weapons and supplies to the ISIS (ISIL) which are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance fighting the Syrian government forces.
Press TV: How suspicious do you see the recent increase in the number of countries suddenly eager to join the US airstrikes on Syrian soil?
Chossudovsky: Well you know the United States has always used the strategy of co-opting its so-called allies and, in some cases, its proxy states in doing its dirty work in the war theater and they have the support of Saudi Arabia, Qatar; they also have the European allies, they have Canada. I think that these countries have to, particularly the counties of the so-called Western democracies, ask [and] beg the question: Who are we supporting? They are supporting the terrorists, it is clear and obvious. The strikes sorties directed against Syria do not target the ISIL. The ISIL is an instrument of the US administration, the al-Qaeda-affiliated. They used to be called al-Qaeda in Iraq and there has been a longstanding intelligence tradition in the United States that supports Jihadists al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations. Many of the ISIS [members] are in fact former Libya’s Islamic fighting group mercenaries who have now joined the ISIL and as we recall those mercenaries were supported also by the United States and NATO.