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James Petras: Potential US strikes on Assad forces enormous provocation

A pair of US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria. (File photo)

Press TV has interviewed James Petras, a Middle East expert in New Jersey, about Russia’s warning against a call by US State Department officials for strikes against the Syrian government.

A rough transcription of the interview appears below.

Press TV: How do you feel about the US directly attacking Syrian forces? 

Petras: I think that would be an enormous provocation. I think it would create turmoil throughout the Middle East. It has unforeseen consequences, because the Syrian government forces are working with the Russian forces, so it is hard to see how Washington’s attack on Syria can be disentangled from attacking the Russians, which would mean a global confrontation between nuclear powers.

I think this is extraordinarily dangerous move. I think it has been building up over the past several years and I think it threatens humanity. I do not see this as simply taking out a particular Middle East country. I think it has enormous ramifications. This is not going to be like Libya or Iraq or whatever. It is going to be a Russian-Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah attack and I think this has enormous ramifications. It is extremely dangerous and I cannot think of anything that has any common sense and any hopes of resolving these differences and conflicts in any peaceful way.

Washington’s support for so-called moderates has been a total lie. The moderates have been working with Nusra, which is a known terrorist group. The US is working with Turkey, which has been shipping arms across the border ... and also US is working with Israel, which is providing support, particularly to the wounded terrorists who cross the border at Golan.

Press TV: The US in this memo of the State Department officials who have asked for direct strikes on Assad’s forces, they have said that they want to force President Assad into accepting that there is no military solution but they are using a military solution to force him into that. That is kind of ironic, isn’t it?

Petras: It is not. It is a doublethink talk, it is double talk. They use a double discourse. They talk of peace and carry out wars, just like George Orwell said in 1984. You cannot launch a military offensive against a world power under the rubric of attacking Syria. You are now talking about the Syrian-Russian-Iran-Hezbollah alliance, also with the substantial number of Iraqis. This is going to have major repercussions inside United States when it all gets played out if we are not engaged in a nuclear war.

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