US claims of Assad’s chemical weapons are lies – Pushkov
A senior Russian MP holds that the recent White House statement of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government is as false as the notorious reports about Iraqi WMDs.
“The data about Assad’s use of chemical weapons is fabricated by the same facility that made up the lies about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Obama is walking George W. Bush’s path,” the head of the Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee Aleksey Pushkov tweeted.
The Russian MP was referring to the 2003 invasion in Iraq prompted by the US and UK claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that threatened neighboring nations. The UN probe into the matter was underway as the invasion started and no traces of WMD have been discovered on Iraqi territory since the war ended, prompting accusations that the US administration and special services fabricated the data to get an excuse to start the conflict.
In comments to Russian news agencies Pushkov noted that the supplies of arms from the US to the Syrian rebels would hardly lead to the overthrow of President Bashar Assad’s regime. He added that the government in Syria is supported by “a significant, if not the larger, part of the population” and the Syrian military “show a high degree of resistance.”
Pushkov also forecast that the United States would now attempt to further escalate the situation.
“Now they are arming the rebels but then they will come to some form of direct military involvement. We cannot exclude the possibility of cruise missile strikes and if this measure brings no result – of direct military intervention,” he said.
The statement was made shortly after US authorities publicly announced that they had proof that pro-government forces used chemical weapons, like the nerve agent sarin in the Syrian conflict, killing at least 150 people. At the same time, the US side claimed that there was no proof about similar actions from the rebels’ side.
US Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes has told the press that President Barack Obama has decided to boost the US support to the Syrian opposition forces and that this would now include military support. The detailed orders will be issued within the nearest weeks after Obama consults with the Congress, the official added.
Earlier last week UK and France said that their probes into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria showed that the pro-government forces did it at least once causing casualties among rebels and called the international community for immediate action. Many officials, including top Russian politicians, noted that the impartiality of British and French researchers is under question and urged an independent probe.
The UN is currently preparing its own independent investigation, but it might take a long time. Syrian government has said it was ready to accept the UN delegation and help with the investigation.
In late March one of the conflicting parties in Syria allegedly used a sarin-charged missile near the city of Aleppo. The government and rebels now accuse each other of the attack that killed at least 25 people.
While the UK, France and now the United states accuse pro-Assad forces, Turkish media said in early June that the country’s security forces had found sarin gas in the homes of members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front – one of the main groups opposing the Syrian government.
Russian officials have repeatedly condemned the use of chemical weapons and urged an all-sided and unbiased research into all incidents connected with the issue.