US strike on Syria could touch off Russian counteroffensive: Afshin Rattanzi

By Press TV

Press TV has conducted an interview with Afshin Rattanzi, an author and journalist in London, about the the US and its allies beating the drums of war on Syria as well as warnings by other countries that such a strike would have dire consequences. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: On the issue of an attack, we were speaking to our correspondent and he said that a question, which was raised by a lot of reporters today in Damascus is- What would be achieved, what would be the objective of a Western-led attack in Syria?

We had some interesting remarks by Francois Hollande (French president) just now, he said that the civil war in Syria is a threat to global peace and that international law shouldn’t be used as a pretext when we are seeing massacres take place, to protect the perpetrators.

Rattanzi: Yes, those statements indicate that international law isn’t something that Paris is too keen on.

I’m speaking to you from London where there has been an emergency meeting taking place not a mile away from where I’m talking from. How ironic that as regards objectives that the National Security Council in Britain was set up after 9/11 to protect Britain from al-Qaeda-linked atrocities and what threatened them.

And here is Britain threatening to go in with the United States to support al-Qaeda-linked militancy. I think even American generals are expressing their concern of the objectives of any attack by these warships in the Mediterranean. What are those objectives?

Press TV: Yes that’s the thing. A lot of people are asking, we have to put the question of who is going to benefit from this. A lot of observers are now pointing the finger at Israel. They are asking, who could have provided these chemical substances and chemical weapons? They are saying that this is a pre-planned scenario; and Russia has also been clearly saying that.

Do you think we should be thinking about a scenario here similar for instance to the one in Iraq and that this actually could that that military attack is actually going to happen whatever the cost?

Rattanzi: As regards to chemical weapons usage regardless of Israel and Saudi evidence supporting the threat of war to Obama’s advisors, Samantha Powers and Susan Rice, we know who uses chemical weapons.

The CIA de-classified a document that the US told Saddam to use them against Iran. The United States used them in Vietnam and Cambodia; in Fallujah in Iraq. It’s not normal for any country except the United States to use chemical weapons; and of course white phosphorus in Fallujah.

No, I think what the international community needs to do now is urgently support, ironically, the Syrian government in their quest to destroy the al-Qaeda-linked rebels.

What started as a pro-democracy movement has deteriorated into this Islamist al-Nusra Front getting larger and larger and these governments have to get…

The chemical weapons thing is about as important as the yellow cake in … – of course those pictures were terrible and appalling, but we must stop that from happening again.

The way to stop that from happening again, one would have to say based on reports from Carla Del Ponte … being attacked – the UN weapons inspector – is to support the government of President Assad.

Press TV: What is your prediction for what is going to happen from this stage on? Obama has been saying that without a UN mandate we are not going to attack, but it looks like they are really prepared for it.

Do you think that even if the United Nations doesn’t say who used the weapons or doesn’t give that mandate that we are going to see a military strike?

Rattanzi: American television is quoting White House sources as saying that Tomahawk missiles will be fired within 48 hours.

So I suppose the important thing now is to get the relatives of the thousands of US troops on the USS Mahan and USS Gravely, the USS Barry and the USS Ramage and tell them that the ferocious attack back at them from Russian Iskander missiles will be pretty ferocious and that the United States is endangering their troops yet again in a war that will have no victors.

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