Moallem: We Dare Anyone to Present Evidence on Syria’s Use of Chemical Weapons
Al Ahed news
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem assured that all the talk about an imminent strike consists of lies, pointing out that any strike to be carried against Syria serves the interests of “Israel” and al-Nusra front.
During a press conference held on Monday, al-Moallem stressed that Syria will defend itself with all tools possible in case it is attacked.
He accentuated that any possible military strike against Syria will not affect the accomplishments of the Syrian army and its advances in Eastern al-Ghouta, guaranteeing “Syria is not an easy grab, and has tools with which it will defend itself, it will surprise everyone.”
“If they want to launch an aggression on Syria, the pretext of using chemical weapons is inaccurate, and if the aim of their campaign is to affect the Syrians’ morale, they are mistaken… and I challenge them to show their evidence,” al-Moallem added.
On the arrival of the international team of investigators, al-Moallem declared “Syria has immediately agreed to the UN requests and there was no delay, and I say to US Secretary of State John Kerry that we are not obstructing UN inspectors’ work.”
Questioning claims that the Syrian regime deliberately delayed the coming of the UN team to Syria, he said “The first time we called on the UN to visit Syria and witness the evidence that the opposition had used chemical weapons, it took them five months to come,” adding “We are not supervisors of the UN inspectors, they are independent in their work, we only facilitate their work.”
Regarding the UN team investigations in Syria, al-Moallem said that Russian experts have presented a detailed report to the UN on the Khan al-Assal attacks and confiscated material in Joubar area, which is part of the evidence on the terrorist groups’ use of chemical weapons the Syrian regime will reveal in the right time.”
He iterated that in case there is any proof the armed groups have resorted to the use of chemical weapons, the West will conceal that.
Al-Moallem also reminded that the UN inspection team was shot at by snipers as it entered a region controlled by the armed groups in Eastern al-Ghouta.
Al-Moallem, answered questions on the position of bordering countries and major players in the crisis.
Concerning Jordan, al-Moallem said “Jordan’s benefit lies in standing by Syria because Jordan’s security is related to Syria’s security, hence Jordan it is normal that Jordan will not use its territories to launch an attack against Syria.”
On a related note, al-Moallem refrained from commenting on the Turkish stance of joining the strike against Syria. Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu had stated that Turkey will take part in the attack against the Syrian regime.
Al-Moallem underlined ” I will not comment on Ahmet Davutoglu’s statement that it will take part in any possible intervention in Syria. If the balance of the Turkish leadership was upset by what happened in Egypt, this upset plunge deeper due to what is going on in Syria.”
Commenting on the Geneva II conference, the Syrian FM believed, “Since the beginning, we have doubted the US intentions towards the Geneva Conference, and we told our Russian friends we trust you but we do not trust the US because it does not want a political solution and the reason is clear which is that “Israel” does not want this solution, but rather wants the continuance of violence and terrorism.”
Furthermore, al-Moallem highlighted that “What has been taking place in Syria and Iraq is an implementation of a policy drawn in 2009 to reach Iran.” He also emphasized total coordination between Iran and Syria in the different fields.
Al-Moallem also noted to the historic relations between Syria and Russia; the latter has not given up on its Syrian ally as coordination is almost on daily basis.
Washington reviewing war plans for Syria: Report
A report shows the United States is reviewing its military options for war against Syria when a former US Navy planner questioned the effectiveness of surgical strikes on Syrian targets.
“Tactical actions in the absence of strategic objectives is usually pointless and often counterproductive,” Chris Harmer, a senior naval analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, told Foreign Policy’s The Cable.
“I never intended my analysis of a cruise missile strike option to be advocacy even though some people took it as that,” he added.
The US is getting closer to military action in Syria after Secretary of State John Kerry was beating the drums of war when he accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons.
“The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and – despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured – it is undeniable,” Kerry said on Monday.
Following Kerry’s statement, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power repeated the same allegations against Syria.
“Haunting images of entire families dead in their beds. Verdict is clear: Assad has used CWs against civilians in violation of int’l norm,” Power said in a tweet posted Monday evening.
Harmer, who is called the architect of Syria war plan, also explained about his “cruise missile strike option” for Syria.
“I made it clear that this is a low cost option, but the broader issue is that low cost options don’t do any good unless they are tied to strategic priorities and objectives,” Harmer said. “Any ship officer can launch 30 or 40 Tomahawks. It’s not difficult. The difficulty is explaining to strategic planners how this advances US interests.”
The naval analyst said that Syrian forces have “an incredible capacity to endure pain.”
“Punitive action is the dumbest of all actions,” he said. “The Assad regime has shown an incredible capacity to endure pain and I don’t think we have the stomach to deploy enough punitive action that would serve as a deterrent.”
On Tuesday, Syria said Kerry’s insistence on “jumping over” the work of UN experts, who are in Syria to investigate last week’s chemical attack, shows that Washington has deliberate intentions to exploit events.
Sen. Bob Corker, who was briefed by administration officials twice over the weekend, said a US “response is imminent” in Syria.
West, Arab leaders reach ‘consensus’ on Syria attack
Western and Arab military leaders have reached a “consensus” on military intervention in Syria over accusations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, a Jordanian security official told German news agency, DPA.
“It was decided that should the international community be forced to act in Syria, the most responsible and sustainable response would be limited missile strikes,” the official said on condition of anonymity on Tuesday following a meeting held in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
The military leaders led by Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey agreed to prepare for the strike as early as this week, the official added.
Meanwhile, the British Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman said UK armed forces are devising contingency plans for military action against the Arab country over the alleged use of chemical weapons.
The UK has been reportedly sending warplanes and military transporters to its airbase in Cyprus, situated near Syria.
US defense officials also say several navy destroyers have been deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean to be used against Syria upon an order of President Barack Obama.
“[The destroyers] are in position if needed, but they, to my knowledge, have received no tasking to this point, and that would come obviously from the White House,” an American military official said on condition of anonymity.