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The Iraqi scenario
Material posted: Publication date: 22-08-2012

U.S. President Barack Obama drew a "red line" for Syria that she should not cross. This line refers to Syrian weapons of mass destruction, which, as acknowledged earlier, Damascus, is located in the Arsenal of the country. According to Obama, if USA will learn about moving stocks of chemical weapons and use them against Syrian citizens, Washington will be ready to launch a military operation against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. The same slogan was used by the USA to start another operation — in Iraq.

"It will affect us"

At a press conference at the White House August 20, Obama said: "Until now I refrained from plans of a military operation in Syria. However, we are always very clearly said the Assad regime and other forces that affect the Syrian conflict: "red line" for us will be a situation in which chemical weapons will begin to move from place to place and to operate". According to the American President, if the Assad regime uses against the rebels of chemical weapons, it will build the Syrian conflict to a new level. "It will affect not only Syria, but also our closest allies, including Israel, said Obama. — This will affect us."

On July 23, the official representative of Syrian foreign Ministry Jihad al-Maqdisi acknowledged the existence of the Syrian Arsenal of such weapons of mass destruction (presumably Soviet), rumors of which Damascus denied since the 1980-ies. According to Maqdisi, the country is prepared to use chemical weapons "only in case of external aggression".

A few days before the statements of Maqdisi warned Israel: if Assad regime falls, the country is ready to conduct a rocket attack on the Syrian warehouses with weapons of mass destruction. Israel will not allow the risk of this Arsenal in the hands of Islamic terrorists.

Theoretically the Syrian Arsenal of chemical weapons may be composed mainly of artillery shells for 152-mm howitzers and bombs filled with sarin, Alexander Tsyganok, head of Center for military forecasting. Sarin — a nerve gas that causes vomiting, profuse salivation and difficulty breathing, which leads to death.

"However, we must understand that the current situation around chemical weapons in Syria is a largely political game, — the expert added, "MN", in the 1990s, they implemented the program of training of military engineers in Syria. — There are data that about 15 years ago, Damascus was reduced this Arsenal. In addition, the Syrian chemical weapons is well-protected bunkers, where the conditions for its storage. So the current allegations that chemical Arsenal could fall into the hands of Islamist terrorists, not stand up to scrutiny".

According to the expert of the Moscow Carnegie center Alexei Malashenko, for the regime of Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against the armed opposition would mean the imminent collapse of government. It will immediately make a fool of Syrian President a war criminal, who certainly cannot be a negotiating partner for the world powers, said the source, "MN". Today, Russia and China, permanent members of the UN security Council, consider Assad a constructive partner that can initiate a process of national reconciliation.

Obama is in a difficult situation

Syria has not signed the non-proliferation Treaty chemical weapons (in contrast to the same Treaty on nuclear weapons), so the July statement Damascus did not become a surprise for the international community. However, the Syrian chemical threat in the USA cause persistent Association with the previous crisis related to these weapons of mass destruction — Iraq war.

It was the threat of chemical weapons of Saddam Hussein became the main pretext for the two American invasions of Iraq. The order to start the first operation was signed by U.S. President George Bush Sr. in January of 1991. The order about the beginning of the second — his son, President George W. Bush, in March 2003. The latest US war in Iraq, which led to the overthrow of Hussein and his execution, became the most controversial American campaign in the twenty-first century. The fact that the international community since 1998 Iraq has tested for the presence of the program of development of chemical weapons, and every time the audit did not find conclusive evidence of the existence of such a program.

After coming to power of George W. Bush in 2001, the U.S. has made the fight against chemical weapons Hussein as one of its priorities. Washington with the support of London started a campaign to bring international attention to this problem. After the publication of several expert reports in 2002, Iraqi chemical issue was put on the agenda of the UN security Council.

In November 2002, Iraq was subject to the pressure of the security Council and agreed to take the audit team out of Commission, the UN monitoring, verification and inspection Commission and from the IAEA. Baghdad has provided the UN materials (a total of 12 thousand pages) about their military applications, where it was proved that chemical weapons in the country is not made. However, the United States and its allies have questioned these data, citing their own experts.

Chief UN inspectors Hans Blix and Mohammed al-Baradei throughout the year, regularly published reports of its audits on the territory of Iraq. They argued that evidence of the Iraqi chemical weapons program does not exist.

5 February 2003 the then U.S. Secretary of state Colin Powell at a meeting of the UN security Council spoke about the evidence given by the fugitive Iraqi physicist Rafid Ahmad Alwan al-Assembly of light, while living in Germany. From these data, scientists in Iraq are experimenting with chemical weapons in trucks, so they could not detect by international observers.

However, after the start of the campaign Iraqi freedom in March of the same year, military experts and could not find bunkers full of chemical shells. The media started to raise doubts about the reality of weapons of mass destruction since the beginning of 2004. After Hussein was hanged, his regime fell and the country began a protracted bloody conflict has by now claimed the lives of more than 100 thousand people, American and British authorities recognized that they also had no evidence of the existence of chemical weapons in Iraq.

Former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld in his memoirs, published in February 2011, confirmed that at the time of the invasion of Iraq the US had no information about what weapons Hussein actually is. While the Iraqi physicist Rafid Ahmad Alwan al-Assembly of light in February 2012 in a media interview, admitted that he gave false testimony about mobile chemical labs in Iraq.

"Obama is in a difficult situation. Ahead of elections he wants to keep a high rating, and tough statements addressed to Syria should be viewed in this way, — says Alexey Malashenko. — We must not forget that in March of last year, the U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton claimed that President Assad is a reformer and can conduct effective negotiations on the democratization of Syria."

If the U.S. does decide to launch a military operation in Syria, it will not happen before 2013, said Alexander Tsyganok. "The American administration will not take such drastic measures, at least until after the presidential elections in November — said the expert. — And after the elections will begin the laborious process of creating the mechanism of political decision-making in the new us administration. This is true irrespective of, whether will re-elect Obama will win or his opponent MITT Romney". The white House is ready to take new efforts to address the Syrian conflict early in the next January, said Tsyganok.

Obama's statement coincided with the departure from Syria of UN military observers. Three hundred military specialists had to watch as supporters of Assad and the Syrian opposition adhere to the ceasefire. However, the truce, although it was formally announced by both parties in April, did not become a reality. In June, the Syrian opposition has broken the ceasefire agreement and resumed military operations. Next month the UN observers announced that they would suspend the patrols of the Syrian territories because the conflict has entered the active phase and their activities no longer make any sense.

Igor Kryuchkov


Tags: Russia , war , Syria , USA , NATO

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