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Full-scale civil war involving external forces underway in Syria – Primakov

August 08, 2012, 3:20 UTC+3

He called laughable theories of “the American trail” in the Arab Spring

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MOSCOW, August 8 (Itar-Tass) —— A full-scale civil war involving external forces is underway in Syria, Academician Yevgeny Primakov, Russia’s acclaimed expert in Arab affairs, said in a interview published by the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Wednesday.

“Mercenaries and volunteers from other states are fighting the [Bashar al-Asad] regime jointly with the Syrians. Here is the latest news: President Obama has given a direct order to the CIA to support the Syrian opposition,” he said. “That is fragrant interference in internal affairs of a sovereign state, which does not endanger the United States or anyone else. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding militants. Turkey is giving them active support,” he said.

“This is a full-scale civil war with all the atrocities that make the civilian population suffer,” he said.

“Russia holds the only correct position [on the Syrian crisis] under the current circumstances. We do not aim to benefit from this conflict in any way possible. We have a moral position: we care for life and security of millions of people and for stability of the huge and important region. That is the only way possible,” he said. “No one knows what the result could be, whether we could achieve justice.”

Primakov admitted that the Arab Spring came as a surprise for him. “Not only for me but also for everyone else, the Americans, the Europeans and the Arabs themselves. Protests against an authoritarian regime in a single country were possible. A revolt was predictable in certain cases. But a wave of protests throughout the region was not expected by anyone,” he said.

He called laughable theories of “the American trail” in the Arab Spring. “The Americans were quite sufficed with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and, by the way, we were sufficed too. Washington was very alarmed at first. But soon the Americans decided there was no way back and it was necessary for form a relationship with the new people to replace the old regime,” he said.

The academician agreed that demonization of the U.S. was “a false and dangerous path and those seeing the Washington trail in every event simply close their eyes to the real problems.”

“One should not demonize the Americans. The only reproach that can be made is that they have a poor knowledge of the real situation,” Primakov concluded.

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