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MOSCOW, August 30 (Itar-Tass) - A leading Russian military expert, who held a senior post in Russia’s military establishment just recently, believes that the United States, Britain, France and Germany have decided against dealing rocket strikes towards Syria without delay because of Russia’s firm stance in the UN Security Council. Colonel-General Valery Manilov, a former First Deputy Chief of Russia’s General Staff, has told Itar-Tass in an exclusive interview China played an exceptionally important role in the Security Council, too, when alongside Russia it voted against Britain’s resolution urging punishment for President Bashar Assad in Syria for an unconfirmed chemical attack in a suburb of Damascus on August 21.
“The governments of the United States and other leading countries of NATO have not dared ignore the public opinion in their countries, where a majority of the population, as follows from opinion polls, is against intervention in Syria,” Manilov said. As many as 60% of Americans are against NATO’s meddling in Syria.
At the same time as a military strategist Manilov does not rule out that the United States many eventually garner the allies’ support for rocketing government and military facilities in Syria.
“That the United States and its allies have taken a pause may prove a tactical maneuver, an illusion they have backtracked on the original plan. Washington may wait until the UN inspectors are through with their inquiries into the rumored use of chemical weapons in Syria. It is clear already now that conclusions by UN inspectors will not decide anything. They are merely to confirm or refute whether or not any chemical warfare agents have been used. It is up to the UN Security Council to point at the culprit. However, the UN SC is unlikely to achieve unanimity on that score. Therefore the question on who used sarin, who has benefited from this, will be interpreted not by UN experts or the Security Council, but by the White House and the Pentagon,” Manilov said.
In his opinion “the real aim of the United States and its allies is not restoring peace to the Middle East or saving people’s lives, but very specific geo-economic interests, first and foremost, those in the oil sector, because the Western countries are confronted with fuel shortages. It is in their interests to produce a controlled chaos situation in the Middle East as a cover-up for pursing their own selfish interests.”
Manilov believes that “Assad’s army is well trained and equipped, but it is unlikely to be able to resist a combined force of the North Atlantic Alliance, with its powerful war machine.”
“The aggressor has tremendous superiority in the air and space sphere. However, Assad’s army is quite capable of causing tangible damage to NATO’s materiel,” he said.
As for Iran’s threats it would attack Israel in case of foreign intervention in Syria, Manilov does not take them seriously.
“That’s all political rhetoric. As an ally of Syria, Iran has been using every resort in a bid to prevent an aggression against the Bashar Assad's regime. However, it is quite natural that Israel’s civilians feel scared,” he said.
“On the whole the intention of the United States and a number of Western countries to deal strikes against Syria is fanning tensions in international relations, which runs counter to the professed goals of establishing peace in the Middle East,” Manilov said.