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Friends of Syria’s decisions herald direct Western intervention - analyst

March 02, 2013, 3:02 UTC+3

“In terms of combat readiness the Syrian army is far better than the Libyan one was,” Satanovsky said

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MOSCOW, March 2 (Itar-Tass) – The decisions made at the meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Rome may be regarded as the West’s declaration of direct intervention in the affairs of that Arab republic, the president of the Middle East Institute, Yevgeny Satanovsky, told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“From now on, at any mention of arms supplies or of the training of militants the West will stop raising eyebrows and playing innocence,” Satanovsky said. “The statements that the external players have made in the Italian capital can be regarded as an outright declaration of intent, because the West has been directly interfering in the Syrian conflict for quite a long time, from the very beginning of the crisis.”

Asked about the point of view to the effect the militants kept mounting terrorist attacks against Damascus with the aim to distract attention from Aleppo in order to create a sort of a government-in-exile there Satanovsky said that was “standard practice.”

“It has already worked in Libya,” he said. “Next, a territory is to be won where an alternative body of government would be located. Then a no-fly zone would be declared and troops sent in. For instance, commandos from Qatar. Ultimately the capital and the whole country can be taken over quite easily.”

This sort of scenario was tested in Libya. However, in Syria it has been disrupted again and again.

“In terms of combat readiness the Syrian army is far better than the Libyan one was,” Satanovsky said.

About the latest controversial statements by the head of the National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, Ahmed al-Khatib, concerning the possibility of talks with the Syrian government Satanovsky said the coalition’s leader was a “casual, temporary figure.”

“He has surfaced amid the ongoing turmoil. He is here today, but he may be gone tomorrow,” the analyst said. “Al- Khatib has no major forces behind him. He is a compromise figure. Indeed, how can one bring the fore some very savage figures or personalities close to Al-Qaeda? The main flows of cash and military assistance to the militants come from the agents of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

“Al-Khatib may go on proposing anything he wants and as long as he wants. The money and the guns are beyond his control,” Satanovsky said. “Who cares about what a puppet in puppet theater may propose?”



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