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MOSCOW, August 27 (Itar-Tass) - Outside interference in the Syrian conflict is possible, but so far it can be avoided, Vitaly Naumkin, director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, told Itar-Tass on Monday.
“The situation is extremely tense but it is not hopeless, as nobody in the West wants a new military venture. Many are realistic and can see what its costs will be,” he said.
“We don’t know what kind of report the UN inspectors [on chemical weapons] will make; we don’t know what will happen on August 28, when Russian and American diplomats will be talking in the Hague about Geneva 2 conference - whether the talks will be held, what will be discussed, and if there are chances to convene such a conference at all. There are too many regional players who are eager to fight and would like to destroy the Syrian regime,” the expert said.
Naumkin believes Turkey and monarchies in the Persian Gulf are more interested in the intervention than the United States is. “I believe some countries in the region urge the United States to strike at Syria,” he said.
“Even if the intervention does happen the US will limit itself to air and missile strikes,” the expert noted. In this case the land operation will be the responsibility of the Free Syrian army and group that are its allies. They already fight against government troops in Syria, Naumkin said.
He noted particularly that the variant with intervention will affect Russia’s relations with Western countries. “The thing is NATO reserves the right to use force without the United Nations sanctions. Well, that’s too bad and it will set us at loggerheads with the West,” he said.