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‘Patriot missiles in Turkey will tighten rebel grip on Syrian north’

Published time: December 10, 2012 02:00
Edited time: December 10, 2012 06:00
Patriot missile PAC-3 system (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je)

Patriot missile PAC-3 system (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je)

Placing the Patriot missiles in Turkey will create a de-facto no-fly zone over Syria's north, making it easier for rebels to consolidate their forces there – and even establish their own government, Syrian political activist Yazan Abdallah told RT.

­Abdallah also shared with RT information that jihadist groups inside Syria might use chemical weapons to conduct “ethnic cleansing” against certain sectarian groups.

RT:NATO is planning to deploy Patriot missiles on the Syrian border, saying Turkey may need protection against an attack from Damascus – how likely a scenario is that?

YA: It sounds pretty preposterous to me that Turkey, in the current format of its army, needs protection from Syria. Syria is not going to attack Turkey. This is simple. Syria has got serious troubles going on, so why would Syria go and attack Turkey?

The Patriot missiles will likely create a de-facto no-fly zone over the northern territory of Syria to consolidate the military presence of the rebels, and perhaps install the new Western-backed government in the northern part of Syria. It is very, very unlikely that these Patriots missiles are to defend against Syria's intervention. Why would Syria interfere unnecessarily in Turkey?

RT:Why would the West be interested in intervening in Syria? Is there a broader regional agenda?

YA: My understanding is that I see two sides of the story, how the West sees it. First, Syria's geopolitical alliance with Iran and Hezbollah – and perhaps with Russia. So it is not a Western-friendly country in its current form, and probably the West has realized that with negotiations – with the smooth negotiations with the current system in Syria – things aren't going to change much. And probably they've realized that changing by [force] is the only way forward for them.

The other dimension is the energy. Since 2009, Qatar and Turkey have been talking about a gas line that is to extend from Qatar through Syria through Turkey and feed the EU with gas resources. This is very important, because if this is to happen, it would bypass Russia and it would probably loosen the knot that Russia currently has over the EU in terms of supplying gas to Western countries.

RT:Assad denies he would ever use chemical weapons against his own people – why do the US and UK insist such a threat exists?

YA: This new, orchestrated hype of fear surrounding the possible use of chemical weapons perhaps says something about what is coming next in terms of some chemical weapons use in Syria. However, there is another side to the story. Recently, there have been some troubling videos that we have seen on YouTube and some other reports of the jihadist groups in northern Syria possessing some chemical materials with the name of a Turkish company on them. In the background, there was music playing with some jihadist chants.

It's worrying. They were conducting some experiments on rabbits, and judging on what we saw, if it is not a bluff, then it is very, very worrying because judging by the effect of this gas, it is convulsive, so it is a nerve agent and it is a dangerous development.

Perhaps if you look at the fact that the United States has recently started blacklisting parts of the Syrian armed opposition as terrorist organizations, that says something – that they are probably aware that part of the armed opposition in Syria, and probably the most powerful opposition, who are the Nusra Front, probably are in the possession of such material and probably are planning to use them. 

That video reflects the dangerous ideology of such a group that clearly and explicitly threatens ethnic cleansing against certain sects in Syria. So the danger is that the West is aware of such materials in Syria, but at the same time, it is going to be used against the Syrian government as a pretext for intervention. This is the scenario that worries me.