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‘Syria may witness a humanitarian intervention scenario’

Published time: November 24, 2012 04:03

A Syrian rebel aims his assault rifle towards government forces at Sheikh Suleiman air defence battalion in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on November 23, 2012 (AFP Photo / Francisco Leong)

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­Furthermore, if the conflict escalates, it would be “a military intervention based on the humanitarian crisis.”

RT:If the request is granted, is it the first step towards implementing a no-fly zone?

Yazan Abdallah: It could well be a sign that there could well be some kind of limited intervention, especially that we’ve been hearing the EU countries – especially Britain and France – advocating such intervention recently, where they have been talking about limited scale intervention. However, how comprehensive and how an all-out war style this is going to be, I think this is not going to be a war style. It will be a war of attrition that is not going to threaten the Syrian government with sudden intervention. They know very well this is going to ignite a response from the Syrian side that may trigger a lot of chaos in the region.

RT:NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen says that any possible deployment of Patriot missiles would be "purely defensive." But, with an increasing amount of Western political backing for the rebels in Syria, do you think it could eventually lead to military intervention?

YA: Well, whether it is defensive, we heard what Mr. Lavrov said – it was interesting to listen to his theatric analogy today, when he said when we see a gun in the first act in the theater of the play, then it’s very likely to shoot by the third act.

And deploying such missiles is not really going to be a defensive measure. Really, what do they need to defend against? At least Turkey has an army, and it can defend against a mortar, for example. This is clearly for a larger scale intervention, where they want to secure a no-fly zone area now. Whether this is going to go ahead or not, I think there is different rhetoric currently, even within the camp of the powers that are supporting the rebels. I think the US and other countries are a little more reluctant to go ahead with such a scenario where you have the EU countries – with Turkey and behind them the Gulf countries – who are very keen to go ahead with such no-fly zones. Whether that will lead to a military intervention? I think this is unlikely to be a scenario that we’ll witness in Syria.

RT:It looks like Turkey wants NATO to increase its involvement in Syria, with a growing number of refugees crossing the border into Turkey. How prepared is NATO for a repeat of its actions in Libya?

YA: Well again, it is very interesting to hear Turkey saying that they need NATO support for intervention in Syria for the sake of an increasing number of refugees. Syria itself received over a million Iraqi refugees, which were the result of the NATO intervention in Iraq. Syria also received over half a million refugees from Israel, a country that is allowed within NATO. Turkey, of course, is dealing with the aftermath of the Syrian crisis, in terms of the number of refugees arriving into Turkey.

It is very strange to hear that Turkey is asking for NATO intervention. This is the style of the humanitarian war that we have been now recently hearing about: a military intervention based on a humanitarian crisis. I think it will be very interesting to see such a scenario.

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