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CIA Veteran: Russia 'Bailed Out' US From 'Open War' With Syria in 2013

© AFP 2021 / MLADEN ANTONOV Snow falls on an eagle emblem at the Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial in Washington DC on February 16, 2015
Snow falls on an eagle emblem at the Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial in Washington DC on February 16, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Russia's stance on the Syrian crisis was among the key factors that forced US President Barack Obama to change his mind and not to engage in an open war with Syria in 2013.

Russia helped Washington avoid an open war in Syria in 2013 amid the scandal over the use of chemical weapons, CIA veteran Ray McGovern said in an interview with Salon.

"The Russians bailed out Obama when he was about to get involved in an open war with Syria at the end of August 2013 and the very beginning of September. Now, there are a couple of things that saved the world from war at the time, but the Russian role was key," McGovern said.

On August 30, US State Secretary John Kerry accused Bashar Assad’s government of a chemical attack on August 21 in Damascus suburbs. The accusations came before UN experts provided their conclusion. President Obama said that he decided to attack Syria, but then surprisingly changed his mind, citing the need for congressional authorization to start a military operation.

Six batteries of NATO-backed missile defense systems have been set up in southeastern Turkey to protect against aerial attacks from war-torn Syria (File) - Sputnik International
Washington Wanted Boots on the Ground in Syria 'Since 2011'
According to McGovern, Russia offered assistance to the US with the probe into chemical weapons in Syria back in June 2013, during a G8 summit in Northern Ireland, and then again after the chemical attack in Damascus. This was the key factor that forced Obama to change his mind.

He also emphasized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s firm stance since the beginning of the Syrian crisis.

Testifying in Congress in September 2013, Kerry repeated his charges against Assad and called for an intervention. According to the CIA veteran, "everybody" knew that Kerry was lying.

Later, at a summit in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin told Obama that Kerry was lying when he called to start war in Syria, McGovern noted.

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