Sputnik: What is the impact this video has had so far?
Sputnik: Do you think this is going to result in calls for additional military action in Syria or any kind of escalation of the military conflict there?
Tim Anderson: [The West] has been doing this for more than seven years now. […] The US, the UK and France are always looking for a pretext, but I don’t think this one will add much more than that.
Sputnik: Is there any significant difference between civilians and government-sponsored armies in terms of international law?
Tim Anderson: There are some differences in the law, of course, but as I said, the US and the UK are the leading proponents of using contractors for a whole range of things, such as security, prison security, etc. So Russia is using civilian contractors too.
Sputnik: To what extent has media coverage affected the Western allies’ response?
Tim Anderson: I think that in terms of a pretext for war the media has been extremely important during the seven-year Syrian war. […] The US and the UK are the major sponsors of the White Helmets, who put together the film about (the alleged use of chemical weapons] in Douma. The White Helmets have been funded to the tune of about $100 million dollars as some sort of a PR-agency/medical support for the jihadist groups. There are a number of media groups and NGOs being paid by the US. There is a wide framework for a propaganda war going on during this particular war [in Syria].