07:10 GMT17 January 2021
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    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)

    US President Donald Trump and his British counterpart Theresa May have agreed to engage in close cooperation to elaborate an international response to the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma. Radio Sputnik discussed this with Alberto Negri, a senior adviser at The Italian Institute for International Political Studies.

    Alberto Negri: It looks to be that there's some problems also in the top of the White House office because the US Defense Secretary James Mattis said that Washington is still looking for evidence on a presumed chemical weapons attack in Damascus

    Sputnik: Will you think of that approach watching media and social media to determine whether or not to perform a military strike?

    Alberto Negri: There is a difference between the media, official media and social media, especially in Europe and Italy, for example. The official media like state TV or the media network link to American investors, British investors or Western investors, generally they embrace the US version of the story, especially in the first hour of the crisis. It's different on social media because most of the social media, most of the people that are using social media they are against this US move, that they are against this attack, because of the use of fake news, because all the people remember what happened in 2003 in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was attacked for supposed chemical weapons and nobody found these chemical weapons after the war. So I suspect in the public opinion that the US is in a difficult position and they are using this to come out from their difficulties.

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    Sputnik: We did see two different proposals vetoed in the UN Security Council one by the US, one by Russia for investigation. That's very strange that these were both vetoed. Do you think that there is a chance that we'll now see a thorough investigation by the OPCW and other organizations?

    Alberto Negri: I think that both sides of the story are trying to buy time. And I think that it could be possible to have an independent investigation just to buy time, because I think that the real target of this military escalation by the US and Western powers is not to attack really Syria because they know that isn't useful as the past has demonstrated, but they want to have their slice of cake of Syria, especially the United States. So with this military pressure they want to have their slice of cake of Syria increase inside Syria.

    READ MORE: 'Trump Does Not Behave Like the President of the United States' — Analyst

    Sputnik: President Trump and all of his Western allies are holding extensive talks on what's going on in Syria and what kind of respond should be. What do you think this will lead to?

    Alberto Negri: There is the perception here in Europe that we have two Europe. One is Atlantic Europe, the Atlantic Europe is the ally of the United States, like the UK, so they are always on the side of the Americans. And we also see France, Macron is on the side of the United States though they in some way support also the so-called [evidence] about the chemical weapons attack in Damascus, for example. But there is another Europe that is the Europe that lost the Second World War, that is Germany, that is Italy, that they don't want to take part in an attack against Syria. Angela Merkel has to declare that they support any action against Bashar Assad but they don't want to belong to an attack. The same said more or less the Italian Prime Minister Gentiloni. It means there are three countries — the United States, UK and France — that are the main master of the situation and the other are out of the door.

    The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)


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