18:33 GMT22 April 2021
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    Russia's Defense Ministry said on Saturday that it expected a provocation involving chemical weapons in Syria, with members of terrorist groups meeting in Idlib to discuss scenarios for filming staged “incidents.” Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Tim Anderson, an expert in economics and international politics at the University of Sydney.

    Sputnik: Can you give us any updates about any reports about this emerging out of Damascus? What’s the word there?

    Tim Anderson: I think they are expecting an American attack, but because of the Russian intelligence there has been a great deal of publicity about it. I think it may still happen. However, in the past, US attacks haven’t had a great deal of impact, but, nevertheless the Syrians are braced for another American attack.

    Sputnik:  This would be the third such provocation this past year. Who do you think is responsible for them?

    Tim Anderson: Well, [there’s] been a lot of coordination between the powers that sponsor these terrorist groups in Syria and the people on the ground. A lot of communications has been intercepted in recent months. I think people didn’t understand the coordination between the US military and terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

    Sputnik: The recent airstrikes by the US, Britain and France were just one-off events. There was no continuity or force with regard to response. Do you think the Americans are actually losing the will to bring about a regime change in Syria?

    Tim Anderson: You are right. The Americans want to “stabilize” the situation in the sense of preventing the emergence of a strong political system in Syria. This “stabilization” is part of the original strategy they had to prevent coordination between many countries of this region, such as Iran, Iraq and Syria. They are still trying to divide Iran and Iraq and stoke up tensions against Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, as well as Yemen and Palestine.

    READ MORE: France Vows to Respond in Case of Chemical Attack in Idlib — Defense Min.

    Sputnik: How important is the liberation of Idlib for the war in Syria? How will it further demoralize the American forces?

    Tim Anderson: It would be a tremendous victory for Syria and its allies. The Syrians are prepared to do that to win their country back. In the long term, a more stable relationship with Turkey will be important, that’s why diplomacy between Russia, Turkey and Iran is also very important.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of Tim Anderson and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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


    Terrorists in Syria's Idlib Active in Aggressive Way, Stage Attacks - Envoy
    France Vows to Respond in Case of Chemical Attack in Idlib - Defense Min.
    staged "chemical attacks", US Forces, terrorist groups, strategy, Tim Anderson, Syria
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