22 August 2012, 10:57

Syria chemical weapons threat as pretext for invasion

 Syria chemical weapons threat as pretext for invasion

The Russian Foreign Ministry believes the situation with chemical weapons in Syria may trigger foreign intervention in the country, Kommersant reported on Wednesday.

A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said that this scenario is being considered as "very probable." "Our Western partners and Israel have recently made such statements. We believe they can follow up on these threats." 

Russia is actively working with the Syrian authorities and the U.S. is working with the Syrian opposition to prevent loss of control over the Syrian chemical weapons.

The source in the Foreign Ministry said Russia is conducting confidential dialogue with the Syrian authorities on measures to protect the chemical weapons arsenal. The Russian Foreign Ministry has made a conclusion from these contacts that the Syrian authorities have no intention of using these weapons and are capable of controlling them independently.

At the same time, according to Kommersant, the U.S. is working with the Syrian opposition on the matter.

"The Americans have given the rebels a tough warning not to even approach chemical weapons warehouses and plants producing chemical weapons. Opposition groups are listening to them [the U.S.] and are not making any attempts to seize chemical weapons. This indicates that the West can have very specific influence on Asad's opponents when it wants to," Russian diplomatic source with knowledge on the situation told.

In the meantime, the Russian diplomat said there are some armed groups in the Syrian opposition in which "none of the parties can have influence." "These are primarily groups linked to al-Qaeda,"

According to Kommersant, the Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned that the very threat of chemical weapons falling into the hands of radical activists may become a pretext for Western invasion of Syria. 

Interfax, Kommersant

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