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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Boris Dolgov: the United States has pursued a strange policy

The expert told about possible consequences of a US strike on the Syrian bunkers with chemical weapons

Aug 24, 2012, 20:25

Text: Andrew Carvers


“The consequences of such an impact is unpredictable. Chemical weapons will spread and be a danger to the environment, population, and region as a whole”, – said the newspaper VIEW political scientist-Arabist Boris Dolgov. He doubts that the Pentagon will dare to bomb Syrian depots of chemical weapons, at least until the presidential election in the United States.

As reported yesterday by the American newspaper Los Angeles Times, the Pentagon has developed for his special forces plan to capture bases with chemical weapons in Syria. As told the publication of the anonymous sources in the defense Ministry, the script will be translated in the appropriate order from the White house. As for the plan, “we are talking about a small secret ground operations groups, specially prepared to capture similar purposes.

If necessary, the newspaper, can be applied and “surgical strikes from the air” for the complete destruction of stockpiles of chemical weapons. The US is now watching these objects by means of military space reconnaissance and unmanned aircraft.

According to a source in the American intelligence services, which is based on the publication, the Syrians have stockpiles of nerve agents (sarin and mustard). It is not excluded that in the country was developed and other military gas – VX. Stocks of these substances are in the bunkers and storage facilities near the cities of Aleppo, Hama, HOMS and Latakia.

According to previously published data the canadian Centre for non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction the name James Martin in Monte, we are talking about hundreds of tons of shells with chemical warheads and chemical bombs.

How to fulfill the Pentagon plan and what is the likelihood of the use of chemical weapons by Damascus, the VZGLYAD newspaper said the candidate of historical Sciences, senior researcher of the Center for Arab studies Institute of Oriental studies Boris Dolgov.

OPINION: Boris, according to the Pentagon plan, the Americans can with air strikes on the Syrian bunkers with chemical weapons. Overall, how such a plan realistic? What are the consequences of strikes?

Boris Dolgov (photo: from personal archive)

Boris Dolgov: a military strike on a sovereign country like Syria, is of serious consequences. This impact should involve not just the RAID on the chemical weapons, but also the destruction of the Syrian air defense system, since such objects naturally protected. In fact, it is the beginning of a military intervention against Syria. Decide whether the operation of the United States? I think that this is currently problematic, the consequences of such an attack are serious, including for the United States.

Speaking specifically about the application of such a blow, then, of course, affected those who guarded the bunkers – the first hour will be destroyed, along with the stockpiles of such weapons. It’s not a warehouse with military uniforms, the consequences of this impact is unpredictable. Chemical weapons will spread and be a danger to the environment, population, and region as a whole. Therefore, I repeat, this step is too serious a matter. When you consider that in the USA there is the election campaign, I don’t think the White house will decide to do this.

OPINION: Experts agree that the Syrian chemical weapons – old. Could not get these weapons expire? How is it still dangerous?

B. D.: shelf Life certainly exists for all components of such weapons. Specific information about Syria’s chemical weapons is not. The Syrian army, if it has such weapons, of course, store it in appropriate conditions and checks the storage time. I don’t think that in this matter there are some problems.

OPINION: it is Obvious that the United States fear of chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, for example, “al-Qaeda”. Can do groups of fighters to capture and then transport the chemical warheads over long distances? Or is it only army, no matter whose?

B. D.: the United States does spend a strange policy towards radical Islamism. On the one hand, they are struggling with it in Afghanistan and Yemen, and on the other support in Libya and Syria. So, to say that the US fear of falling into the hands of “al-Qaeda” chemical weapons in Syria – this is a question with double meaning. If the United States had not supported radical Islamists in Syria and al-Qaida in particular, would not have the problem with the possible capture of chemical weapons.

But specifically, this is possible. Individual components of chemical weapons may be transported not only the government troops but the militia groups.

OPINION: what is the probability that the Syrian government will use these weapons in the fight against the rebels? They say it was in the early 1980-ies?

B. D.: use of chemical weapons in Syria was not. It is known that in HOMS and Hama were armed uprisings of the Muslim brotherhood. But against them chemical weapons have never been used. In Iraq – Yes.

With regard to the use of chemical weapons against the current so-called rebels, I don’t think there will be corresponding political decisions.

The Syrian government it would be too dangerous and not necessary, because this weapon has a double effect: to spread in the region and affect not only those against whom it is directed, but those who use it. It is known from experience of the First world war. So the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities against the rebels impossible. For the Syrian government this step would involve too unpleasant consequences.

OPINION: does Syria purely military sense to use chemical weapons in case of NATO intervention?

B. D.: It is an open question. The representatives of the Syrian foreign Ministry stated that in case of military aggression from outside the authorities have chemical weapons. This issue will be resolved in specific circumstances, because of the chemical weapons, I repeat, will not necessarily affect the one against whom it is applied…

The statement of the Syrian leadership about the possibility to use chemical weapons – rather a psychological step, the pressure on those forces who want to exploit the situation and to launch a military aggression against Syria… yet I don’t think that the Syrian leadership used chemical weapons even in case of military invasion.

OPINION: How the military of the NATO countries, for example Turkey, ready to repel chemical attacks?

B. D.: chemical defense Troops in all NATO countries, and in Russia there are such units. They’re advanced enough, though – it’s a known historical fact – the chemical weapon never used since the First world war, with the exception of Iraq.


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