The longer this war continues, the more possibility it becomes a regional war

An American political commentator believes that the Obama administration’s policy regarding the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad government in Syria is very ‘dangerous’.

Press TV has conducted an interview with James Jatras, a former US Senate Foreign Policy analyst in Washington, to further talk over the issue. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Israel recently violated Syrian territory and now it has deployed a third Iron Dome missile battery near the Syrian and Lebanese border. Just how much physical involvement will we see from Israel? How should we interpret this?

Jatras: It is a very good question and it is indicative of a very worrisome trend that the longer that this war continues and the longer the Western powers keep supporting the radical forces opposed to the Assad government in Syria, the more the possibility grows that this war will become a regional war and that will not only slap over to Israel but also to Turkey where these Patriot Missiles are being deployed and frankly present the danger of a tripwire that could be used for a NATO intervention in Syria which indeed maybe their purpose.

Press TV: Of course, we know that the Syrian deputy foreign minister is now in China and we know that the Syrian Army is gaining ground against the insurgents, but in the event of a full-scale war, will Russia and China become involved in it?

Jatras: I do not think they will. I think if there is a NATO involvement, and I hope there is not, I do not see Iran or Russia or China becoming directly involved as combatants. I think the broader danger to the region would grow due to unexpected consequences.

With regards to the Patriots in Turkey, my major concern is that the insurgents can trigger that; they can fire a missile from Syria which then will be ‘responded’ to by the Patriots and then portrayed as a Syrian aggression against Turkey and grounds for an Article 5 invocation by NATO to intervene in Syria. I think that is a great danger.

Press TV: Indeed and of course we know that the opposition is calling for dialog with the Syrian government. How genuine is this call for dialogue?

Jatras: You know, there is one leader of the Syrian opposition who did call for dialog and was immediately attacked then by most of the opposition that remains committed to a total victory and the overthrow of the regime does not want a negotiated solution.

And indeed unfortunately there are some people here in the United States and in the Obama administration who support that point of view and I think they are playing with fire; they are looking at what is going on in Israel, what is going on in Turkey and the possibility of a regional war and thinking they can somehow skin the cat, that they can somehow deliver a victory on their terms and I just think it is very dangerous.

Press TV: And how much do you evaluate the UN’s role in preventing the escalation of this crisis?

Jatras: I do not think the UN can accomplish anything unless there is an agreement among the permanent members of the Security Council and again this is where the Western demand that president must go before there can be any kind of negotiation, I think it is very misplaced.

I think that with that demand to be withdrawn, it would be possible for both side with their outside supporters to sponsor some sort of negotiation and a peaceful solution. But I think that the Western powers are not willing to entertain that yet.

Source: presstv