By EWAN ROBERTSON
Mérida, 26th August 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has warned against possible U.S. intervention in Syria, urging “peace” and questioning the Syrian government’s responsibility for an alleged chemical attack near Damascus.
“We’re on the brink of the beginning of an open war against Syria. We’re not going to abandon the Syrian people,” said Maduro at an event in Caracas on Saturday.
United Nations weapons inspectors are currently investigating the site of an alleged chemical attack on civilians near the Syrian capital Damascus last Wednesday. The United States and its allies have blamed the government of President Bashar al-Assad for the suspected attack.
Syria’s ally Russia states that there is no concrete evidence about the attack or who was responsible. The Assad government denies any role in the alleged attack.
In a meeting of U.S. President Barack Obama’s top advisors in the White House on Thursday, possible military options were discussed among courses of action which the U.S and allies could take against Syria, which has been gripped in a bloody civil war since March 2011.
On Saturday President Maduro expressed his doubt over the Assad government’s responsibility for the suspected attack. The Venezuelan head of state called the use of chemical weapons “a lamentable situation”; however he suggested that the rebel forces seeking to oust Assad could be to blame, saying that Syria is “the focus of terrorist attacks”.
“In any case, we should await the [U.N.] investigation,” added Maduro, who was Venezuela’s foreign minister between 2006 and 2012.
Along with countries such as Russia and Iran, Venezuela supports a negotiated political solution to Syria’s conflict, effectively backing the Assad government. Venezuela has sent oil shipments to Syria during the civil war and considers the country one of its allies in the Middle East.
Meanwhile the U.S. and its allies have stated that Assad must step down as part of any peace settlement.
Maduro accused the U.S. of wanting to “split Syria into four pieces” because the country represents “resistance to [U.S.] advance and expansion” in the Middle East. He also blasted the U.S.’s “so-called war on terror”, arguing that “the greatest terrorists are the elite of the United States”.
Late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez also strongly opposed Western intervention in the Middle East and other regions, particularly in allied countries such as Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya.
“We reject war, we want peace,” declared Maduro on Saturday, continuing, “Venezuela will act accordingly in the United Nations, in the whole world, to move what we can in the UNASUR [Union of South American Nations], in the CELAC [Community of Latin American and Caribbean States], for the truth of the Syrian and Arab and Islamic peoples”.
PUBLISHED ON AUG 26TH 2013 AT 9.24PM