West adjusts ‘Libyan scenario’ to Syria – Pushkov

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

MOSCOW. April 2 (Interfax) – The West has opted for a course to overthrow Bashar al-Assad by supporting rebels, not by launching a military operation, said Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee.

“Apparently, the stage of political maneuvers is drawing to its close. The West is passing over to a modified Libyan scenario in Syria which aims to overthrow Assad by supporting the rebels and supplying arms to them,” Pushkov told the committee on Tuesday.

Weapons are arriving already, he said.

“Now France and Britain claim they can start delivering weapons immediately after the end of the embargo in late May 2013. The United States is not involved in this process directly, but it is known that it is playing a serious coordinating role. It is an open secret that American instructors train militants at bases in Jordan,” Pushkov said.

U.S. special services also oversee that weapons arriving in Syria will not fall into terrorists’ and radical Islamists’ hands, according to the U.S. official position.

“Anyway, the U.S. is involved in the operation as an organizer and coordinator of an operation, whose goal is to overthrow Assad,” he said.

Attempts to find a political solution have abated lately and the prospect of talks on the settlement of the conflict has been relegated to the background, he said.

“One can get the impression that the West does want to avoid a military intervention into Syria, but wants the Assad regime to be overthrown without Western military interference,” he said.

“Information support is being organized for a transfer to the active phase of the overthrow plan. The chemical weapons theme is being used as a pretext for an even more overt external participation in the Syrian crisis,” Pushkov said.

“We are being told that Assad’s days are counted even though he controls 70% of Syria’s territory, and that the opposition is isolated and has serious problems,” Pushkov said.

Pushkov also said that the State Duma could adopt a new statement on Syria if the military scenario prevails.

“If the military scenario prevails our committee will propose adopting a statement on Syria, I think,” he said, adding that the military scenario will prevail over others in the foreseeable future.

“This is the way I see the prospect. The State Duma must assume a position in this connection,” Pushkov said.

The State Duma adopted a statement on Syria last year, when the conflicts was at its initial stage. “The situation is different now,” he said.