Russian politicians and pundits call Syrian statement to use chemical weapons "provocative"

Provocative U.S. moves have prompted the Syrian authorities to declare the possible use of chemical weapons in the case of foreign aggression, according to Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov.

"Washington should quit provoking the Syrian authorities," hr said. "I am confident that the Syrian government has the right to use every available means to protect itself from a foreign aggression towards which Washington is pushing the international community."

Zyuganov recalled that following two Russian and Chinese vetoes on UN Security Council draft resolutions, which implied amongst other measures force as a way of pressure on Damascus, Washington said that it would seek a mandate for using force against the Bashar al-Assad government with the help of the so-called 'Friends of Syria.'

"It seems Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are not enough for the Americans and they now want to smother Syria," he said.

"This threat is particularly impudent, as the Americans wish to act bypassing the UN Security Council. That is a challenge to the entire world public, which may lead to the final breakdown of the post-war world order," he said.

Peace loving forces must prevent the use of force against the Syrian government by aggressive states, Zyuganov said.

Meanwhile, Moscow Carnegie Center scholar Alexei Malashenko views the statement by Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi on the possible use of chemical weapons as provocative and practically improbable.

 "Speaking of possible possession of chemical weapons by Syria, they could have been supplied by the Soviet Union only. I still very much doubt that because the risk was too large. Theoretically, they might have obtained the arms bypassing the USSR, but that also looks like a big bluff to me," he said.

"Any bluff is emotional, but they won't scare anyone. If the Syrian authorities use some crackers, they will be crushed. There is a gas mask to be worn against gas, and the abilities of Western countries naturally exceed the Syrian abilities manifold," he said.

"This is a silly and provocative statement. It may be made by someone we may soon see amongst defectors to the West," he remarked.

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