What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
Video version here
Press TV: Russia’s call for the world to join and help the Syrian government in fighting ISIL terrorists, seems to have fallen on deaf ears at least in Washington. Instead, we have the US president saying that Moscow’s strategy in Syria is doomed to failure. Two questions here: First of all, what is Russia’s strategy that the West is so opposed to? And second: Why is the West so worried about what it calls an alleged Russian build-up in Syria?
Chossudovsky: Well first of all we have to distinguish:
-On the one hand between acts of aggression by the US against a sovereign state under the “humanitarian mandate” of “‘going after” ISIL, when in fact we know –and it is amply-documented– that the ISIL is supported and financed by the United States and its allies;
-And on the other hand, what we might describe as bilateral military cooperation between two sovereign states, namely Syria and the Russian Federation. And that is something which has been ongoing for many years between the two countries.
Russia has a naval base in the Mediterranean and it is also providing Syria with its air defense system, the S-300, as well as other areas of cooperation particularly focusing on training and weapons systems and so on. I do not think that implies in any way that they would be deploying ground forces. That will not happen. And this is not something new; it is part of a longstanding relationship between the two governments.
Now with regard to Obama, it is somewhat of a diabolical statement. Since September of last year -and we now are commemorating one year of “US humanitarian bombings directed against Iraq and Syria–, there have been 53,000 air sorties during that period (official figures) of which 6,700 have been what they call “strike sorties”.
Now I would suspect that a large number of the 53,000 sorties are in fact geared towards delivering weapons and supplies to the ISIS (ISIL) which are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance fighting Syrian government forces.
Press TV: How suspicious do you see the recent increase in the number of countries suddenly eager to join the US airstrikes on Syrian soil?
Chossudovsky: Well you know the United States has always used the strategy of co-opting its so-called allies and, in some cases, its proxy states in doing its dirty work in the war theater and they have the support of Saudi Arabia, Qatar; they also have their European allies, they have Canada.
I think that the leaders of these countries, the so-called Western democracies, have to beg the question: Who are we supporting?
They are supporting the terrorists, it is clear and obvious. The strike sorties directed against Syria do not target the ISIL.
The ISIL is an instrument of the US administration, it’s an al-Qaeda-affiliated entity.
They used to be called al-Qaeda in Iraq and there has been a longstanding intelligence tradition in the United States. US intelligence supports “Jihadists” and al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations. Many of the ISIS [members] are in fact former Libya’s Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) mercenaries who have now joined the ISIL and –as we recall– those mercenaries were supported also by the United States and NATO.
Minor editing by GR