Press TV has conducted an interview with James Petras, a Middle East expert, about the advances made by the Syrian army near the northern city of Aleppo.
A rough transcription of the interview appears below.
Press TV: How do you feel about this near complete liberation of Aleppo?
Petras: These are very decisive victories not only for the people of Syria but for the forces who are leading this struggle on an international and Middle Eastern level.
I think the victories that are accumulating in Aleppo are a decisive blow against the alliance of Saudi Arabia, Washington and Turkey. I think the terrorists have met their match and the triumph of not only the forces of Syria but their allies among the Russians, Hezbollah and Iranian leadership.
I think this is an advance which will turn the war. I think once Aleppo falls, Raqqah will fall next and Syria will be liberated.
However, this is a process and one has to take account of an additional factor here, and that is the Turkish invasion of Syria and their advance across the country under pretext of fighting ISIS. They are in fact conquering parts of northern Syria and hope to establish a Turkish colony.
So, we must look at this in a larger context. The advance in Aleppo is one big positive step for the triumph of the liberation forces, but one has to take account that Turkey is now pressing inward and downward into Syria and represents a threat for all democratic forces in the Middle East.
Press TV: Mr. Petras, I’m wondering… Many people are saying that accusation such as the chlorine gas attack, which, we’ve now heard at least in the mainstream media, has been blamed again on President Assad’s government. If you were saying that such accusations only ever come up when the militants start losing, how do you feel about that?
Petras: That’s very true. I think the ploy of the poison gas is something which stretches way back to the invasion of Iraq, where Washington discovered this poison gas just as they prepared an invasion. These are pretexts; these are diversions from the fact that Washington is looking toward increasing its intervention in Syria. And I think the propaganda which is being presented is a way of trying to defeat the advancing forces in Syria and to discredit the formidable victories that we see in the last few weeks.