by Liu Hongxia, Igor Serebryany
MOSCOW, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The speculated if not anticipated military strike against Syria from the United States and its allies did not go in line with the West's interests, a Russian expert said Tuesday, as momentum was building for such a response to the purported use of chemical weapons in the Syria conflict.
"The West has been looking for an excuse for military intervention in Syria. The latest developments show that the strike is pre-decided and it's a matter of time only when it actually happens," Sergei Druzhilovsky, professor in Moscow State Institute of International Affairs, told Xinhua.
While UN inspectors were on the scene collecting evidence, Washington and its allies have blamed the Syrian government for the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in the suburbs of Damascus, a claim Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called "preposterous."
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the BBC on Tuesday that the U.S. military stands ready to strike Syria at once if President Barack Obama gives the order. Obama has spoken to leaders of Canada, Britain, France and Australia, as he is considering limited strikes on military targets not directly related to Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.
Syria was not the "final cuisine" as the West attempted to re- establish its control over the entire Middle East, where some countries like Iran has gone "out of reach," the Russian expert said.
The destination, Druzhilovsky believed, was that the United States returned to a brief historical period when the world was unipolar.
That illusion, however, was only doomed to failure, he said. " First, the Middle East looks like a shredded blanket, but the West has no time to patch all the holes on it."
"Even if the West can negotiate and bargain with those Arab governments, it can nearly do nothing with the 'Arab streets'," the expert added.
Should a military strike against the Syrian government happen, an effect contrary to what Western strategists expect would arise, that is, "the Arabs might unite against Western civilization, regardless of their political and religious affiliation," he said.
In that case, the conflict between Bashar al-Assad and the opposition could evolve into that between Islamic world and Western civilization, "which is what Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned about recently," Druzhilovsky said.
From the sheer military perspective of view, he said, potential operation in Syria will be reminiscent not of operation in Kosovo where the U.S. air force stroke from the safe distance, but rather of the Libya scenario in which the West landed its airborne units.
"However, the West can not reach its objectives in Syria by military force. Just see what has happened in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam (Hussein). The military operation in Iraq lasted for two weeks, but the political solution in Iraq has not been found ever since," Druzhilovsky said.
Even if the Syrian opposition seizes power in Damascus thanks to Western military support, they would "tear each other's throats the very next day," he said, adding that the further chaos could certainly not serve the West's interests.
In case of such a strike, Russia would immediately convene a UN Security Council meeting and attempt to pass a resolution condemning the intervention, even if adoption of such a resolution would take days or weeks, he said.