Iran’s state-run PressTV interviewed two former U.S. diplomats to promote the narrative that U.S. airstrikes inside Syria are behind the mass migration of Syrians to Europe.
“The high civilian death toll from recent US airstrikes on Syrian territories has drawn a lot of anger and criticism,” PressTV reported on Monday, saying that that criticism also comes from two Americans — former U.S. diplomat Michael Springmann and former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Richard Murphy.
“Michael Springmann believes that American authorities are pursuing two objectives in their Syria operation,” PressTV reported. “For one thing, he said, they want to drive Syrian people out of their homeland, and for another, they intend to use the Syrian refugees as a tool to make European unstable.”
“The whole purpose of American activity in its aggressive, unconstitutional and illegal war against Syria is basically to terrorize,” said Springmann, who was fired from his State Department post and has been an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy since.
“They want to drive out the people of Syria to dehouse, deculturalize, destabilize and destroy the country and its people, and drive them into Europe and create more problems there,” Springmann said on PressTV’s The Debate program on Sunday.
“The whole point of the American government’s action there is to show that the people of Syria are not protected by their government [and] that foreign powers such as the United States, such as Turkey [and] such as Israel, can enter the country and engage in warfare with impunity,” Springmann said. Springmann also accused the U.S. of war crimes in Syria and cited civilian casualties.
“The civilian losses are a strategic negative for the United States,” Murphy said. “The former diplomat commented that ‘the American leadership is trying to bring this war to the earliest possible conclusion,’ reasoning that the intensification of US attacks ‘should be seen as the effort to end the conflict.’”
In May, officials representing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad said targeted U.S. airstrikes on a pro-government militia violated a “de-confliction zone” and amounted to “government terrorism,” while Assad’s patron Russia called the American actions “unacceptable.”
“At every meeting, we would like to remind the attendees that state terrorism is being practiced against our country,” al-Ja’afari alleged, referencing the isolated American military action, according to the Syrian state-run news agency SANA.
In March, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said while the United States supports peace talks, it is imperative to “get Iran and their proxies” out of Syria if any longstanding peace could take place.
“The United States absolutely supports [UN special envoy on Syria] Staffan de Mistura and the work that he’s doing,” Haley told reporters. “We support the U.N. process, we support the talks in Geneva, we want to see them continue.”
But Haley added that a peaceful political solution would require both Sunni groups like the Islamic State and Shiite groups like Hezbollah to leave Syria.
“This is very much about a political solution now… and that basically means that Syria can no longer be a safe haven for terrorists, we’ve got to make sure we get Iran and their proxies out,” Haley said. “We’ve got to make sure that, as we move forward, we’re securing the borders for our allies as well.”
Iran and Russia are the most prominent international allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who has eagerly welcomed their aid in crushing Syrian rebel opposition in areas like Aleppo, where the Islamic State never established itself, Breitbart News reported.
As of November 2016, Iranian officials estimated that over one thousand Iranian Shiite troops have died fighting for Assad. Reports at the time indicated that as many as 3,000 fighters allied with Assad in Syria were either Iranian fighters or allied with Iran. Assad also enjoys support from the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, which cooperates closely with the Iranian government.