Press TV has conducted an interview with James Petras, a Middle East expert in New York, to discuss the remarks by Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on attempts by the ISIL terrorist group to manufacture chemical weapons.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: What do you make of what the Australian foreign minister is saying about ISIL manufacturing chemical weapons?
Petras: It is a possibility. The question is providing the proof. I think the possibility of ISIS creating or having a hold on these kinds of weapons is more likely that they are getting them via Saudi Arabia and Pakistan or secondly they have captured them from the stockpiles that the US has accumulated in Iraq over the past 12 years and thirdly I think that many of the so-called scientists that are supposedly involved in elaborating these weapons comes from western countries who cross the border to join ISIS from Turkey or Jordan.
So in many ways the elaboration of these deadly weapons has the complicity of the US and the reactionary [Persian] Gulf states like Saudi Arabia which have declared themselves mortal enemies of the Bashar al-Assad government.
Press TV: Do you find this statement that the Australian foreign minister has made, is it hypocritical at all because on the one hand we see that Australia of course is part of the US-led coalition supposedly fighting against ISIL, on the other hand we see now more and more of these so-called moderates as the West is calling it, these radicals actually that are being trained as we speak in Jordan and in Turkey to send in fresh into Syria.
Isn’t it hypocritical on the one hand she is saying that possibly they are manufacturing chemical weapons but again they are basically supporting these elements, though they say they are moderate who have become extremists in the past?
Petras: Well the least sin is hypocrisy, the worse sin is complicity. Let’s remember that many of the recruits in recent months to ISIS come from so-called moderate groups that are supported by the United States and the European Union plus Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Many of these defectors bring their arms with them when they join ISIS, many of the groups have emerged with ISIS, so the distinction between moderate groups and ISIS is very blur, I think it has lost its meaning. In fact we have one singular process here of ISIS and the so-called moderates, disintegrating moderates, in a common front trying to overthrow the legitimate government of Bashar al-Assad.