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Western military intervention in Syria 'increasingly likely' to prevent conflict spreading to Arab

Damascus, Wed, 25 Jul 2012 ANI

Damascus, July 25 (ANI): Western military intervention in Syria is 'looking increasingly likely', because the conflict is now in danger of spreading across the Arab world and could lead to cross-border invasions, a report has warned.

According to The Guardian, the study conducted by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) fears that President Bashar al-Assad's regime might use its stockpile of chemical weapons, or that these devices could be stolen in the chaos of the civil war.

It said that these concerns have intensified "the sense of imminent international conflict that is gripping the region".

The broader implications of the violence in Syria are making the West rethink about its strategy of non-intervention, the report said.

"The problem of containing the Syrian conflict, preventing it sparking even greater violence, fragmenting neighbouring countries and even provoking cross-border invasions, is now more urgent than dampening the violence inside Syria itself," Professor Michael Clarke, RUSI's director general, said.

The study said the stage is now set for a proxy contest, with Iranian-backed groups in Lebanon and Shia forces in Syria and Iraq being pitted against Sunni communities in the same countries, some of them supported by Saudi Arabia.

"An arc of proxy confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia is likely to follow the fall of the Alawite elite in Syria that will set the terms of the Middle East for a generation," Clarke said.

"We are not moving towards intervention, but intervention is moving towards us. Events of recent days have created a step-change in the situation that will make a hands-off approach increasingly difficult to maintain," he added.

The study rules out the likelihood of a full-scale invasion by the West, but suggests limited action to protect civilians.

These operations could also include sabotage and encouraging a coup d'etat against the regime. (ANI)

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