Gates: US war on Syria like ‘throwing gasoline on fire in Middle East’

Thursday, September 19, 2013
By Paul Martin
Wed Sep 18, 2013

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says a US military strike against Syria would be like “throwing gasoline on an extremely complex fire in the Middle East.”

Gates, who was speaking at a forum in Dallas on Tuesday, also hinted that Washington’s past military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya showed that military action can lead to unintended consequences.

A proposal by Russia to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control has so far stopped US military strikes against the country.

The Syrian government was accused for a chemical attack near Damascus on August 21. Russia says that the foreign-backed militants staged the attack to incriminate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Gates dismissed attacking Syria to enforce a “red line” by President Barack Obama, the Associated Press reported.

“I believe to blow a bunch of stuff up over a couple of days to underscore or validate a point or principle is not a strategy,” said Gates, who also served as director of the CIA under George H.W. Bush.

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