A group of refugees wait to enter a makeshift camp at the Austrian Slovenian border near the village of Sentilj, Slovenia, October 26, 2015. © Leonhard Foeger / Reuters
The flooding of Europe by countless waves of refugees may be the result of the “strategic depopulation” of Syria carried out by opponents of the country’s government, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has suggested.
Transparency organization WikiLeaks has looked through its diplomatic cables and unearthed “an interesting speculation about the refugee movement,” Assange said in an interview with Geek news site, ThePressProject.
“So, the speculation was this: Occasionally opponents of a country would engage in strategic depopulation, which is to decrease the fighting capacity of a government,” he explained. The whistleblower pointed out that “it’s predominantly the middle class that is fleeing” Syria on account of having “language skills, money, some connections.” Engineers, managers and civil servants are “precisely, the classes that …[are] needed to keep the government functioning,” he said.
Syrian people are encouraged to flee their country “by Germany saying they’ll accept many-many refugees, and by Turkey taking nearly three million refugees, thus significantly weakening the Syrian government,” Assange stressed.
Syria isn’t the only case of migration being used as a weapon in recent history; during the Iraq War, Sweden told the US that “the acceptance of Iraqi refugees was part of its contribution,” according to cables.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
The WikiLeaks founder said that it’s a “disgrace” that the US refuses to take in Syrian refuges because it’s Washington who should be held accountable for the hundreds of thousands of people arriving in Europe and making EU states close its borders with one other. “The situation comes about as a result of the US, UK and French policy in the Middle East together with the behavior of US regional allies in the Middle East – Qatar, Turkey, Jordan and Israel… and Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The intercepted documents, already published by WikiLeaks, revealed that the US had been plotting to overthrow the Syrian government since around 2006, Assange stressed.
“It was trying to make the Syrian government ‘paranoid’ trying to get it to ‘overreact’ by instilling that fear and paranoia; trying to make it worried about coups; trying to stir up sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shias … trying to stop foreign investment in Syria and secretly funding a variety of NGOs in Syria also to make trouble, using the Saudis and Egypt to help push that along,” he said. Meanwhile any of Assad’s attempts to battle terrorism and the expansion of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) strength were presented as a demonstration of weakness and “an example of [the] Syrian government not having full control over its territory to encourage the government overthrow,” the whistleblower added.
Assange stressed that the people in America have nothing to gain from the Syrian conflict, but “only particular factions that pushed for it” might believe that they will benefit in the end. “Of course, the CIA perceives they have a benefit. They create a problem and then they’re given a greater budget to clean the problem up. Similarly, with the contractors, arms dealers and arms manufacturers. If there’s no problem then their budgets are cut. So they create problems,” Assange explained.
By meddling with Syria, Washington also pursued “a grand area strategy to weaken Hezbollah, to allow Israel greater control of Golan Heights, maybe a buffer zone as well; to knockout (Syria) a regional ally of Iran; to knockout the last Russian base that’s left outside the former Soviet Union in Tartus; to create a path for a gas pipe that is proposed pass is from Qatar to Saudi and up through Syria to Europe, which will compete with Russian gas,” added Assange.
US interference has to Syria being ensnared in a bloody conflict since 2011. Over 220,000 people have been killed, according to UN estimates. Government forces have fought various militant groups throughout the conflict, including the so-called moderate opposition backed by the West as well as the jihadist IS and Jabhat al-Nusra terror groups. In late September, Russia began airstrikes against the terrorists in Syria at the request of President Bashar Assad, allowing government forces to launch a large-scale offensive and recognize a turning point in the conflict.