U.S. Military Beginning Review of Syria Options as Officials Warn International ‘Militarisation’ Against Assad Grows Closer
Rumors that Iran has deployed 15,000 troops to Syria to assist Assad and that British and Qatari troops have now entered Syria to assist the rebels will, if true, mean that we may see a point of no return much sooner rather than later …
By Barbara Starr – “Although the U.S. focus remains on exerting diplomatic and economic pressure on Syria, the Pentagon and the U.S. Central Command have begun a preliminary internal review of U.S. military capabilities, CNN has learned.
The options are being prepared in the event President Barack Obama were to call for them. Two senior administration officials who spoke about the review to CNN emphasized that U.S. policy for now remains the use of non-military options.
The focus on diplomatic options was underscored by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.
‘Before we start talking about military options, we very much want to ensure that we have exhausted all the political, economic and diplomatic means at our disposal,’ Ambassador Susan Rice said on CNN’s ‘Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.’
The president has also said that the U.S. is working on non-military options first.
‘I think it is very important for us to try to resolve this without recourse to outside military intervention, and I think that’s possible,’ Obama said in an interview with NBC News that aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
But the military is beginning to look at what can be done. One of the senior U.S. officials called the effort a ‘scoping exercise’ to see what capabilities are available given other U.S. military commitments in the region.” Read more.
International ‘militarisation’ in Syria growing closer, warns US official – “The official from the State Department told The Daily Telegraph that while the White House wants to exhaust all its diplomatic options, the debate in Washington has shifted away from diplomacy and towards more robust action since Russia and China blocked a United Nations resolution condemning Syria. The Pentagon’s Central Command has begun a preliminary internal review of US military capabilities in the region, which one senior official called a “scoping exercise” that would provide options for the president if and when they were requested. The White House said it was talking to allies about holding a ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting in the near future and was considering delivering humanitarian aid to affected areas in the country.” Read more.