The Pentagon has prepared various scenarios for possible United States intervention in another Middle East state.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Obama administration is deliberating whether or not it should use the brute of the US military in Syria during a Senate hearing.
Dempsey used the term "kinetic strikes," and added the "issue is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government."
Last month, the Obama administration concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons during the ongoing battles.
Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said: “The intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete.”
Barack Obama said earlier that the use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” and likely trigger American intervention.
When the White House concluded Assad had relied on chemical warfare, Rhodes said, “both the political and the military opposition . . . is and will be receiving US assistance."
But not everyone in United States is agreeing with General Dempsey’s proposal. General came under fire from Sen. John McCain over the issue of Syria.
McCain, who supports a stronger role in supporting rebels in Syria, accused the Obama administration of inaction in Syria and questioned the quality of advice Dempsey has provided to the White House over the past two years.
McCain expressed concerns that Dempsey's advice on arming rebels has shifted.
"How do we account for those pirouettes?" McCain asked.
"We have adapted our approach based on what we know of the opposition," Dempsey said.
"We wouldn't be starting a war," McCain, said of ramping up military support to the rebels. "We would be trying to stop a massacre that's going on."
"You and I went through this in 2006," McCain said. McCain said Dempsey disagreed at the time with what came to be known as the "surge" strategy in Iraq, which involved sending additional forces to Iraq and changing the way troops were employed.
"I think history shows that those of us who supported the surge were right, and people like you, who didn't think we need a surge were wrong," McCain said.
The Pentagon has provided Obama with options for the use of force in Syria, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said to a Senate panel earlier today.
The American military officer underscored that “the question is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government”, but refused to go into detail, although Senate panel’s members insisted on clarifying the strategy to end the Syrian conflict.
“It’s a decision for our elected officials. It would be inappropriate for me to try to influence the decision with me rendering an opinion in public about what kind of force we should use,” the general retorted.
The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral James Winnefeld, said that “There are a whole range of options that are out there”.
“We are ready to act if we’re called on to act,” he concluded.
The EU deems impossible to solve the Syrian conflict by military actions and supports a Russia-US initiative to hold a conference on Syria in Geneva, UN President Herman Van Rompuy said at a press conference concluding SA-EU summit.
“There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, only diplomatic one. We support the joint Russia-US call to hold a conference on Syria in Geneva,” he stated.
A joint final communiqué also expresses concern about the ongoing violence, deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and destabilizing effect of the conflict on neighbouring countries.
“We’re concerned that the UN Security Council split /over Syria/ paralyzed international community activities and made impossible to put pressure on all the parties of the conflict in order to end the conflict,” a statement says.
“We call on every party to stop violence and give humanitarian organizations free access to provide assistance to all those in need on the Syrian territory,” the statement underlines.
Nothing has changed in the Syrian theatre of war as the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan has begun. Despite the hopes for a stalemate throughout the holy month, the country is still being ploughed by shelling, while its outskirts are shaken by outburst of gunfire.
An 11-year-old boy died and three other children were injured on Wednesday night when a shell hit a Shiite neighbourhood in western Damascus, the al-Mayadeen TV channel says. Another mortar struck a basketball court at a Damascus stadium, damaging the building.
Meanwhile, three civilians lost their lives when a car bomb went off near a mosque in the Damascus suburb of Kanakir. The blast wounded dozens of worshippers, including women and children, who flocked to the al-Omari temple.
Syrian troops have been mounting offensive on the Sunni outskirts of Douma after razing rebel strongholds in nearby Qaboon. The al Assad army has conducted a number of successful attacks in the Damascus suburbs of Harasta, Erbin and Adra, followed by a string of victories over insurgents in eastern al-Ghouta.
The city of Deraa, some 60 miles south of Damascus, has become the centre of serious challenge as the Syrian army fought off rebels’ counter-attacks and destroyed convoys, carrying ammunition for the opposition forces. The majority of wiped terrorists came from Jordan, Libya and Saudi Arabia, the SANA news agency reports.