No unilateral military action in Syria: US

2013-08-28 15:01
US soldiers stand in front of a Patriot missile battery. (Wojtek Radwanski, AFP)

US soldiers stand in front of a Patriot missile battery. (Wojtek Radwanski, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The United States has ruled out unilateral military action against Syria and is conferring with allies on potential punitive strikes that could last for more than a day, a senior US official said on Wednesday.

"Any military action would not be unilateral. It would include international partners," the senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

The strikes against Syria, if ordered, could extend beyond a single day, the official said.

"The options are not limited just to one day."

Amid speculation Britain and France would join in the possible strikes, US officials declined to comment on whether the military action under consideration would go beyond the use of cruise missiles and require fighter aircraft to enter Syrian airspace.

"We're exploring every option," the official said.

The official's comments offered the latest sign President Barack Obama and US allies were moving towards military action against Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons.

‘Outside players’

Obama's deputies were holding discussions with Turkey, Jordan and other partners on contingency plans in preparation for any retaliation by the Syrian regime in the event of US-led action, the official said.

Washington was looking at "what could likely be the reaction, the consequences" of military action.

"There's a possibility that the Syrian government would use chemical weapons again. I don't think you can discount that," said the official.

But if the United States took no military action against Damascus, then it would send a dangerous signal to other regimes with chemical stockpiles, including North Korea, the official said.

Citing North Korea, the official said "what's to say, as they [the North Koreans] watch this play out in Syria, they wouldn't use weapons like this?"

Obama's aides were still working to define the precise objective of any potential intervention, a second administration official said.

The purpose of the strikes would likely be aimed at deterring President Bashar Assad's regime from using chemical weapons again and degrading its ability to do so, the second official said.

The Assad regime has warned Washington against intervention but the United States was prepared for possible retaliatory action from Syria or its allies, according to the second official.

"We believe we can manage any Syrian reprisals" or reaction from "outside players," including Iran or Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, he said.

Read more on:    hezbollah  |  bashar assad  |  barack obama  |  syria  |  us  |  syria conflict  |  middle east peace

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
18 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.