US rules out immediate possibility of sending troops to Syria

Last Updated: Friday, January 11, 2013 - 12:17

Washington: Ruling out any immediate possibility of sending troops to war-torn Syria, the US on Thursday said it will do so only when requested to join the international community in case of a peaceful transition in the country.

"We`re not working on options that involve boots on the ground. I think you always have to keep the possibility that if there is a peaceful transition and international organisations get involved, that they might ask for assistance in that situation. But in a hostile situation, we`re not planning for that," Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said.

"We`re not talking about ground troops, but it depends on what happens in a transition. Is there a permissive (or a) hostile atmosphere? And that`ll tell you a lot," Panetta said.

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed apprehension that efforts for preventing the use of chemical weapons in Syria may not be fruitful due to lack of effective intelligence and persistent surveillance.

He said the US is working with regional partners to address the issue of use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. Also he pointed out towards the `red-line` warning given by the US President to the Assad regime against use of any chemical weapons.

"I think that Syria must understand by now that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. To that extent, it provides a deterrent value. But preventing it, if they decide to use it, I think we would be reacting," he said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 11, 2013 - 12:17
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