Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the nation’s top military officer, told a Senate committee that the Obama administration is deliberating whether to use military power in Syria, Richard Lardner of the Associated Press reports.
Dempsey testified that that he has provided President Barack Obama with options for the use of force in Syria, including “kinetic strikes.”
The issue “is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government,” he added.
The military options range from one-off missile strikes on infrastructure linked to chemical weapons, to funelling more weapons in rebel hands, to to carving out no-fly zones, and even as far as putting 20,000 U.S. troops in Jordan for a ground invasion.
The Syrian war began in March 2011 as a nonviolent revolution with an Arab Spring “Day of Rage” when 200 mostly young protesters gathered in the Syrian capital of Damascus to demand democratic reforms and the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.
Assad swiftly cracked down on the dissent, and over the last 28 months, the conflict transformed into a proxy war to a full-blown sectarian conflict fuelled by radical jihadists and outside forces that has spilled over Syria’s borders.
In the last few months, Assad has regained the upper hand on the battlefield.
More to come.
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