Saturday 20 January 2018

US considers military force in Syria

US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama

Philip Sherwell New York

The US is considering the use of military force in Syria, according to the country's top general.

Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he has provided President Barack Obama, right, with options for military strikes in Syria, where the civil war has cost at least 93,000 lives.

He told a Senate hearing that under current conditions, he believed President Bashar Assad would still be in power in a year's time.

The Obama administration has said that it will supply small arms to Syrian rebels, but has so far resisted calls from some US senators to intervene with military forces or implement a no-fly zone.

Gen Dempsey said Mr Obama had asked him whether the US "could", but not whether it "should", stage a military intervention.

The "issue is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government", the general said yesterday.

But in a testy exchange with John McCain, the Republican senator who is a leading advocate for US intervention, he refused to give his opinion.

Gen Dempsey has previously expressed scepticism about deploying US forces. "The decision on whether to use force is the decision of our elected officials," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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