US preparing for military action in Syria, top US general says

President Barack Obama is considering using military force in Syria, and the Pentagon has prepared various scenarios for possible United States intervention.

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
Thursday morning Senate hearing.

Gen. Dempsey said the administration was considering using
kinetic strikes” in Syria and said “issue is under
deliberation inside of our agencies of government
,” the
Associated Press reported from Washington.

Dempsey, 61, is the highest ranking officer in the US military
and has been nominated by Pres. Obama to serve a second term in
that role. The Senate Armed Services Committee questioned him
Thursday morning as part of the nominating process when Dempsey
briefly discussed the situation in Syria.

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
.”

Pres. Obama said previously 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
.” 

That claim was met with skepticism, though. The Syrian Foreign
Ministry called Obama’s claims a “caravan of lies.” Vitaly
Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, later
presented to the UN evidence supplied to his government that
suggested the Syrian opposition fighters used chemical weapons.

With regards to foreign intervention, UN Secretary General Ban Ki
Moon said, “Providing arms to either side would not address
this current situation
.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and his
father, former congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) have also cautioned
the White House against aiding Syrian rebels.

You will be funding today the allies of al Qaeda” by
aiding Syrian rebels, Sen. Paul said in May.

On his part, the retired lawmaker from Texas insisted that the
administration’s lead up to possible intervention is
identical to the massive deception campaign that led us into
the Iraq War
.”

That isn’t to say the GOP is entirely opposed to taking any
action. Although directly using the American military – either
through boots-on-the-ground or unmanned aircraft – has been
rarely discussed in public, Sens. John McCain (R-Arizona) and
Lindsey Graham (R-SC), two long-time leaders within the
Republican party, have been relentless with efforts to equip
opposition fighters.

I don’t care what it takes,” Graham told Foreign Policy’s
The Cable earlier this year. “If the choice is to send in
troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical
weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in
the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a
problem
.”

Other US officials have previously said Washington is considering
implementing a no-fly zone above Syria, and last month the
Pentagon left a fleet of F-16 fighter planes and its Patriot
anti-missile system on the border of neighboring Jordan following
a routine military drill.

Republished with permission from: RT