19-02-2017 08:42 PM Jerusalem Timing

US, NATO Prepare Syria Intervention: US Official

US, NATO Prepare Syria Intervention: US Official

A top US commander in Europe said that the US military and NATO are drawing up plans for direct military intervention in Syria.

A top US commander in Europe said that the US military and NATO are drawing up plans for direct military intervention in Syria.

Adm. James Stavridis, head of the Pentagon’s European Command told a Senate hearing last Tuesday that the US military is “looking at a variety of options” and is “prepared if called upon to be engaged.”Adm. James Stavridis

Declaring that there was “no end in sight to a vicious civil war,” Stavridis told the panel that “the option of assisting the opposition forces in Syria in ways that would break the deadlock are being actively explored by NATO members,” the Washington Post reported.

The admiral addressed the Senate Armed Service Committee, saying that US and NATO discussions have included providing “lethal support” to the anti-government militias and using direct military force to impose “no-fly zones” in Syria and enforce “arms embargoes” against the Syrian government.

Both Britain and France have called for an emergency meeting of European Union foreign ministers this week on their demand for lifting an EU arms embargo that bars member states from directly shipping weapons to the Western-backed armed opposition.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President François Hollande have indicated that they were prepared to act unilaterally if the EU fails to bow to their demand.

For its part, Germany voiced opposition to the lifting of the ban, warning that it will escalate the bloodshed, risk arming Al Qaeda-linked forces, and potentially spread violence throughout the region.

Washington, meanwhile, has signaled its support for British and French moves to directly arm the anti-government militias.

Last Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “the United States does not stand in the way of other countries that made a decision to provide arms, whether it’s France or Britain or others.”