Latest News Syria / U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel: ‘Put down the arms’

Image

An Israeli news source:

‘US studying Syria no-fly zone near Jordan border’

June 15, 2013

Wall Street Journal reports buffer zone near southern border with Jordan would be used to train rebels, protect refugees.

As a part of its proposal to provide military aid to the Syrian rebels, the United States is studying setting up a limited no-fly zone in Syria close to the southern border with Jordan in order to protect Syrian refugees and rebel forces training in the area, two senior Western diplomats in Turkey said on Friday.

Their comments, confirmed by a third regional diplomat, came after Washington said it would step up military assistance to rebels battling President Bashar Assad in response to what it said was proof of chemical weapons use by Assad’s forces.

‘After Syria chemical arms use, US to arm rebels’

“Washington is considering a no-fly zone to help Assad’s opponents,” one diplomat
said. He said it would be limited “time-wise and area-wise, possibly near the Jordanian border,” without giving details.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the no-fly zone would stretch up to 25 miles into Syria, and would be enforced with aircraft flown from Jordan or from Navy ships in the Mediterranean or Red Sea.

US officials told the Journal the White House is considering proposals to arm and train the rebels in Jordan, but that Washington could decide to train rebels in Jordan without enforcing the no-fly zone.

The limited no-fly zone would cost an estimated $50 million a day, and would take a month to get up and running. However, the window of opportunity to set it up is limited.

If Russia decides to deliver the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the Assad regime, it would become too dangerous for US pilots to enforce the buffer zone, the officials told the Journal.

Imposing a no-fly zone would therefore require the United States to destroy Syria’s air defenses, entering the two-year-old civil war with the sort of action that NATO used to help topple Muammar Gaddafi in Libya two years ago.

Despite that, the officials said the no-fly zone would not necessitate the destruction of Syrian anti-aircraft batteries.

The area near the Jordanian border contains some of the most densely-populated parts of Syria, including the outskirts of the capital Damascus.

Washington has moved Patriot surface-to-air missiles, war planes and more than 4,000 troops into Jordan in the past week, officially as part of an annual exercise, but making clear that the forces deployed could stay on when the war games are over.

A White House National Security Council spokeswoman declined to comment on the topic.

France: UN backing for Syria no-fly zone ‘unlikely’ France said on Friday that it was unlikely for now that a no-fly zone would be established over Syria because of opposition from some members of the UN Security Council.

“The problem with this type of measure is that it can only be put in place with approval from the international community,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot told journalists.

“A decision from the United Nations Security Council is needed, and not just any decision,” he said. A Chapter 7 resolution authorizing military action was needed, and that was unlikely to be passed, he added.

Assad’s government can count on Moscow to block any such resolution if it were to be brought to a vote.

Lalliot said France had yet to make a decision on arming rebels, but that all these issues would be discussed among heads of state at next week’s G8 summit.

Apart from arming the rebels, France could also extend further help to them in the form of sharing more intelligence, providing training and planning operations, Lalliot added.

He declined to say whether that meant French military advisers would be on the ground
in Syria, although diplomatic sources have indicated some are already operating in Turkey and Jordan.

The White House said Washington would now provide “direct military support” to the opposition. It did not publicly specify whether this would include “lethal aid,” which would mark a reversal of Obama’s previous resistance to arming the rebels. But a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the package would include weapons.

Syrian rebels already receive light arms from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They have asked for heavier weapons including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. European countries, in particular France, have argued that the solution is to provide more weapons for mainstream rebels to marginalize extremists.

“We want anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons,” George Sabra, acting leader of the National Coalition political opposition bloc, told Al Arabiya television. “We expect to see positive results and genuine military support.”

Syrian rebel commanders were due to meet Western and Turkish officials in Turkey on Friday to discuss military assistance to the rebels. Until now Washington has been deeply reluctant to send weapons, citing a risk that they would end up in the hands of radical Sunni Muslim brigades.

One of the diplomats said that setting up a no-fly zone could also help Western efforts to monitor the recipients of any arms supplies.

Free Syria Army General Salim Idris told Al Arabiya that the Syrian opposition hopes to translate the change in American position into reality, and be given tangible access to weapons and ammunition.

He also warned that if the US backtracks on its decision to arm the rebels, Iran and Hezbollah would cement their control over the region.

US Senator John McCain, a hawk on Syria, said America needed to neutralize Assad’s air power: “They (rebels) have enough light weapons. They’ve got enough AK-47s. AK-47s don’t do very well against tanks,” McCain told CNN. “They need anti-tank weapons and they need anti-air weapons.”

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed what he said was a “clear US statement”. “The international community has made clear that any use of chemical weapons is completely unacceptable and a clear breach of international law,” Rasmussen told reporters in Brussels.

===

The Washington Times – May 10, 2013
‘Put down the arms. The Middle East peace process demands talk, diplomacy and politics, not military involvement, said U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/10/defense-secretary-chuck-hagel-stresses-political-n/

Photo: On April 19, 2013, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) has negotiated with Israeli officials on sales of new weapons to Persian Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/04/19/299074/new-us-arms-sales-targeting-iran/

Advertisements

About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
This entry was posted in Geen categorie and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Latest News Syria / U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel: ‘Put down the arms’

  1. kruitvat says:

    As a reminder:

    March 27, 2013

    ‘NATO head urges Syria political solution, rules out intervention’

    (Reuters) – NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for a political solution to the Syrian crisis on Wednesday, ruling out Western military intervention despite a plea for U.S. protection by a foe of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Opposition leader Moaz Alkhatib said on Tuesday he had asked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for American forces to help defend rebel-controlled northern parts of Syria with Patriot surface-to-air missiles now based in Turkey.

    But NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen stuck firmly to his insistence that the 28-nation alliance would not play a military role in the two-year-old Syrian conflict, which has claimed an estimated 70,000 lives.

    “We don’t have any intention to intervene militarily in Syria,” he said, speaking to Russian students in Moscow via a video link from Brussels.

    “I do believe that we need a political solution in Syria and I hope the international community will send a unified and clear message to all parties in Syria that we need a political solution,” Rasmussen said.

    Divisions between the Western powers and Russia and China have prevented decisive action on Syria at the United Nations.

    Three NATO countries – the United States, the Netherlands and Germany – sent Patriot missiles to Turkey early this year to protect Turkish cities from possible attack from Syria.

    Alkhatib told Reuters on Wednesday that the refusal by international powers to provide Patriot missile support sent a message to Assad to “do what you want”.

    Rasmussen said there was a clear difference between Syria and Libya, where NATO air strikes helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

    “In Libya we took responsibility for the operation based on a United Nations mandate to protect the Libyan population against attacks from its own government…and we had active support from the countries in the region,” he said.

    “None of these conditions are fulfilled in Syria, there is no United Nations mandate, there is no call on NATO to intervene in Syria, even the opposition in Syria does not ask for a foreign military intervention,” he said.

    The six Patriot missile batteries dispatched by the NATO allies are stationed around three Turkish cities.

    They have a short range – they can defend an area of just 15 to 20 km (10 to 13 miles) against a ballistic missile, according to NATO – and in their current positions are too far away to provide an effective shield for northern Syria.

    The U.S. missiles, deployed around the city of Gaziantep, are closest to the Syrian border, about 60 km (37 miles) away, but the German and Dutch batteries are 100 km (60 miles) or more from the Syrian border.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/27/us-syria-crisis-nato-idUSBRE92Q0JL20130327

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s