Saturday, July 28, 2012

White House Weighs Direct Military Intervention in Syria

White House is concerned, but won’t compare Syria to Libya

Sun, 29 July 2012

WASHINGTON — The United States has shown heightened concern over a Syrian offensive in second city Aleppo, but rejected comparisons to a Libyan crackdown that triggered international intervention. “We are very concerned about the situation in Aleppo,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said, condemning President Bashar al Assad’s “heinous, reprehensible” assault on civilians.

“The kinds of weaponry that they’re using against unarmed civilians I think demonstrates the depths of depravity to which Assad has sunk,” he told reporters. Carney was asked about the similarities between Aleppo, a restive stronghold for the dissident Free Syrian Army, and Benghazi, the dissident-held Libyan city that was an early focus of the uprising against Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s threat to crush the uprising in Benghazi was cited by an international coalition that included the United States to intervene militarily in Libya last year to enforce a no-fly zone. Carney pointed to a “broader array of issues” that led the United States and its allies to launch their offensive. “There was the imminent assault. There was the call from the opposition, the unified opposition, for international action,” he said.

“There was international consensus both at the level of the United Nations Security Council as well as regional consensus through the Arab League.”

In Syria, however, “we do not have that,” Carney said, reiterating US “disappointment” with Russia and China’s decision to veto three UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.

But a group of three US senators did not hesitate to compare the Aleppo crisis to Benghazi. — AFP

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