Dempsey: US can change military balance in Syria

US military chief warns "it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict''

Dempsey: US can change military balance in Syria

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey has said "the use of US military force can change the military balance, but it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict'' in Syria.

In an August 19 letter to US Congress which appeared on the American news media, Dempsey wrote that the US military had the capability to destroy the Syrian air force and thus shift the balance of the two year-old war in favor of the rebels, however expressing his doubts over the reasonability of doing so.

"The use of US military force can change the military balance," he said, adding "but it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict.''

In his letter, he pointed out to "the factionalism of the Syrian opposition, not all of which shares the Western vision of the country’s future," saying he did not believe the Syrian rebels would support US interests in case America helped them defeat forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Dempsey has continually warned the US politicians against stronger military commitment in the Syrian conflict, citing the US experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides. It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not,''' added Dempsey.

Dempsey described Syria's war as "tragic and complex, which has been supported by the recent developments there."

“It is a deeply rooted, long-term conflict among multiple factions, and violent struggles for power will continue after Assad's rule ends," he wrote. "We should evaluate the effectiveness of limited military options in this context."

Dempsey also supported the Obama administration's current policy of providing humanitarian assistance and some limited help to moderate opposition, saying that would be "the best framework for an effective US strategy toward Syria.''

Syrian National Coalition (SNC) blamed the Syrian regime forces of carrying out a chemical attack in the suburbs of the Ghouta region in the early hours of Wednesday, claiming that at least 1,300 people were killed in the assault.

But the Syrian regime strongly denied the claim and described reports and figures as "lies and groundless," blaming international media for covering baseless stories aiming at "distracting a visiting team of United Nations chemical weapons experts from their mission."

A UN team is currently in Syria to investigate an earlier allegation of use of chemical weapons reported by the Syrian government at Khan al-Assal as well as two other allegations reported by Security Council member states.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ağustos 2013, 09:31
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