News / USA

Israeli Air Strikes Prompt Debate on Possible US Action in Syria

Free Syrian Army fighters on a pick-up truck, head towards the frontline where clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are taking place, in Damascus May 5, 2013. Free Syrian Army fighters on a pick-up truck, head towards the frontline where clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are taking place, in Damascus May 5, 2013.
x
Free Syrian Army fighters on a pick-up truck, head towards the frontline where clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are taking place, in Damascus May 5, 2013.
Free Syrian Army fighters on a pick-up truck, head towards the frontline where clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are taking place, in Damascus May 5, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Michael Bowman
— Some U.S. lawmakers say Israeli airstrikes in Syria demonstrate that the United States could take action to protect Syrian civilians from horrific carnage and hasten the fall of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Obama administration has provided non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels and humanitarian assistance for those displaced by the country’s civil war.  But the administration has resisted calls for establishing a no-fly zone over Syria, noting American warplanes would be targeted by Syrian air defense systems.

Republican Congressman Tom Cotton says Israeli airstrikes Friday and Sunday demonstrate such concerns are unfounded.

“The Israeli strikes over the last 48 hours have indicated that those Russian air defense systems [in Syria] are not as robust as they are sometimes reported to be.  We can stop Bashar al-Assad from killing his own people, and we can stop some of the worst violence in Syria," he said.

Cotton spoke on NBC’s Meet the Press.  Also appearing on the program was Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, who agreed that Israel’s actions have exposed weaknesses in Syrian air defenses.  But he cautioned that other actions the United States could take - like arming Syrian rebels - are not without risks.

“Our problem in who to supply is that some of these [rebel] groups are strong Islamists, al-Qaida and others.  And we have seen in Libya and Egypt and elsewhere, the Islamists tend to get the upper hand if they get in there [come to power]," he said.

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the administration is re-thinking a full range of options, including possibly arming Syrian rebels.  He stressed that no decisions had been made.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid