News / USA

US Military Leaders Lay Out Goals for Syria Attack

US Military Leaders Lay Out Goals for Syria Attacki
X
September 05, 2013 1:00 PM
With destroyers and other assets positioned to strike Syria, U.S. military leaders have laid out their goals if there is an attack. But as VOA Pentagon Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, officials are weighing the scenarios that could follow the first shot.
US Military Leaders Lay Out Goals for Syria Attack
Luis Ramirez
With destroyers and other assets positioned to strike Syria, U.S. military leaders have laid out their goals if there is an attack.  Officials are weighing the scenarios that could follow the first shot. 

The U.S. aim is to weaken Syria's defenses enough to eventually bring about the negotiated departure of Bashar al-Assad.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators the proportionate and limited strike that he would be in charge of would be a first step.

“To deter, that is to say change the regime’s calculus about thee use of chemical weapons, and degrade his ability to do so,” he said. 

To do that, the U.S. has Tomahawk missiles ready to hit Syrian government targets.  About 40 of the missiles are aboard each of four destroyers that are deployed to the eastern Mediterranean. 

U.S. Military Assets - September 2, 2013U.S. Military Assets - September 2, 2013
x
U.S. Military Assets - September 2, 2013
U.S. Military Assets - September 2, 2013
​The U.S. has doubled the number of vessels in the region. The Nimitz aircraft carrier group is nearby in the Red Sea, ready to be called into action.

The administration rules out wider action for now.  But observers say, once the United States fires the first missile, Washington becomes a participant in Syria's civil war, and a promise to stay out of the conflict becomes difficult to keep.

“Right now we are denying that we want to overthrow the regime, but the fact is when you are bombing targets, government targets in Syria, and there are rebels trying to overthrow the government, you are, whether you say it or not, trying to overthrow the government. But you're only doing it a little bit,” said Cato analyst Benjamin Friedman.

If Syria's chemical weapons were to fall into the hands of militants or if there were complete chaos, Secretary of State John Kerry told Senators he would want the president to have the option of putting U.S. troops on the ground, but he added, quickly, that was only a hypothetical statement.

A strike could last a few hours or a few days, but Pentagon planners are ready for possible wider consequences. 

U.S. forces have little to expect in terms of a response from Syria's comparatively weak military.  They would watch for a possible retaliation by Iran-backed Hezbollah and other militant groups that could launch attacks against Israel and other U.S. allies in the region.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 05, 2013 10:34 AM
Analysis like this seek to scare those who have not been to or seen a real battlefield before. The real trouble is expected to come from Russia, but Mr. Putin appears prepared to give up Syria - he must have been convinced that Assad was responsible for the gas attack. Advice to Israel will be, "don't strike back if attacked". Which is a very dangerous thing to say. Because surely both Hamas and Hezbollah will send tentative strikes at Israel, and if no action follows in retaliation, they will step it up, which must provoke a response from Israel to deter further attempts unless it wants to be a scapegoat.

Syria must not be left in the hands of the so-called Syrian Rebels now featuring a conglomeration of terrorist networks after weakening Assad's forces. Surely Assad regime cannot recover from the strikes, hence there are rebels waiting to take over. But the rebels are not good and it will be suicidal to abandon Syria to them. That only represents giving teeth to al qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas and all other terrorist groups in the world whose goal has been to achieve the objective of the resistance - which is what Iran (now joined by Qatar) spends its annual national budgets on terrorists to achieve.

In Response

by: Anonymous
September 05, 2013 3:27 PM
Of course Putin knows assad is guilty the best thing Putin could do is side with the west so the people of Syria MAY later accept their navy back into their country. Right now people in Syria are mad at Putin for allowing assad and arming assad to drop bombs in civilian areas. Putin has been feeding mr assad, and mr assad has been feeding the country bombardments in civilian areas. Every city/town/village has been partially or in some cases fully destroyed. Every city has lost loved ones from assads bombing runs. Assad has only gained hatred, you don't win votes from your people by bombing their civilian areas. You earn a nomination for crimes against humanity.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid