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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More