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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.