WASHINGTON - The Obama administration and its allies and international partners have begun serious discussions about potential military involvement in Syria, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. On Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrovin in New York to secure Russian support for Western plans in Syria.
The Washington Post said that possibilities include directly arming opposition forces, sending troops to guard a humanitarian corridor or “safe zone” for the rebels, or mounting an air assault on Syrian air defenses.
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While Saudi Arabia and Qatar confessed their desire to arm the Syrian opposition, Washington still has concerns about the rebels. It is estimated that the US will lead efforts to impose a no-fly zone in Syria, if the decision is made, but that it would take Washington several weeks to reposition the forces.
It was also reported that recent US intelligence reports suggest President Bashar Assad commands a formidable army that is unlikely to turn on him, an inner circle that has stayed loyal and an elite class that still supports his rule.
At the moment, the US is focusing on providing humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians and opposition forces. The Americans understand that the Syrian conflict is unlikely to be resolved in a peaceful manner and that prospects of a civil war may affect the entire region.
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