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President Barack Obama has described the situation in Syria as "heartbreaking" but said that unilateral US military intervention there would be a mistake.
Mr Obama said President Bashar al-Assad would fall, as other dictators had fallen, but the US would try to achieve this by working to isolate Syria.
He rejected a comparison to Libya, saying Syria was more complicated.
In Libya, where rebels backed by Nato air strikes ousted longtime leader Col Muammar Gaddafi after an uprising lasting several months, the US had "the full co-operation of the region," the president said.
Is this based off peoples reactions around the globe to the American war machine and part of a PR strategy or, is it legit?
post by Boncho
So yes, the Pentagon meeting was leaked. One detail AJ didn't cover is that NATO does not want war with Syria
I kept pressing on the question of what these SOF teams would be working toward, and whether this would lead to an eventual air camapign to give a Syrian rebel group cover...
...There wouldn't be a need for air
cover, and they wouldn't expect these Syrian rebels to be marching in
They emphasized how the air campaign in Syria makes Libya look like a piece of cake. Syrian air defenses are a lot more robust and are much denser, esp around Damascus and on the borders with Israel, Turkey. THey are most worried about mobile air defenses, particularly the SA-17s that they've been getting recently.
There still seems to be a lot of confusion over what a military intervention involving an air campaign would be designed to achieve. It isn't clear cut for them geographically like in Libya, and you can't just create an NFZ over Homs, Hama region. This would entail a countrywide SEAD campaign lasting the duration of the war. They dont believe air intervention would happen unless there was enough media attention on a massacre, like the Ghadafi move against Benghazi. They think the US would have a high tolerance for killings as long as it doesn't reach that very public stage. Theyre also questiioning the skills of the Syrian forces that are operating the country's air defenses currently and how signfiicant the Iranian presence is there. Air Force Intel guy is most obsessed with the challenge of taking out Syria's ballistic missile capabilities and chem weapons. With Israel rgiht there and the regime facing an existential crisis, he sees that as a major complication to any military intervention.
How does Mr. Obama plan on further isolating Syria? How much more isolated can they be? (serious question, not too sure on exactly what isolation methods have been implemented and what success they've had).
They pretty quickly distanced themselves from that idea, saying that the idea 'hypothetically' is to commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.
Could it be that he realizes that Syria is Irans ally and a attack on them, by theory, could be construed as a attack on Iran?
The Iranians are weighing in the situation in Syria very carefully. One must read beyond the public statements of the Iranians, especially ayatollah Khamenei. Both Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have concluded that Asad's regime cannot be rescued. It is perfectly understood that the regime in Damascus will fall along lines similar to the Libyan model. There will have to be a coup in Damascus, be it a military or political one.
One must not dismiss the pragmatism of Khamenei. Iran appears to be willing to use its influence in Syria to stage a coup, provided that it is able to ensure that the new leadership will continue to pursue excellent relations with Tehran.
The Iranians feel they need to act on Syria soon because the Turks have their own plans for Syria and are not coordinating with the Iranians. He says the Turks are moving slowly but systematically. Iran does not want to allow Turkey to take over Syria. Whereas the Turks are coordinating with the Brotherhood and the FSA, the Iranians prefer a palace coup in damascus in order to maintain their ties with Asad's successors.