It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran is playing a growing role supporting the Syrian regime and is helping to build and train a militia to fight opposition forces, U.S. defense officials said Tuesday.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Pentagon reporters that the militia, which is generally made up of Syrian Shiite forces, is being used to take the pressure off the Syrian regime forces, which have been at war for almost 18 months.
Panetta said it has become obvious that Iran is doing more for the Syrian regime, including providing assistance and training.
"We do not think that Iran ought to be playing that role at this moment in time," the defense secretary said. He said that "it's dangerous, that it's adding to the killing that's going on in Syria and that it tries to bolster a regime that we think ultimately is going to come down."
Asked about military options for intervention in Syria, Dempsey said the U.S. has been in discussions with Jordan and Turkey about the possible need for a safe zone, because the two countries neighboring Syria are seeing an influx of refugees fleeing the fighting.
"And with a safe haven would probably come some form of no-fly zone, but we're not planning anything unilaterally," Dempsey said.