Step toward possible military intervention in Syria

The Pentagon is sending about 200 troops to Jordan, the…

The Pentagon is sending about 200 troops to Jordan, the vanguard of a potential U.S. military force of 20,000 or more that could be deployed if the Obama administration decides to intervene in Syria to secure chemical weapons arsenals or to prevent the 2-year-old civil war from spilling into neighboring nations.

Troops from the 1st Armored Division will establish a small headquarters near Jordan’s border with Syria to help deliver humanitarian supplies for a growing flood of refugees and to plan for possible military operations, including a rapid buildup of American forces if the White House decides intervention is necessary, senior U.S. officials said.

Although the Pentagon has sent Patriot missile batteries to Turkey and several dozen U.S. troops already are in Jordan to assist with aid flights and other operations, the move marks the first deployment that Pentagon officials explicitly described as a possible step toward direct military involvement in Syria.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who disclosed the deployment Wednesday in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, made clear that both he and President Obama remained deeply wary of intervening in Syria just as U.S. forces are trying to withdraw from 12 years of war in Afghanistan.

Read more at L.A. Times

Load Comments