No new military planning effort underway: US on Syria

SyriaNo new military planning effort underway: US on Syria. (Reuters)

The US has said it is not planning any new military effort involving the Syrian opposition, even as the Obama Administration has welcomed EU's decision to lifted the arms embargo on rebels.

"We welcome the EU action. Support for the opposition is a track that we are pursuing, even as we also work with the opposition in an effort to realise the Geneva Communique and bring about the political transition that is envisioned in it," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

The Pentagon, however, has said there has been no change in US stand of not providing arms support to Syrian rebels following EU's decision.

"There is no new military planning effort underway with regard to Syria. The Joint Staff, along with the relevant combatant commanders, continue to conduct prudent planning for a range of possible military options," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in response to questions.

"We've made clear in the past, and again make clear, our firm belief that providing arms to the Assad regime does not bring us closer to the political transition that Syria

deserves. So our position on that has not changed," he said, referring to Russian arms sales.

Meanwhile, a media report said the White House has asked Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone to be enforced by the US and other countries such as France and the UK.

"The White House is still in contemplation mode but the planning is moving forward and it's more advanced than it's ever been," one administration official was quoted as saying by The Daily Beast.

"All this effort to pressure the regime is part of overall effort to find a political solution, but what happens if Geneva fails? It's only prudent to plan for other options," the official said.

... contd.

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