The Pentagon has told the Obama administration that gaining control of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons could require upward of 75,000 troops, The New York Times reported Thursday.
President Barack Obama has repeatedly signaled reluctance to involve the US military in Syria’s civil war, which observers say has claimed over 37,000 casualties as of Nov. 15. However, the president said in August that any attempt by Syria to use or move its chemical weapons would be a “red line” that could prompt U.S. military action.
Syria is believed to possess large quantities of mustard gas, a corrosive agent used in World War I, and sarin, a far more deadly nerve agent.
The CENTCOM estimate was delivered to the White House amid growing concern that Hezbollah, which the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization, has set up training camps near some of Syria’s chemical weapons sites, the Times said.
Source: The New York Times