US military completes planning for Syria scenarios, CNN says
U.S. Marines and members of the Jordanian armed forces conduct fast rope drills as part of Eager Lion 2012 in Aqaba, Jordan, on May 9, 2012. Jordan has requested further training from the U.S. military in case the unrest in Syria spills across its border.
The U.S. military has completed planning for how American troops would conduct a variety of operations against Syria, or to assist neighboring countries in the event action was ordered, CNN reported.
The United Nations declared earlier this week that Syria is now in a state of civil war, after months of fighting between pro-democracy Syrians and President Bashar Assad that has killed at least 14,000 people.
Jordan is particularly concerned that the unrest could spill across its shared border with Syria or that the collapse of the Assad regime could lead to a massive influx of Syrian refugees. Although Jordan and the U.S. do not have a formal defense agreement, one Defense Department official told CNN the U.S. would provide assistance to Jordan if needed.
According to CNN, the U.S. military planning includes:
- A scenario for a no-fly zone.
- Training Jordan's military on ways to handle situations that could destabilize their country.
- Advising Jordan on setting up humanitarian bases to help refugees.
- Monitoring Syrian chemical and biological weapons sites around the clock.
The CNN report quoted anonymous DOD officials as well as Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said the situation in Syria reminded him of the escalating violence during the Iraq war.