U.S. Rejects Military Option in Syria
The United States offered no new tactics for ending the bloodshed in Syria on Tuesday, UPI reported.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at his daily press briefing the administration would continue its strategy of talking to officials from other nations and the UN Security Council to come up with ways to pressure President Bashar Assad to end his military's assault on the Syrian citizenry and step down from power.
During the briefing, Carney called the weekend massacre in Syria, in which dozens of women and children died, “a horrifying testament to this regime's depravity.”
He added, “The international community is united in its revulsion at the regime's actions through both its military and its thug forces, and we are ratcheting up the pressure on and isolation of this murderous regime.”
Carney said that “military action is always an option” but added that “would lead to greater chaos, greater carnage.”
“We do not believe that militarization, further militarization of the situation in Syria at this point is the right course of action,” Carney said, according to the UPI report.
He said the administration continues to back former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts to broker an end to the violence.
Carney’s comments came after eight Western powers announced that they are expelling senior Syrian diplomats, following the killing of 108 people in the Houla region of Syria on Friday.
France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia all announced expulsions. Spain followed their lead hours later, saying Madrid rejected the escalation of violence in Syria.
The move comes one week after reports in Washington indicated senior administration officials are on the verge of arming Syria's rebels - providing they can ensure any weapons provided will not fall into the hands of terrorists.
The move, which has been advocated by senior officials in Western Europe for several months, would mark a major shift in Western posture on the Syrian crisis and could herald deeper direct involvement in the fighting there.
On Sunday, the United Nations Security Council issued a statement condemning the Syrian government of Syria for the weekend massacre.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed his revulsion over “the ongoing massacre being perpetrated by the forces of Syrian President Assad against innocent civilians,” adding that “Iran and Hizbullah are an inseparable part of the Syrian atrocities and the world needs to act against them.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded that those who carried out the killings be brought to justice.