The Pan-Arab news service Asharq Al-Awsat claims the United States is preparing plans to intervene in Syria to prevent the Bashir government from attacking its civilian population. According to a US Military source NATO plans to begin with establishment of a secure zone to provide shelter for Syrian refugees near the border with Turkey and provision of humanitarian aid to all Syrians, then NATO forces that will move in from Turkey. The plan is based on NATO’s 1998 action in Kosovo after the UN Security Council failed at the time to pass a resolution to halt the Yugoslav Government’s acts of killing there because of Russia and China.

The source added that the Pentagon does not expect Russia and China to shift from their support to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but the scenario depends on the two states’ approval to provide humanitarian aid “to the entire Syrian people”, achieve ceasefire “between all parties”, in a reference to the armed Syrian opposition, dispatch a special envoy from the United Nations to “study the situation in Syria and submit a report to the Security Council”, and send international observers.

According to the scenario, provision of humanitarian aid might serve as a legal international means to provide military protection for humanitarian aid teams. This action might develop into an air protection to aid convoys that are expected to move in from Turkey and Jordan.

The source noted that the scenario is “very cautious” because it takes into consideration the immense power of the Syrian armed forces, especially the Syrian Air Force. Therefore, he said, the scenario focuses on not sending land troops to Syria in accordance with the first phase of the Kosovo war in which NATO planes were involved and during which no American soldier was killed. The source added that the scenario paves the way for the declaration of an air exclusion zone modeled on the Kosovo plan and on the air exclusion zone that was imposed in Iraq before the overthrow of the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. 

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The world should be doing something about the horrible attacks on Syrian civilians, but it seems to me that the Arab League should be risking it’s lives to stop them.  It’s also strange that President Obama, who believes in the UN to a fault,  is thinking about going around the international body.  But then again they shouldn’t feel too bad, if this story is true, the President will also go around the constitution and Congress–again.

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