US talks military intervention in Syria – report

US marines (AFP Photo / Don Emmert)
Washington has allegedly opened discussions with allies on possible military intervention in Syria, as foreign ministers from the UN Security Council nations meet to discuss the Syrian conflict.

­The Washington Post cites unnamed officials who confirm behind the scenes talks will address arming Syria's opposition, sending troops to protect a humanitarian corrdor and an airstrike.

However, the US officially insisted they currently rule out an option of any military involvement in Syria’s internal conflict.

The allies nevertheless remain deeply divided over the scope of any intervention, how and when it would happen, and who would participate, reports the newspaper.

Over the weekend, UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan held two meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The negotiations failed to reach any tangible results. The Syrian leader rejected a proposal for a dialogue with the opposition and made it clear it would not be open while “armed terrorist groups were still operating in the country.” The former UN chief however said he “feels optimistic.”

The legitimacy of any military options under international law remains highly questionable, with Russia and China having vetoed UN Security Council resolution.

On February 4, Russia and China vetoed the UNSC resolution condemning the Syrian regime’s continuous crackdown on the opposition. The move upset the international community, but Moscow and Beijing said the resolution was unbalanced. While calling on Damascus to end the violence, it did not send the same message to the Syrian opposition.

Meanwhile, foreign ministers from the 15 Security Council nations are due attend an open SC meeting on Monday to assess the aftermath and scope of a year of Arab uprisings. The Syrian conflict is also expected to be discussed.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are to meet separately as the two countries have serious differences in the approach to the Damascus crisis solution.