U.S. senator calls for military strikes on Syria
The influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin (D-Mich.) who has returned from a fact-finding trip to the Middle East, also expressed support for arming the militant groups fighting against the Syrian government.
“Increased military pressure on Syria is the only way to achieve a negotiated settlement, which in turn is needed to restore stability to a region that certainly doesn’t need any more instability,” Levin said Wednesday during a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Levin conceded that the U.S. public opposes an increased involvement in the Syrian conflict and that there is “no consensus” on the issue on Capitol Hill.
Senator Levin and Senator Angus King (I-Maine) spent five days in Jordan and Turkey, talking to government officials as well as U.S. diplomatic and military personnel about the conflict in Syria.
The two senators also met with militant leaders including Salim Idriss, the leader of the so-called “Free Army”, and visited refugee camps along the Syrian border.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, Levin and King said the U.S. and its allies should arm and train the militants and consider “options for limited, targeted strikes at airplanes, helicopters, missiles, tanks and artillery.”
However they said they were not calling for American troops on the ground in Syria.
The senators noted that “doing nothing may be the worst option of all,” potentially destabilizing U.S. allies in the region, including Turkey and Jordan, and threatening Israeli interests.
In a letter last month, Sen. Levin, Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey called on President Obama to take “more decisive military actions” against Syria.
A recent opinion poll conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that the majority of Americans, 70 percent, are against U.S. involvement in Syria’s unrest.
Stephen Lendman : ‘US criminal calls for bombing Syria’
(PRESS TV) American political analyst Stephen Lendman says U.S. Senator Carl Levin is another “war criminal in the Washington’s establishment” after “he outrageously wants the Pentagon to bomb Syria.”
“The war on Syria is Washington’s war. It’s a proxy war,” he told Press TV on Thursday.
Lendman made the remarks after Senator Levin called on the administration of President Barack Obama to attack Syrian “airfields, airplanes and massed artillery.”
Levin, who has returned from a fact-finding trip to the Middle East, also expressed support for arming the militant groups fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
“Levin wants to make it a direct war. He wants the Pentagon to get involved, which means he wants NATO to get involved, which means he wants to replicate what happened in Libya that means daily bombings, the country was ravaged, tens of thousands of innocent people were killed,” Lendman said.“Levin wants the same thing repeated in Syria.”
The analyst also said “a great majority of Syrian people support their government and they do it for good reason.”
The U.S. military has also been secretly training militant groups since November last year.
Washington’s efforts to support the militants come as a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center show that the majority of Americans, 70 percent, are against U.S. involvement in Syria’s unrest.