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Syria poses limited options for Western military action

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 02/14/2012 @ 9:25 pm In Front Page,U.S.,World | No Comments

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WASHINGTON – Moscow has warned against Western military action in Syria and voted along with Beijing to veto the most recent United Nations resolution condemning Syria’s crackdown on opposition forces, and now it is apparent that the U.N. Security Council would be unable to get a resolution to launch military action to force regime change in Damascus, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

For the West, there is the prospect of bypassing the U.N. altogether and creating a “coalition of the willing” with forces from the Arab League to launch attacks similar to action taken in Libya.

There is a possibility that the Arab League could issue such a resolution calling for military intervention in Syria through establishment of a “no-fly zone,” a development which puts the burden on the Western powers to launch yet another attack on a Muslim country.

As experienced in Libya, however, there would be a considerable burden placed on the “willing” members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to undertake the added economic burden of launching such attacks.

U.S. participation in Libya alone cost some $1 billion. In addition, the other NATO countries began to run out of ordnance and those supplies may not have been replenished since the Libyan campaign.

There also is another problem in enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria: Unlike Libya, there is no major area under control of the opposition. Instead, there are pockets of active resistance in affected Syrian cities, making any no-fly zone difficult to enforce without serious collateral damage of killing civilians.

There also is a greater concern in taking Western action in Syria than in Libya, since Iran and its proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, similarly have vowed to launch attacks against Israel and other key U.S. installations in the region.

In addition, Russia has two major naval bases in Syria and recently provided Syria with new arms which constitute some 10 percent of Russia’s global arms sales. They include recently signed contracts for 24 MiG-29M/M2 fighter jets, eight Buk-M2E air defense systems and a supply of the Bastion anti-ship missile control system which has the SS-N-26 Yakhont supersonic cruise missile.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently insisted that Russia’s arms supplies to Syria will not alter the balance of power in the Middle East, adding that “we do not accept demands that we should stop something, which is not prohibited by international law.”

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