(Washington Times) No U.S. ground troops will be sent to Syria to secure chemical weapons if the Syrian regime falls, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Thursday in the Defense Department’s most detailed public comments to date on planning for Syria.

“We’re not working on options that involve boots on the ground,” Mr. Panetta said at a Pentagon briefing. “I think you always have to keep the possibility that, if there is a peaceful transition and international organizations get involved, that they might ask for assistance in that situation. But in a hostile situation, we’re not planning for that.”

He said the greater challenge is deciding what steps the international community can take to ensure those weapons do not fall into the wrong hands.

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