Without Asking Congress, Obama Puts U.S. Troops on Syria Border
by Alex Newman
Friday, 12 October 2012
The Obama administration has now publicly announced that it deployed U.S. troops near the Syrian border in neighboring Jordan without ever seeking congressional permission, supposedly in an effort to help the Jordanian government deal with refugees from Syria while ensuring that the civil war does not spill over into the broader region. Concerns about chemical and biological weapons falling into the “wrong hands” were also cited to justify the latest deployment, but some lawmakers are upset, warning that the U.S. is now even closer to overt military intervention in Syria.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaking at a NATO conference in Brussels, said the Obama administration had been cooperating closely with the government of Jordan’s King Abdullah II. Apparently both sides are concerned that Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles could end up in the hands of al- Qaeda-linked Islamic extremists currently battling the secular Bashar al-Assad regime with support from the Western establishment and assorted Sunni dictatorships.
“We continue to be concerned about security at those sites,” Panetta said after the NATO meeting of defense chiefs. “We want to ensure that security is maintained and we want to be very sure that those [weapons] do not fall into the wrong hands.” The embattled Syrian dictatorship has reportedly tried to secure its stockpiles, but fears about them remain, especially in neighboring Turkey. “They are obviously concerned about the (weapons storage) sites as well,” Panetta said about the Turkish government. “So we’ve worked with them to do what we can to monitor the situation.”