In testimony before the US Senate Armed Forces Committee on Wednesday, top US defense officials announced that they are deploying 200 troops of the 1st Armored Division to Jordan. They will establish headquarters near the Syrian-Jordanian border and plan for a rapid build-up, involving 20,000 or more US troops, awaiting orders from the White House to invade Syria.
A US invasion force would reportedly include Special Forces troops and regular units preparing for operations inside Syria, as well as air defense units guarding against possible retaliatory Syrian air strikes on Jordan.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Senate committee that these deployments are part of €œrobust military planning for a range of contingencies, € carried out by the United States and its European and Middle Eastern allies.
At the same time, Washington is carrying out an international diplomatic offensive setting the stage for war with the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The topic of US military operations against Syria will reportedly be on the agenda of US Secretary of State John Kerry €™s discussions in Turkey this weekend, of General Martin Dempsey €™s talks with Chinese officials next week, and of Hagel €™s upcoming talks with military officials in Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
As US officials admitted, invading Syria would likely involve the United States in a regional war throughout the Middle East. Hagel said that a US intervention in Syria €œcould have the unintended consequence of bringing the United States into a broader regional conflict or proxy war. € He noted that this “could embroil the US in a significant, lengthy, and uncertain military commitment. € 1