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What to Do in Syria

11:42 AM, Apr 11, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Foreign Policy Initiative offer these suggestions for what President Obama should be doing in Syria: 

The Assad regime’s brutality against the Syrian people continues unabated, despite the April 10th deadline set by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to halt the violence.  Yet rather than end the slaughter and begin withdrawing from cities, it is clear the now failed peace-plan has given Assad’s forces cover to continue brutal operations against the opposition.  Just yesterday, for example, news sources report that 35 civilians were killed in central Syria, while government troops crossed international borders with Lebanon and Turkey in pursuit of activists.
 
With the Annan plan unable to end the crisis in Syria, President Obama should prepare to do much more to bring about the end of the Assad regime and, in the interim, to help the Syrian people defend themselves against the Syrian government’s relentless aggression.  As the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) wrote in November 2011, the United States should pursue a wide range of additional options to achieve these goals:

  • Initiate and intensify direct contact with the Free Syrian Army and associated forces, and provide them with a full range of assistance, including self-defense aid;
  • Establish safe zones for civilians within Syrian territory; and
  • Use limited retaliatory airstrikes against select Syrian military targets in order to protect the safe zones.
  • Whole thing here.

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