(AFP) WASHINGTON — The United States Thursday warned against further “militarizing” the Syria conflict, a day after saying it could offer non-lethal military aid to rebels fighting the Damascus government.
Washington has argued that despite the humanitarian carnage in Syria, conditions are not ripe for a foreign intervention similar to the one in Libya, though it is looking for ways to help forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
“We have made very clear that we do not believe that it is right at this time to contribute to the further militarization of the situation in Syria,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
“We are pursuing a path with the Friends of Syria that we hope will bring a political resolution to the situation there,” he said referring to an international coalition opposed to Assad’s continued rule.
On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told lawmakers that Washington was considering sending non-lethal aid to rebels in what would be the first direct US assistance to forces seeking Assad’s downfall.
“We’re considering an array of non-lethal assistance,” Panetta said.