US refines game plan to overthrow Assad | world | Hindustan Times
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US refines game plan to overthrow Assad

The Obama government has abandoned efforts for a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Syria, and instead it is increasing aid to the rebels and redoubling efforts to rally a coalition of like-minded countries to forcibly bring down the government of president Bashar al-Assad, American officials say.

world Updated: Jul 22, 2012 23:24 IST

The Obama government has abandoned efforts for a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Syria, and instead it is increasing aid to the rebels and redoubling efforts to rally a coalition of like-minded countries to forcibly bring down the government of president Bashar al-Assad, American officials say.

Administration officials have been in talks with officials in Turkey and Israel over how to manage a Syrian government collapse. Defence secretary Leon E. Panetta is headed to Israel in the next several days to meet with Israeli defense counterparts, following up on a visit last week by President Obama’s national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon, in part to discuss the Syrian crisis.

The White House is holding daily meets to discuss a broad range of contingency plans — including safeguarding Syria’s vast chemical weapons arsenal and sending explicit warnings to both warring sides to avert mass atrocities — in a sign of the escalating seriousness of the Syrian crisis following intensified fighting in Damascus and the killing of Assad’s aides.

The US administration has had regular talks with the Israelis about how Israel might move to destroy Syrian weapons facilities, administration officials said. The administration is not advocating such an attack, the officials said, because of the risk that it would give Assad an opportunity to rally support against Israel.

NYT