Top Military Leader Talks Of Risk For US In Syria

By Salon Staff

Published March 7, 2012 2:18PM (EST)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's top military leader says the armed forces would be ready if called upon to get involved in Syria, but he raised concerns about outside extremists and Syria's chemical and biological weapons.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that any involvement needs to be assessed in terms of risk and whether the U.S. can accomplish its mission. Dempsey was testifying with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta just days after three members of the panel, led by top Republican Sen. John McCain, called for U.S. airstrikes against President Bashar Assad's regime to end the bloodshed.

Dempsey said Syria's chemical and biological weapons "need to stay exactly where they are."

Committee Chairman Carl Levin said there is no consensus on how to get Assad to leave.

Salon Staff

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