Kerry: US Planning ‘New Options’ for Move Against Syria’s Assad

Goal Is to Convince Assad Defeat Is Inevitable

by Jason Ditz, February 13, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry says that he and the rest of the State Department are hard at work developing “new options” for the Obama Administration to use in a move against the Assad government in Syria.

Kerry says that he expects to have new recommendations when he returns from his current trip abroad to follow up on President Obama’s State of the Union pledge to “keep the pressure” on Assad.

The goal at present for the administration is to convince Assad that defeat is inevitable in the hopes that he will voluntarily resign afterwards. The US has been predicting Assad’s imminent fall, but the Syrian civil war has remained stalemated.

State Department officials went on to insist that Kerry would under no circumstances use his long-standing friendship with Assad to try to broker a direct meeting, with spokeswoman Victoria Nuland insisting that Kerry’s relationship with Assad was “well before” the current civil war.

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