Hundreds of UN staffers are spending their days waiting for the Assad government to fall, and planning for massive deployments of UN troops to the nation to take over the country “the day after.”
UN officials say that NATO appears uninterested in an invasion of their own into post-Assad Syria, and seems to be operating on the assumption that someone’s going to invade, and it may just as well be them. Several different plans are being considered, with all figuring on some number of troops.
Planning doesn’t mean anything is going to actually happen, however. For the UN to actually occupy Syria would require UN Security Council approval, and that means getting Russia and China, both of which have opposed intervention, on board.
The United States’ own planning for a post-Assad invasion envisions a bare minimum of 75,000 troops just to secure chemical weapons sites, and tens of thousands of additional troops in various other capacities. The UN’s version doesn’t cite any numbers, at least publicly, but it is hard to imagine them coming up with an invasion force of 100,000-odd troops to just up and occupy Syria out of the blue.
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