Can get Marines to Jordan overnight, but can’t respond to our people fighting for their lives in Benghazi.
Dollars to donuts, they will be shipping our forces into Syria soon, if they haven’t already.
The “intense discussions” followed the US announcement on Thursday that it will increase military support to opposition fighters after Western intelligence agencies confirmed that the Syrian regime had crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons.“We will be discussing that response urgently with the United States, France and other countries, including at the G8,” said William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, calling for “a strong, determined and coordinated response from the international community”.
The sudden intensification of conflict on the ground, which saw the rebels lose the strategic city of Qusayr a week ago, sets up a renewed diplomatic confrontation between Russia and the West at next week’s G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Added urgency was provided by the disclosure from David Cameron that rebel groups affiliated to al-Qaeda “have attempted to acquire” chemical weapons for use in Syria, citing briefings from British intelligence.
The US announcement that it would be sending military aid to the rebels, including communications equipment, logistical support and – according to some officials – light weapons and ammunition, has sharply upped the ante on Syria.
Reports from The Times on Friday night claimed that 300 US Marines have already been deployed to northern Jordan, along with a Patriot anti-aircraft missile, ahead of plans to arm the rebels.
The Kremlin, which has backed the regime diplomatically and militarily and ignored months of Western entreaties to use their influence to rein in Mr Assad, reacted with derision to Washington’s finding that Syria had used chemical weapons.