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U.S. against further militarizing Syrian situation

(Xinhua)

14:36, March 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The United States said on Monday that it does not believe further militarizing the situation in Syria is a good idea, as Syrian opposition was calling for urgent international military intervention.

White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed media reports about more discussions over possible military intervention and arming of the opposition forces in Syria as part of the development of contingency plans, but not as a policy decision.

"Our policy remains absolutely what it was, which is our belief that contributing to the further militarization of Syria is not a wise course of action right now," he said at a regular news briefing.

"It could potentially lead down a dangerous road," he added.

The Turkish-based Syrian National Council, an opposition umbrella group, on Monday called for the imposition of a no-fly zone in Syria and the arming of the Free Syrian Army, the opposition forces made of government defectors.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington's primary focus is how to end the ongoing violence in Syria and get humanitarian assistance in.

"We don't believe further militarizing the situation in Syria is a good idea," he told reporters at a regular news briefing.

"That said, we never take any option off the table," he said. " But right now, our immediate efforts are aimed at ending the violence, having al-Assad pull back his forces, and trying to get humanitarian assistance in where it's desperately needed."

Washington and its European allies are seeking to press Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down for a peaceful transition in the country.

"At this point we're not looking to militarize the situation any more than it already has been. We don't believe that that's gonna ameliorate the situation," Toner said.

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