No military intervention in Syria, says top NATO general

AFP , Friday 21 Sep 2012

Senior NATO official refutes military intervention would 'improve security situation' in Syria, claims United Nations will not act

A Free Syrian Army fighter takes his position in Al-Sheikh Saeed district in Aleppo September 20, 2012. Picture taken September 20,2012. (Photo: Reuters)

NATO does not believe that military intervention in Syria would bring any improvement in the security situation there, a senior alliance official said Friday.

Germany's Manfred Lange, Chief of Staff of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), said the military was telling leaders that there was no good case for military action and the political process had to be pursued.

"The military advice is (that) there are not sufficient visible signs at the moment that a military intervention could lead to an improvement of the security situation," Lange said.

"The political process has to be pushed forward, sanctions need to take effect. At the moment, this situation cannot be solved by the military in a responsible way," he told a briefing.

He added that with little prospect of action at the United Nations "it is clear that the Alliance doesn't have any military plans on Syria."

NATO concluded a seven-month air campaign in Libya last year which helped rebels oust veteran leader Moamer Kadhafi and there has been speculation such an operation could be repeated in Syria if UN approval was obtained.

Permanent UN Security Council members Russia and China oppose any such intervention even as the death toll mounts steadily in Syria where rebels are trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

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