U.S. military officials have recently completed their operational planning and assessments for Syria, preparing options to present the White House if called upon to conduct actions in the country or in support of neighboring countries.
CNN reports the planning includes scenarios for establishing no-fly-zones and protecting known chemical and biological sites. Such endeavors are noted by officials as difficult challenges which require large numbers of U.S. troops and extended operations.
Analysts believe the security situation at Syria’s chemical and biological facilities is currently stable, but escalations could leave the locations vulnerable to raids by rebels or terrorist groups looking to acquire materials.
Neighboring Jordan is concerned about cross-border proliferation of weapons and any scenarios in Syria that could destabilize their own country, which is currently in an economic crisis. The U.S. has long partnered with Jordan joint training exercises, and recent discussions include the possible need for U.S. chemical and biological weapons detection equipment and training, according to CNN.
The bottom line in the U.S. assessment is that any escalation necessitating action to secure chem-bio sites in Syria would require forces to enter Syria within a matter of hours. Government officials report they are constantly monitoring all known facilities via satellite.