(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. will not deploy troops to Syria in an attempt to end the government crackdown on political dissidents, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a House Armed Services hearing on Thursday.
There has been little evidence that a recent ceasefire pact agreed to by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has slowed down the violence that one human rights group said had caused more than 11,000 fatalities over the past 13 months.
Despite this, Gen. Martin Dempsey made it abundantly clear to lawmakers that the administration will neither send troops as a peacekeeping force to Syria nor act unilaterally to assist anti-government forces.
Dempsey seemed to be following the lead of NATO Secretary-General Anders-Fogh Rasmussen, who said earlier in the week that the military coalition would not step into the maelstrom despite the pleas of rebels looking to overthrow al-Assad.
Furthermore, there appears to be little chance of Syria becoming a stabilizing force in the region for another 10 to 15 years, according to Dempsey.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN