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Former US Official Urges Military Intervention in Syria

Former US State Department official Fred Hof called for US military assistance to depose Syrian President Assad and praised the new Syrian opposition group, while noting that the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra “terrifies” many Syrians, Barbara Slavin reports from Washington.
Fred Hof, a senior U.S. State Department official who works on Syria, arrives at the headquarters of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow June 8, 2012.  REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov  (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS)

Breaking with the more cautious position of the administration he served, Fred Hof, a former top State Department adviser on Syria, said Thursday that the US should provide arms to select Syrian rebels and might target the Syrian regime’s command and control centers and missile forces to prevent the use of chemical weapons.

Hof, who left the Obama administration in September and is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told Al-Monitor in an interview that “it is inevitable” that the US will begin providing weapons to elements of the Syrian opposition as the conflict intensifies. The US, he said, has now had sufficient time to vet the rebels who are organizing themselves politically as well as militarily and needs to send weapons to influence the shape of Syria’s future government.

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