UPDATE (June 14, 10:54 PM): Three hundred U.S. troops now stand on the northern Jordan border adjacent to Syria, The Times of London reports. The deployment will reportedly remain there for months under the guise of a training exercise.
The White House said Friday it does not plan to send U.S. troops into Syria, despite offering aid to rebel groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad.
“Nobody has asked us to [go into Syria]. The Syrian opposition does not think that it’s a good idea,” Ben Rhodes, current Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication, said during a White House press conference Thursday evening. ”We certainly don’t think it’s in our national interest to send U.S. troops.”
“Our stated national policy is for Bashar Al-Assad leave power,” Rhodes said. “It is our preference that this be done politically, but we are going to continue supporting those in Syria who are working for a post-Assad future.”
“It is unclear what national security interests we have in the civil war in Syria,” Kentucky Republicans Sen. Rand Paul wrote in a CNN.com piece warning against American intervention in the Middle East. “It is very clear that any attempt to aid the Syrian rebels would be complicated and dangerous, precisely because we don’t know who these people are.”