President Barack Obama said he had yet to hear ideas for ending Syria’s civil war that would not involve huge numbers of US troops, even after bringing critics of his policy into the White House Situation Room.
Obama told a town hall event at a US military base that the situation was “heartbreaking” and he had re-examined his Syria policy on a near-weekly basis.
“We’ll bring in outside experts — I will bring in critics of my policy to find out, ‘OK, you don’t think this is the right way to go — you tell me what it is you think would allow us to prevent the civil war that’s taking place,'” Obama said at the event, televised on CNN.
“In Syria, there is not a scenario in which — absent us deploying large numbers of troops — we can stop a civil war in which both sides are deeply dug in,” he said.
Obama said it was important to him to be “judicious” in sending in troops because of the “incredible sacrifices” involved and also because the US military remained involved in Afghanistan and Iraq.