UK troops 'may be sent to Syrian borders'
British troops could be deployed around Syria's borders in the event of a worsening humanitarian crisis, the head of the armed forces warned yesterday.
General Sir David Richards, the Chief of General Staff, said that contingency plans for military intervention are being "continually brushed over" as Syria's civil war continues.
He stressed that any troop involvement would be limited and conditional on the support of people in the affected area, but his remarks raise the spectre of the UK being involved in another conflict at a time when the West is trying to extract itself from the 11-year war in Afghanistan.
General Richards told BBC1's Andrew Marr programme that the UK's main concern is preventing the Syrian civil war from spilling across borders into Jordan, Lebanon, or especially Turkey, a Nato ally.
But with the humanitarian situation likely to worsen over the winter, he anticipated that political pressure for the Army to intervene would increase, though they would have to be "very cautious" about embarking on what would be a "huge effort".
"Obviously we develop contingency plans to look at all these things. It is my job to make sure that these options are continually brushed over to make sure that we can deliver them and they are credible," he said. "The main thing for now that we are all focusing on is to contain the crisis so that it doesn't spill over into countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey.
"That's our primary focus but that would also accommodate a humanitarian crisis because we could help deal with that through that primary mechanism. So we're keeping our awareness levels very high and in the meanwhile we're preparing plans to make sure that when some disaster happens, we're able to deal with it." The military also has to be ready for the possibility of being sent into Iran, he added. An attack on Iran would be "fraught with risk", but since Barack Obama and David Cameron have both said that "nothing is off the table" when dealing with the prospect of Iran developing nuclear weapons, "I have to continue to keep that one alive as well," he said.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nelson Bunker Hunt dead: Former world’s richest man dies in 'modest circumstances' in US after losing his fortune
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...
£21500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful and w...
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...