The US have turned down a Syrian offer of negotiations. Meanwhile France has joined with the US in threats to impose a No Fly Zone within Syria. Full text at link.
Fighting is intensifying in Syria and throughout the Near East, as US and NATO officials escalate threats against Syria after US President Barack Obama’s statement Monday night that Washington is planning for a US invasion of Syria. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland dismissed Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil’s subsequent offer of talks, even though Jamil offered to discuss Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation.
Jamil said that Assad’s resignation could be discussed during a “national dialogue,” as an external attempt to force a president’s ouster on the Syrian people would set a “very dangerous precedent.” It is hardly clear that the outcome of a “national dialogue” would be favorable to Washington, however, even assuming it could somehow be held in a country torn apart by a US proxy war. A January poll found 55 percent of Syrians support keeping Assad in office. ...
Yesterday French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also stated that France was prepared to help enforce a partial no-fly zone in Syria, a measure that would involve shooting down Syrian aircraft in Syrian air space.
The US and its allies are dismissing Assad’s attempts to negotiate and continuing to arm Sunni anti-Assad forces. At the same time, they are cynically pushing for war by stoking fears that chemical weapons could be used by Assad—a possibility described as remote even by Western press sources—or that they could end up in the possession of Al Qaeda elements among the US-backed forces.