During a Senate hearing, these two officials in the Obama administration admitted that the peace plan drawn up by the UN Envoy for Syria had now reached "the point of collapse", which is why new strategies are under study.
"I would say that the project is failing because Annan himself is extremely worried" Ms Hicks noted. The Defence Undersecretary went on to stress how the Pentagon is looking at calling on US troops to set up a security zone along the border between Syria and Turkey. "We are planning various strategies for a vast range of scenarios, including the possibility of helping allies and partners on the frontier zones".
For its part, the US administration is ''very disappointed by the fact that Damascus has failed to keep any of its promises'' one of the US president's spokespersons, Josh Earnst, said. For this reason, the United States "will continue to work to heighten international pressure against the Assad regime".
From Paris, in the meantime, Foreign Minister Alan Juppé has opened a hard-liner front. He claims it may prove necessary for the UN Security Council to consider a resolution authorizing the use of force against Assad. But NATO has "no intention at all to intervene in Syria", NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a press conference held with Italian premier Mario Monti. NATO nonetheless strongly condemns ''the repression of civilians in Syria''. Mr Rasmussen said he was sure that the right approach to follow for Syria would be a ''peaceful and political solution based on the Annan plan''. He added: ''It is regrettable that the UN Security Council failed to reach a binding accord on its resolutions, but I appreciate the fact that all of the Council's members are supporting the Annan plan''.
Mr Rasmussen concluded by reaffirming the appeal ''to the Syrian leadership to allow the people to pursue their democratic aspirations''. (ANSAmed).