Canada has five scenarios to help syrian rebels including option of military intervention 1504142
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Defence & Security News - Canada
|Tuesday, April 15, 2014 03:43 PM|
|Canada has five scenarios to help syrian rebels including option of military intervention.|
Canadian defence and diplomatic officials have been quietly working on plans for possible Canadian military mission in Syria as its three-year civil war continues. The federal government has so far said it has no plans for Canada to be dragged into the conflict, which has killed an estimated 150,000 and driven hundreds of thousands more from their homes and their country.
This photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows multiple rocket launchers fire Grad missiles by the Syrian rebels as they shell the government forces positions, in Aleppo, Syria, on Monday April 14, 2014.
Internal documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen show National Defence has drawn up at least five scenarios in which it could become involved in Syria’s ongoing civil war, as well as potential Canadian Forces missions for each situation.
The scenarios also include several assumptions such as the Syrian government remaining “defiant,” as well as “most likely” and “worst case” outcomes, such as extremist groups getting hold of advanced or chemical weapons, or the conflict spilling beyond Syria’s borders.
At least one possible Canadian military intervention “assumes that a legitimate armed opposition group has been recognized” by Canada, although details about the rest of this scenario have been blacked out.
National Defence spokesman Daniel Blouin described such planning as “routine to significant international events” and part of the military’s due diligence to be prepared for any eventuality. He said none of the possible interventions has been acted upon.
However, the fact such plans have been drawn up indicates the degree of seriousness to which defence officials and the government are taking the fighting in Syria, which brings with it the risk of escalation and broader regional impacts.
Any military action would require the government’s approval.
Meanwhile, separate documents show Canada has been helping train anti-sectarian activists, journalists and others so they can provide a political alternative to Islamic extremist groups if the fighting stops.