U.S. Officials Plan for Syria After Assad

The U.S. State Department and the Pentagon are making plans for a Syria after President Bashar al-Assad, NBC News reported. Those plans, spearheaded by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, involve providing transportation, food and medical supplies to refugees should the Assad regime collapse, as well as urging Syrian rebels not to inflict reprisal or revenge killings against regime loyalists. Assad's ouster is increasingly seen in the West as a requirement for any end to the civil war that has been roiling Syria for well over a year. Fearing a continued civil war like the one that roiled Iraq after the U.S. invaded in 2003 and hoping to avoid a power vacuum like the one that followed Saddam Hussein's removal there, American officials are suggesting that some Syrian troops and civil servants could remain in a successor regime. "Our concern is that as the opposition comes together with the remaining elements of the regime that don’t have blood on their hands, that they create an inclusive Syria where the rights of all Syrians are respected," a State Department spokesman said Monday.

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