U..Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the United States and Turkey were prepared for a military solution against Islamic State in Syria should the Syrian government and rebels fail to reach a political settlement.
The latest round of Syria peace talks are planned to begin on Monday in Geneva but were at risk of being delayed partly because of a dispute over who will comprise the opposition delegation.
Syrian armed rebel groups said on Saturday they held the Syrian government and Russia responsible for any failure of peace talks to end the country’s civil war, even before negotiations were due to start.
“We do know it would better if we can reach a political solution but we are prepared …, if that’s not possible, to have a military solution to this operation in taking out Daesh,” Biden said at a news conference after a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Daesh is the pejorative Arabic acronym for Islamic State insurgents who hold parts of Syria.
A U.S. official later clarified that Biden was talking about a military solution to Islamic State, not Syria as a whole.
The Saudi-backed Syrian opposition ruled out even indirect negotiations unless Damascus took steps including a halt to Russian air strikes.
Biden said he and Davutoglu also discussed how the two NATO allies could further support Sunni Arab rebel forces fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad. Read More