AP News

Romney open to sending troops to Syria


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Friday that he would send U.S. troops to Syria if needed to prevent the spread of chemical weapons.

"I think we have to also be ready to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that we do not have any kind of weapon of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists and whether that requires troops, or whether that requires other actions by our friends and allies," Romney said in an interview with CBS News.

Romney specifically noted that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been involved in the region.

The former Massachusetts governor has limited foreign policy experience, but has so far outlined bullish positions on potential threats in the Middle East. He also told CBS News that he'd be willing to go to war to stop Iran from "becoming nuclear."

"No question in my view that we can put all manner of pressure on the regime that's there, but they have to also know that a military option is one which we'd be willing to consider if they do not take action to dissuade a course towards nuclearization," Romney said of Iran.

President Barack Obama has left open the possibility of military action on Iran should aggressive sanctions and international pressure fail. On Syria, the president said Monday that the U.S. would reconsider its opposition to military involvement in Syria if President Bashar Assad's regime uses chemical or biological weapons. He called such action a "red line" for the U.S.

"We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region, that that's a red line for us, and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front, or the use of chemical weapons," Obama said. "That would change my calculations significantly."

Associated Press writer Julie Pace in Ohio contributed to this report.


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