Donnelly: No U.S. ground troops in Syria

May 6, 2013

Following a trip to Turkey last week, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) says he does not support the use of American troops on the ground in Syria. He was part of a delegation that also stopped in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN)

Donnelly says he visited with refugees at a camp on the Turkish border and spoke with opposition leaders as well. They told him they don’t want U.S. men and women on the ground.

“They said, ‘All we want is the tools to create success here.’”

Donnelly says the United States is examining options to help, including providing limited weapons to the opposition.

“There are discussions right now in regards to a No-Fly zone,” he says. “We are talking to our international friends and trying to create a safe zone, for not only the opposition in that area, but also for the refugees where most of them are.”

The United Nations estimates more than 70,000 casualties from the war in Syria.

U.S. lawmakers also are worried about an increasing involvement from an outside group with ties to Al-Qaeda.

Donnelly says as the Syrian conflict lingers on, the al-Nusra group gets stronger.

“Each day changes the equation and one of the things that we are aware of is that the al-Qaeda related rebels are very, very interested in getting their hands on the chemical weapons. That is an extraordinarily dangerous situation.”