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Obama does not 'foresee' US ground troops in Syria

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-04 10:29

Obama does not 'foresee' US ground troops in Syria

US President Barack Obama speaks as he and Costa Rica's President Laura Chinchilla hold a news conference after their meeting at Casa Amarilla in San Jose, Costa Rica, May 3, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

SAN JOSE - Visiting US President Barack Obama said Friday he does "not foresee" a circumstance under which Washington would send ground troops to war-torn Syria.

"I do not foresee a scenario in which boots on the ground in Syria -- American boots on the ground. (It) would not only be good for America but also would be good for Syria," Obama said at a news conference in the Costa Rican capital.

Obama is in San Jose to attend the May 3-4 summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA), which drew together leaders of Central America and regional powers of the Americas.

Obama also said that some Mideast leaders in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's departure also agreed with his assessment that Washington should not send ground troops to Syria.

Obama made the remarks just one day after US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US administration is rethinking its previous opposition to arming Syrian opposition.

Hagel made the announcement during a press conference with visiting British counterpart Philip Hammond.

"You look at and rethink all options," Hagel said. "It doesn't mean you do or you will. These are options that must be considered with partners, with the international community, what is possible, what can help accomplish these objectives."

However, Hagel said the administration hasn't come to a conclusion yet on the topic.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the two-year-old Syrian conflict, according to UN figures.


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