|November 18, 2012
Source: Express UK
MORE than a thousand Royal Marines could be sent to Syria as the conflict’s humanitarian toll reaches crisis levels.
It comes two days after foreign secretary William Hague urged for more involvement by the International community, and a week after defence chief Gen Sir David Richards confirmed the Ministry of Defence was making “very limited contingency plans” for military action.
However last night senior army figures warned that any British troops sent to Syria must be deployed in sufficient numbers and with the power to use lethal force if they are to retain a quick exit strategy.
Both Britain and France currently have more than 2,000 troops in the Mediterranean as part of the Exercise Cougar 12 joint amphibious war games, which will culminate in seaborne landings in Turkey later this month.
The British element, officially termed the Response Force Task Group, includes 550 Royal Marines from 45 Commando and 480 from 30 Commando, as well as additional amphibious assault units.
Led by Brigadier Martin Smith and his headquarters staff the UK 3 Commando, it also includes the assault ship HMS Bulwark, the helicopter carrier Illustrious, several warships and a nuclear submarine and is carrying humanitarian supplies.