Defense Secretary Panetta: doesn't make sense for U.S. to take unilateral action in Syria

03/07/12 wire reports including AP
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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is pushing back against fresh demands for U.S. military involvement in Syria.

Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it doesn't make sense for the U.S. to take unilateral action right now.

This week the panel's top Republican, John McCain, urged the U.S. to lead airstrikes against the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Two other senators are also calling for the U.S. military to step in on behalf of Syrian rebels.

A Syrian Red Crescent official says the U.N. humanitarian chief has entered the shattered district of Baba Amr in the central city of Homs.

Valerie Amos is expected to give the first outside assessment of the conditions there.

The government had sealed off Baba Amr since regime forces captured the neighborhood last Thursday following a deadly, monthlong siege. Activists accuse the government of using the time to try to cover up evidence of atrocities by the regime.

A Red Cross spokesperson says most inhabitants have fled the shattered neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Officials at UNESCO are preparing to decide whether to remove Syria from a human rights committee.

And Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says the possibility of Russia granting political asylum to Syrian President Assad hasn't come under discussion.

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Panetta gets it right

He may be a bean counter and a congress critter, but Leon Panetta gets this one right. Too bad he couldn't keep bushie out of Iraq.