Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey met this week with U.S. Jordanian government officials. The (London) Sunday Times reported in June there were 300 U.S. Marines deployed in Jordan to help with the transfer of military assistance to anti-government forces.
Dempsey told reporters it was challenging to identify a moderate opposition group in Syria and then enable it to be effective.
"Certainly our partners in the region are far better equipped to determine who's who and with what motivation than we are," he said Wednesday. "They are and will continue to be an important part of making those identifications."
U.N. inspectors said they had the support needed to go to Syria to investigate claims of the use of chemical weapons. President Obama said chemical weapons would be a trigger for a harsher response, though Dempsey said direct military action was not discussed during his visit to the Middle East.
"That actually never came up," he said. "What did come up was what we could do to help [the opposition] build their capability and capacity."
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