Tampa's CENTCOM will have role in Syria response - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Tampa's CENTCOM will have role in Syria response

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USMC Major General Gene Deegan (Ret.) USMC Major General Gene Deegan (Ret.)

The Obama administration is still considering its response to suspected chemical attacks in Syria.

A retired Major General in the Tampa area says, whatever that response is, it will be led by commanders at U.S. Central Command based at MacDill Air Force base.

"CENTCOM is the military organization, the world is divided up into regions, militarily and CENTCOM has responsibility for planning and executing military options, approved by the President in their area of operations, which includes Syria, Iran, Afghanistan," said U.S. Marine Corps Major General Gene Deegan (Ret).

(Related story: Pres. Obama: no boots on ground in Syria)

Major General Deegan says CENTCOM commanders have already given military planning options to the Obama Administration and he says it's likely they've started to move some military assets in to place.

"To give the President the options of doing it," says Maj. Gen. Deegan.  "It's too late to wait to reposition after the President makes his decision, because you've then probably got a week or more delay until you can really do it."

Still, Maj. Gen. Deegan says the situation in Syria is complex.

"The opposition has bad actors and whether the bad actors would come out on top, should Assad be overthrown, we don't have any control and I don't think we have any confidence that they wouldn't," Maj. Gen. Deegan said.  "So, we might have a hand in getting rid of Assad, but what have we replaced him with."

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