May 31, 2012: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta listens to a question during media briefing onboard his plane enroute to Singapore from Honolulu, Hawaii. (AP/POOL)
While Syria is blaming rebel fighters for a weekend massacre in Houla, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he doesn’t see the U.S. taking military action without the backing of the U.N. Security Council.
Panetta says his greatest responsibility is to make sure that if U.S. troops are deployed in any military role, that America has the support it needs from the international community.
His comments Thursday came a day after Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, suggested that some type of military intervention may be the only remaining option because diplomatic efforts so far have failed to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.