Nuland responds to questions on Syria

Victoria Nuland, the spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, responded to questions on Tuesday related to contingency planning in Syria.

Nuland responded to a recent report that U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson suggested plans to send U.N. peacekeeping troops to Syria.

"I think what (Eliasson) was talking about was the contingency planning that the U.N. is doing in this case, which is similar to the contingency planning that the U.N. does in all such cases when there is the potential for it being asked to provide a stabilization force, et cetera," Nuland said. "So we regularly consult with the U.N., with our international partners about how we can support a stable transition in Syria. We all know that there's already a goodly amount of sectarian violence, that that violence could increase in any of a number of scenarios including a scenario where Assad had departed the scene."

Nuland said the U.N. is looking into multiple things that could be needed from the international community if the Assad regime falls, including humanitarian needs, civilian security, rebuilding and the protection of chemical weapons.

When asked if the U.N. Security Council would consider sending non-peacekeeping troops to Syria as part of an offensive operation to Syria, Nuland said it would depend on what was needed in the region.

"I think it depends on what the needs are, it depends on whether there are requests from Syrian leaders post-Assad, whether the circumstances are spilling beyond borders, et cetera," Nuland said.