World Bulletin/News Desk
Britain had planned to train and equip a 100,000-strong rebel army to defeat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before it was deemed to be too risky, BBC Newsnight reported on Thursday.
The BBC said the secret "extract, equip, train" proposal, put forward two years ago, was the idea of General David Richards, then chief of Britain's defence.
A spokesman for the UK Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the article.
The secret initiative was considered by Prime Minister David Cameron and the National Security Council, as well as U.S. officials, the news agency said, citing Whitehall sources.
Once the Syrian force was ready, it would march on Damascus, with the cover of fighter jets from the West and Gulf allies.
The plan envisaged a "shock and awe" campaign, similar to the one that routed Saddam's military in 2003, but spearheaded by Syrians.
The United Nations says some 10.8 million people in Syria need assistance, of which 4.7 million are in hard-to-reach areas, while another three million have fled during the three-year uprising against al-Assad.Last Mod: 04 Temmuz 2014, 10:42