POLICE SAY SON STABBED MOTHER TO DEATH

Madison Township police were investigating a murder at a home on Burbank Road. Get the story.

US troops could help secure Syrian weapons

By By LOLITA C. BALDOR

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pentagon officials say they have largely ruled out sending in ground troops to secure Syrian chemical weapons under hostile circumstances, but the U.S. could provide forces if the Assad regime ever agrees to a peaceful transition.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says it would be almost impossible to prevent the Syrian government from using chemical weapons, so the U.S. must continue warning Syria that using them would be unacceptable.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says his biggest concern is how the U.S. and allies would secure the chemical and biological weapons sites and ensure they don't end up in the wrong hands if the regime falls, particularly under violent conditions.

He says there is a strong likelihood that Syrian President Bashar Assad will ultimately leave power.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.