Could it soon be curtains for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad?
President Barack Obama’s administration plans to supply direct assistance to the Free Syrian Army to enable them to overthrow Assad’s regime and end two years of unprecedented human massacre, which killed more than 70,000 people.
According to reports from Fox News on Wednesday, US Secretary of Statewill on Thursday attend an international conference in Rome to discuss the situation in Syria with leaders of the Syrian National Coalition.
The US wants to extend non-lethal assistance to the rebels, which consists of carefully vetted fighters opposed to the regime of Assad.
It is expected that decisions would be taken along with other European leaders to end the two years of brutal and increasingly deadly violence.
The task ahead for John Kerry: When he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry had been in favor of such a step and now, on his first nine-nation overseas tour of Europe and the Middle East, it would be his responsibility to bring others into his line of thinking.
He has already met the British Prime Ministerand his Foreign Secretary and has spoken by phone with the Syrian coalition leader Mouaz al-Khatib to explain the position of the US.
Hague has condemned the recent scud missile attack on the city of Aleppo, and Kerry has simultaneously assured that the Syrian opposition would not be left dangling in the wind wondering where help would come from.
The broad proposals: The broad proposals doing the rounds from the British side appear to be of providing military training, body armors and related technical support to the Free Syrian Army, provided they do not have links to any terrorist or extremist groups.
However, the Obama administration would like to extend assistance that would be more devoted to rule of law, civil society and good governance in order to prepare the groundwork for a stable government after the end of the Assad regime.
The Russian connection: Incidentally, Russia has all along sided with Assad and Kerry met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Berlin to discuss the Syrian conflict in which more than 70,000 persons have so far been killed.
Russia along with China has been blocking global sanctions against Syria, and it seems Kerry and Lavrov discussed the issue for more than an hour.
The feedback given by Lavrov to the Russian media was that the talks with Kerry were quite constructive.
However, the Syrian National Coalition appears to be skeptical about getting outside help from the West.
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