Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani came down hard on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, labeling him a “terrorist” and “killer of his people.” The prime minister said this while addressing a joint press conference with US Secretary of Statein Doha, Qatar. On the other hand, the secretary of state expressed satisfaction over weapons being transported to Syrian rebels and said that they are going into right hands of different moderate groups operating across the violence-wracked country against government security forces. However, Kerry didn’t explain where these weapons were coming from. It should be noted here that the United States recently declined to provide arms to the rebel fighters.
Last week, John Kerry announced $60 million in US aid in non-lethal assistance to Syrian opposition. This aid comprises medical supplies, food and shelter. It may be pertinent to mention here that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been pressing the United States for the last couple of months for provision of arms to the rebel fighters in Syria so that they could fight against government security forces. The Obama administration has so far declined to support weapons to Syrian opposition because it believes that provision of arms and weapons to the rebel fighters can deteriorate the situation instead of improving it. There are also serious concerns in the Obama administration about weapons going into the hands of extremists operating in the volatile country.
It is interesting to hear from John Kerry that weapons are going into hands of moderate groups in Syria. It means that it is in knowledge of the United States that weapons are being provided to the rebel fighters. However, identity of the weapons supply source is being kept secret. Syrian opposition groups have also been demanding sophisticated weapons to fight against the government security forces, as the latter are equipped with modern gadgets. The rebel fighters are of the view that if they are provided with the modern weapons, they could oust President Assad just in weeks.
But the Obama administration is of the view that provision of arms to the rebel fighters is not a simple task, because dozens of groups are working in the volatile country and each of them has its own specific identity. John Kerry expressed hope that President Assad would soon be ousted and the people of Syria could see a new era of hope and optimism. The Qatari prime minister, however, complained that if world powers had worked more diligently, Syrian president would have been ousted by now.