Syria (FoxNews)--Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed to Fox News that the U.S. is training anti-Assad forces in the Syria conflict, saying Tuesday the hope is to convince President Bashar Assad to "change his current calculation."
Kerry, speaking to Fox News in Doha, Qatar, became the first U.S. official to acknowledge the off-site training on the record. He would not go into detail about the training, describing it as "one part" of the U.S. effort and something that "a lot of countries" are doing.
"I think what President Obama is hoping is to build on what has already happened. The president put in place sanctions and that helps to strip some of President Assad's ability to fuel his war machine," Kerry said.
The New York Times previously reported on the effort to train Syrian opposition forces, quoting unnamed officials, but this is the first time the State Department has spoken openly about it.
"There are a lot of nations working at this," Kerry said of the effort to pressure Assad. "And so I think President Assad needs to read the tea leaves correctly."
Kerry, who is on his maiden international tour as secretary of state, cited last week's meeting in Rome where European nations joined the U.S. in offering support to the Syrian opposition. This included an additional $60 million in aid from the Obama administration and a commitment to provide non-lethal aid. (Continue Reading.)
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
No Worries: U.S. Military Training Jihadists to Take Over Syria
In the 1980s, the U.S. supported Afghani fighters against the Soviet Union. The Afghani fighters later became Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. More recently, the U.S. supported rebels in Libya and Egypt, helping oppressive Islamist regimes rise to power. Now the U.S. military is training and funding Islamists in Syria. What could go wrong?