US secretary of State John Kerry has again vowed American “commitment” to aid foreign-backed insurgents in Syria following their “disastrous” recent defeats at the hands of the Syrian Army.
“We are determined to do everything that we can in order to help the opposition to be able to… save Syria, and that stands,” Kerry said Wednesday as sited in a Washington Post
report on Thursday.
The remarks came following “crisis talks” held this week by the Obama administration on whether to officially begin sending weapons to the “increasingly desperate” anti-Damascus militants who suffered “a disastrous battlefield setback last week,” the daily reports.
Neither Kerry nor White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, however, would elaborate on the outcome of the administration’s crisis talks on the expansion of US military aid to the mostly al-Qaeda-linked militants in Syria, who have been fueling the unrest in the country with flow of arms through Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, reportedly financed by Persian Gulf Arab kingdoms of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.
However, in an apparent bid to justify future US military aid to the Syrian insurgents, Kerry accused Syria of using unconventional weapons in flushing out the foreign-backed militants in the border city of Qusayr last week, backed by forces of Lebanon-based Islamic resistance movement Hezbollah.
The “choice of weapons that he (President Bashar al-Assad) has engaged in across the board challenge anybody’s values and standards of human behavior, and we’re going to have to make judgments for ourselves about how we can help the opposition to be able to deal with that,” Kerry said.
According to the report, the huge defeat of the foreign-backed insurgents at Qusayr last week “has added urgency to the debate over widening US military support” to the militants as they admit “losing” and unable to win without a “heavy influx of weapons and other help.”
This is while top commander of Syrian insurgents General Salim Idriss pleaded with the Obama administration last weekend “to provide weapons and air cover ahead of an expected battle for the larger prize of Aleppo,” the report adds.
Idriss further renewed his appeal for “antitank weapons and ammunition” in a Wednesday morning telephone conversation with Democratic Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, who is cited in the report as saying, “The administration has a tough decision to make, but I don’t think there’s a lot of time.”
Carney, however, tried to discount suggestions that the ‘crisis talks’ on “syria this week may lead to a “quick decision” on the Obama administration’s next move.
Moreover, the daily insists that any effort by the Obama administration to intervene in Syria “would be a gamble,” expressing fears that while there is no guarantee that expanded US military aid to the rebels in Syria would “turn the tide” against Damascus, it might even lead to “a longer fight that pits the United States directly against Hezbollah and Iran.”
The development comes as Syrian Army forces have reportedly made major advances in recent days in their newest operation to flush out the militants from the strategic city of Aleppo.