News / Middle East

Kerry, Hague Discuss Boosting Support for Syrian Opposition

Kerry, Hague Discuss Boosting Support for Syrian Oppositioni
X
June 13, 2013 12:41 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague say a political solution is the only way to end the Syrian crisis. But as fighting continues, the two men met in Washington to discuss ways to increase support for Syrian rebels. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague say a political solution is the only way to end the Syrian crisis. But as fighting continues, the two men met in Washington to discuss ways to increase support for Syrian rebels.

With no letup to the fighting, governments backing opposition forces are considering new ways to support the rebellion against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with government troops now massing near rebel-held parts of the city of Aleppo.

"The regime appears to be preparing new assaults, endangering the lives and safety of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who are already in desperate need,"
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the danger is made worse by Assad allies Hezbollah and Iran.

"So we are focusing our efforts now on doing all that we can to support the opposition as they work to change the balance on the ground," he said.

Related video report by Meredith Buel:

Shift in Syria War Prompts US to Mull Optionsi
X
June 13, 2013 9:35 PM
As forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gain momentum in recent advances on the battlefield, the Obama administration is reviewing potential military options, including arming some Syrian rebel factions. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports from Washington.
Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are working toward talks on a new transitional authority for Syria. That will be the focus of next week's G8 summit, said  host British Prime Minister David Cameron.

"We should use the G8 to try and bring pressure on all sides to bring about what we all want in this House," Cameron said, " a peace conference, a peace process and a move towards a transitional government in Syria. And I'm delighted to tell the House President Putin will be coming in advance of the G8 for meetings on Sunday when we can discuss this."

President Putin said Western democracies backing the opposition do not understand what is happening in Syria.

"Some people who are looking from the outside think that, if they can paint this entire region with someone's favorite brush - and this brush is democracy - then there will be peace and order, but this is not true. You cannot do anything - especially from the outside - without taking into account the history, tradition and religious specifics of this region," Putin said.

The conflict has sent tens of thousands of refugees into Jordan and Lebanon and Turkey, adding to pressure for a political solution, says U.S. Institute of Peace analyst Steve Heydemann.

"I think world leaders feel that, unless they can find some way to get the parties together, begin to get them talking, we will confront a disaster in which perhaps half of all Syrians - 11 million people - will be in need of assistance by the end of this year," Heydemann said.

Hague said the scale of human suffering inflicted by President Assad "begs belief."

"The campaign of murder and tyranny that they have waged for more than 800 days now is not only a moral outrage, it's a grave threat to the wider region. It's a danger to our own national security," he said.

Having discussed "what further options might be exercised" in Syria, Hague and Kerry had nothing to announce.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More