News / Middle East

Clinton: US Increasing Help for Syrian Rebels

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton July 24, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton July 24, 2012
Margaret Besheer
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States is increasing its efforts to help Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

Clinton gave no details, but she said Tuesday that the U.S. is giving such non-lethal aid as medical and communications support. She said Washington is working outside of the U.N. Security Council, where Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions that would have taken strong action against the Assad government.

The secretary said the Syrian opposition is seizing control of more and more territory, which she says will eventually become a safe haven and a base for more operations.

She said the opposition must be ready to start work on an interim government that protects the rights of all Syrians and safeguards the stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.


Opposition Demands Assad Step Down

The spokesman for the Syrian National Council says the main opposition grouping is still demanding President Bashar al-Assad leave power, denying that the coalition would consider having someone from the current government temporarily lead a political transition.

Syrian National Council spokesman George Sabra told VOA by phone from Paris Tuesday that he had been misquoted in an earlier news report in which he was reported to have said the SNC would agree to the departure of President Assad and the transfer of his powers to a regime figure, who would temporarily lead a transitional period.

“There is not any change with the position and opinion of SNC about the regime and the transition period," he said. "The transition period should start after leaving Bashar al-Assad and his regime the power.

"And the principle of this transition period has been announced in a document issued by the most parties of the opposition in that meeting which has been held two weeks ago in Cairo," Sabra said. "So nothing new about this thing.”

Opposition Squabbling

The opposition meeting earlier this month in Cairo was marked by squabbling among delegates.

But ultimately a plan emerged for a framework for a post-Assad political transition period that includes an interim government and parliament.

SNC spokesman Sabra indicated that talks continue within the opposition about the way forward if and when President Assad leaves power.
 
“We are discussing now between us in the council, and also with the Free Syrian Army, about the idea of the transition document,” he said.

Fierce Fighting

Meanwhile, Syrian jets flew overhead while helicopters fired missiles Tuesday in a new government push to put down the rebellion in Aleppo, Syria's largest city.

The exact situation on the ground is not clear. But witnesses report heavy fighting in the streets. Opposition reports say thousands of Syrian troops are heading toward Aleppo from their positions near the Turkish border.

Aleppo was relatively calm until late last week when the rebels launched their operation to take the city.

The opposition-run Local Coordination Committees also reported Tuesday that government forces were shelling areas outside Damascus, as well as in Homs, and in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.

Chemical Weapons


On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama joined other world figures in warning Syria against using chemical weapons.

Obama's comments came after a Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the government would never use chemical weapons against its own people, but would unleash them against what he called foreign invaders. He said the military is securely guarding the nation's weapons stockpile.

Syrian activists say more than 19,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March of last year.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down up to three percent, while US market indexes were off around 2.5 percent in afternoon trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
July 25, 2012 9:32 PM
Your whole country hates you Assad, they want you out! You can't win the minds of your very own people, you've already stained them with blood. You idiot just go, you did enough damage. Your whole population is your opponent, which you refer to as terrorists. That is the biggest insult a leader can ever name on their entire population, calling them all terrorists.

I can't wait to see the youtube video of you being dragged by the feet by FSA.

by: Malek Towghi ,Ph.D. from: USA
July 24, 2012 10:21 PM
Yesterday, during the COLD WAR I, the Sunni Islamists were our allies to kill the 'commies' plus the liberal-secularist-progressive democrats of the Islamic world who preferred nonalignment. Today in the early stage of the COLD WAR II against Russia (the credit for the beginning of which will go to Hillary Clinton) we are paying back to the Sunni Islamists to kill the Shi'ahs. (By the way, I was born in a Sunni family and region and was raised as a Sunni.) ...

During the early stages of the Cold War after a thorough debate, the Sunni Islamist opinion leaders, e.g. the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the so-called Salafis -- and their counterparts in South- Central-and-Southeast Asia, e.g. Jama'at-e Islami, Jam'iyyat-e Ulama, the Masjumi , Nahdat-ul-Ulama and ... -- asked Muslims in a series of overt and covert fatwas to support the West against the Soviet Union because, they decreed, the West was "the AHWAN-UL-BALIYYATAYN, the lesser evil of the two" for the reasons xyz. As a humble student of History of International Relations, I am interested to know Hillary Clinton's rationale for committing my country, the USA, to the Sunni camp against the Shiite.

by: CR from: China
July 24, 2012 9:14 PM
US is playing a world's cop role,but she is really a rascal in her bones,who is unjust is doomed to destruction.
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 25, 2012 9:34 PM
If the USA didn't play a cop role the world would be a worse place.

by: zzj from: China
July 24, 2012 8:22 PM
Hillary Clinton is getting older since she take power as the secretary of State.U.S is always supporting anti-goverment war in Africa without regard for the ture hope of Syria people.

by: WP from: Danville,CA
July 24, 2012 7:11 PM
Russia & China are always for non interference in other countries internal affairs and respect other countries right of self determination.

US involves continuously in subversion, promoting 'democracy' where it is not needed and causing misery with total disregard for
humanity and human rights to live.

Who is right and who is wrong? Who is the Evil Empire ?

by: Anonymous
July 24, 2012 4:54 PM
So Assad still thinks that the entire world is gullible? He expects us to believe that he has killed 20,000 terrorists in his country?
Come on Assad, admit it, you thought we were stupid...
Off to the gallows.

by: Sunita from: India
July 24, 2012 1:30 PM
hey, what's the life expectancy of one of these idiotic clowns...??? do you think they have insurance...??? but really, it isn't worth reading - who the hell really cares about these Arabs...
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 24, 2012 11:16 PM
The Americans care- they do everything trying to topoff the Asyad-- why- just for justice- haha
In Response

by: Bruce from: United States
July 24, 2012 7:05 PM
I hope for the best for Syrians regardless of what happens. I do wish that my own country would spend less time and effort caught up in foreign political affairs.

A Syrian victory needs to come from the Syrians themselves. If the rebels win, then they will rebuild the country and make it better, if Al-Assad wins, then they will have overcome a great adversary and will be stronger as a country as a result.

We have very limited and very biased information on the topic as it is, we should be very careful about who we pass judgement on.
In Response

by: peace
July 24, 2012 7:05 PM
everyone around the world who has to suffer or change their daily life routines because of Islamist terrorist threats or attacks..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs