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

Afghan Government: Taliban Leader Mullah Omar Died in 2013

President Ashraf Ghani's office confirms reclusive Taliban leader died in 2013, but Taliban itself claim Omar is still alive More

Erdogan in China Amid Tensions on Uighurs, Missile System

Turkey's president has criticized China's heavy-handed policies toward Uighurs in violence-plagued Xinjiang region, where China says it is fighting foreign-backed separatists More

Critics: China’s President Using Law to Tighten Grip on Power

President Xi, who has stressed importance of 'rule of law' and law-based governance, has exerted increasingly tighter grip over society since coming to office 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs