J’Dana Holsinger, ’Doah Staff Writer
March 6, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry met with the leaders of the Free Syrian Army in Rome last Thursday. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss U.S. aid to the Syrian rebels. The rebel leaders were hoping that the U.S. would provide guns and other weapons to fight off Assad’s regime, but the U.S. decided to only continue providing food, medical equipment and humanitarian aid.
The U.S. is also providing $60 million to be used for other services needed in rebel-controlled areas. The U.S. has refused to provide the opposition with weapons and other items that are considered to be “lethal aid” because they are afraid of the weapons falling into the wrong hands. There are extremist Muslim groups in the area, and the Obama administration does not want weapons they provided to be turned on them somewhere down the line.
According to the BBC, there have been approximately 60,000 deaths in Syria since the uprising started in 2011. President Bashar al-Assad refuses to give up power, and his regime continues to target and kill its own citizens. Kerry said last week when addressing the Syrian conflict that, “Assad is out of time and must be out of power.” He continued by saying that the Syrian leader could not “shoot his way out of this.”
England, Saudi Arabia, Germany and other nations have also been providing aid to Syria. The violence in this nation has been raging on for two years now, and while the Assad regime seems to be losing strength, the end is far from nigh.
The only way this war will end is with the opposition taking control. There is no way to tell when that will finally happen, but the U.S. will be aiding the rebels until they accomplish their goal of removing Assad from power.