The United States is doing its best to halt bloodshed in Syria and they are offering non-lethal assistance to help empower the opposition groups, a US State Department official said as reported by Qatar Chronicle.
Speaking to the media, Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell said, “We are worried about the situation in Syria and the disintegration of the state. We are trying our best. We really are working to empower the opposition so that they can help govern new space. It’s a Syrian-led process, but the international community trying to provide them with the assistance so that they can prepare for that day.”
He reiterated that the US is offering only non-lethal aid and help build institutions to assist in governance and provide an alternative transitional government. However, there is no indication from Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to abide by the negotiations and end the crisis, Ventrell said, alluding to Assad’s comments in an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.
Asked about US Secretary of State John Kerry’s comment on empowering the moderate Syrian opposition with arms in their battle against Assad, Ventrell said, “We are trying to we don’t provide arms, we provide nonlethal assistance, but they are starting to make sure that the moderate, legitimate opposition is getting some of that assistance. So he s (Kerry) really talking about their ability to provide those arms to people who want a free, democratic Syria.”
He also hailed the role of Syrian Opposition Coalition President Al Khatib, “I want to highlight the really courageous choice by President Al-Khatib to go to Syria. So we commend him for his courage and his dedication to connect with Syrians who continue to suffer from the regime’s violence on a daily basis.”
Ventrell praised the elections for the provincial council of Aleppo that were held in southern Turkey over the weekend. “We view this as a positive sign of the opposition’s commitment to free and democratic procedures. Even though campaigning and elections weren’t possible inside of Syria because of the pervasive insecurity and the use of Scuds missiles in Aleppo province, but this is as we help them prepare for local governance.”
Asked whether there was US support for the Aleppo elections, Ventrell said, “We did not play a role in organizing the elections. We have provided some non-lethal training to the civilian opposition in terms of some administrative training and that type of governance training, but these elections were absolutely Syrian-led, Syrian-run, and really a positive sign. So we welcome the step, but this was absolutely an indigenous Syrian effort.”
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