Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed for the first time Tuesday that the United States is assisting in the training of anti-Assad troops in Syria.
Fox News reported Kerry said the hope is to pressure President Assad, to convince him to “change his current calculation.”
“I think what President Obama is hoping is to build on what has already happened,” Kerry said. “The president put in place sanctions and that helps to strip some of President Assad’s ability to fuel his war machine.
Kerry met with European leaders last week during his first overseas trip as secretary of state. Kerry said other nations are joining in the effort to provide help to Syrian rebels.
According to the article:
Kerry described the international sentiment as a “conviction that no nation is going to stand by while [Assad] slaughters his people with SCUD missiles, and his jets dropping bombs. And … we’ve ratcheted up yet another level with the hope of convincing him and his allies that the time has come to really negotiate with the transitional government.”
Kerry told Fox News the Obama administration has pledged $60 million, as well as other “non lethal” aid to the Syrian opposition.