U.S. continues efforts to end Syrian conflict
"(Kerry) had a chance to meet with the opposition in London," Patrick Ventrell, the acting deputy spokesman for the U.S. Department of state, said. "You know that he will continue on to Istanbul, as I mentioned - I guess it's next weekend, not this coming weekend, but the weekend after - where there will be a chance with key partners to continue the discussion."
Ventrell said that the meetings provided a chance to work with the Syrian opposition leadership to explore methods through which the international community could have a stronger impact.
"The United States' preferred approach is to end this conflict through a negotiated solution, and that's the best way to preserve some of the technocratic aspects of the state and the best way to avoid further chaos," Ventrell said. "Having said that, we haven't achieved that result yet. But that doesn't mean that we're not going to continue to pursue diplomatic efforts. But clearly, our efforts are on intensifying our support to the opposition, and we all want to see this conflict and this suffering and these brutal - the brutal, horrendous suffering end, just like the attack that I mentioned a little bit earlier in the briefing."
The State Department also spoke out against reports that 60 Syrians were killed on April 10 after regime forces stormed the town of Sanamein in the southern province of Dara'a.
"We strongly condemn this massacre in which civilians, including women and children, were killed in shelling and executions," Ventrell said. "We've been absolutely clear from the beginning that those who commit these horrific atrocities must be held to account."