Despite delay in lethal aid, Kerry expresses confidence in Syrian opposition
Kerry made the remarks on Wednesday during a press conference in Amman, Jordan, with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. Kerry was asked the reason behind the delay of pledged military support to the Syrian opposition. He said he was proud to say the U.S. has provided significant assistance in the past year and other partners are also taking up the cause.
"There was a period of time where (General Salim Idris) felt that they needed more weaponry and they needed more ammunition and things like that," Kerry said. "There are partners, support members of the so-called Friends of Syria who have been providing a lot of that. And there's a great deal of weaponry that I know has been reaching the Syrian opposition in the course of the last weeks of a very different kind. And they're also getting other kinds of assistance at this point in time."
Kerry said the reason for the delay in lethal assistance from the U.S. was the standard delays that occur when going through the legislative process.
"I believe that they are getting very significant assistance, but unfortunately, sometimes it takes longer than you would like because you need to get approvals, things have to go through Congress, things have to be approved, and so forth and so on," Kerry said. "And it just takes longer than you'd like."
Kerry said he was confident the support from the U.S. and other players supportive of the opposition would help to turn the tide against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime.
"The fact is I am confident about the support that the Syrian opposition is receiving today and will continue to receive in the days ahead, not just from the United States but from lots of different players who are supportive of the opposition and believe that the combination of the Iranian Qods Force on the ground in Syria, and Hezbollah - a terrorist organization on the ground in Syria - and Russian support coming in has been the difference that's tilted some of these initiatives to President Assad, but not for the long term," Kerry said.