Kerry says Syria seeks help from Iran, Hezbollah
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
June 3rd, 2013
03:26 PM ET

Kerry says Syria seeks help from Iran, Hezbollah

By Jill Dougherty

Secretary of State John Kerry sharply criticized Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday, accusing him of soliciting help from Iran and its fighters on the ground in Syria as well as fighters from Hezbollah.

"A designated terrorist organization has now crossed over from Lebanon into Syria and is actively engaged in the fighting," Kerry said at a State Department press availability about the Syrian civil war.

Al-Assad, he said, is willing to use Scud missiles against civilians and noted an "extraordinary number" of people are trapped in the besieged rebel stronghold of Qusair near the Lebanese border.

"He will not allow humanitarian aid to go in until the military has finished what (it) intends to do," Kerry said.

"So I think the world is seeing the actions of a person who has lost touch with any reality except his own and is willing to wreak any kind of punishment on his own - the people of his country - simply so that he can maintain power," he said.

"This situation is obviously intolerable, unacceptable by any standard and I think all civilized countries would call on the Assad regime to pull back from that and to engage in the peace process," Kerry said.

Kerry described as a "very difficult process" a conference that so far has failed to bring the opposition and the government together for peace and transition talks.

"We are trying to prevent the sectarian violence from dragging Syria down into a complete and total implosion where it has broken up into enclaves and the institutions of the state have been destroyed, with God knows how many additional refugees and how many innocent people killed," he said.

Kerry said he spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on Friday and that Lavrov is "deeply committed" to supporting the conference, but added the situation in Qusair and the possibility of Moscow supplying its Syrian ally with air defense missiles "could put this kind of thing at risk."

The United States continues to lay the ground for the possibility of a negotiated solution to the violence in Syria and said Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will travel to Geneva where she will meet with Russian officials.

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. MEAN JOE

    let them fight it out , i'm rooting for the people there ! iran should keep there nose's out of it!

    June 10, 2013 at 7:55 am | Reply
  2. Raadgast

    If the rebels lose its because their ideology isn't cohesive enough towards a better government than what is there now, that's got to be pretty bad too. They can't unite and commit to a free and equal state for all, to denounce and fight real terror groups, and contribute to the world stage, then they do not deserve the weapons required.

    June 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  3. Parrot Puss McGill

    This is just the rich military industrial complex
    playing "Risk" with real armies, and
    "Monopoly" with real money.

    Have you picked out your token yet ?
    My token is a tank.

    June 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  4. rehan

    how sweet , how america is worried about syrian and democracy , but on the other hand why AMERICA close eye for saudi arabia crime and what is going on Bahrein

    June 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  5. Rick

    Thats why you have allies....to help you out in crisis.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  6. chris reid

    When interviewing elected officials on this situation journalist from CNN should ask them to share thier experience with the CNN audience which has thier fellow Americnas tuned in to Watch and learn about Syria and the conflict there

    June 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  7. Jeremiah

    It looks like all the components for the War of Psalm 83 are coming together. This will be the war where Israel will emerge as the next super power of the Middle East. I don't believe this will yet be the End of Days War from Ezekiel 38, but the war of Psalm 83 will be a precursor and warm up to the apocalyptic war. It's all coming together. The American people are war weary and want peace, but America has no choice as the Book of Revelation, the End of this Age is coming alive. Seek the Lord Jesus the Christ while there is time left.

    June 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • George Patton-2

      Do you really think that the majority of the American public has the intelligence to understand what you just posted above, Jeremiah? Sadly enough, I don't think so although what you said above does make a great deal of sense.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Reply
    • MEAN JOE

      what a nut !

      June 10, 2013 at 7:57 am | Reply
  8. Richard Right

    The suggestion is that we have to stand against Iran and Hezbollah by supporting anti-government forces. But when we do that we side with Muslim Brotherhood, who so far are 2-0, Egypt and Libya. Either way U.S. interests lose so our best move is to stay out.

    June 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Rick from LA

      Which evil can you better live with?

      June 5, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • Hammerdown

      George Bush wanted Democracy in the middle east.
      Palestinians voted in Hamas.
      Egypt voted in Muslim brotherhood.
      He got what he wanted, didn't he.

      Bushy invaded Iraq and they now stand with Iran.
      Bushy got us in bed with Packistan over Afghanistan
      and they end up hiding Bin Laden.

      MISSION ACCOMPLISHED !

      June 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  9. saeed

    its time to nuke usa britain and australia nuke ireland dublin and ghana also its time to burn these c o c k r o a c h e s to ashes they want a fight give these colonial dogs 2 smacks on the head they are evil and damaging and they must be destroyed. death to the irish half breeds.

    June 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • Richard Right

      This sounds like babble, under the influence, from Columbia Univ.

      June 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Fearless Freep

      Saeed,

      You didn't blow yourself up
      putting your suicide vest on ?

      Your camel doesn't like to be kissed.

      June 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
    • MEAN JOE

      I hope you don't have a bomb in your sock or sent your little sister out to blow up a bus , muslim catholic protestant , who gives a good crap ! GROW UP, everyone just wants peace, thats it ! the best way to peace is to ignore the governments. everyone should unite across this world and demand peace. but instead we listen to propaganda and leaders that lie . and the only thing they want is your money. so grow up ! it's a rough world out there . take care yourself cause nobody else will and quit all this hate. live and enjoy your life. and love your neighbors , I'm a American and our government has cause a lot of problems around this world and the greed in washington is coming to head real soon but it will be a peaceful takeover cause the united states learned through history nothing good comes from civil war.

      June 10, 2013 at 8:24 am | Reply
  10. Yuck

    The supreme leader of Iran has some say into all of this,besides he is the spiritual leader of Iran and can use any president for arm forces...those that have eyes let them see and those that have hears let them hear.thats why we have all of our senses.

    June 4, 2013 at 10:30 am | Reply
  11. Matt

    I never wanted to fight on four fronts so that the first was Cast Lead, then it was onto Lebanon which would have left alone the Golan and the long range long war against Iran. Of course Assad could have sat it out. Which left only Iran to deal with. Everyone was against another war in Lebanon well outside Israel even hitting the M-600 and Scud transfers. So that left only covert measures so a sorched earth policy. Iran scientists stop being assassinated sometime ago, but the talks are still going around in circles. That was a concession to Iran and considered a hindrance to diplomacy. Although as with the targeted killings against al-Qaida an effective project. But still around circles we go.

    June 4, 2013 at 8:03 am | Reply
  12. It's Me

    The entire Middle-East is a waste.

    June 4, 2013 at 8:00 am | Reply
    • Rick from LA

      Not a wate:
      Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, UAE..etc.

      A waste: Iran, Syria....can't think of any other hopeless countries.

      June 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  13. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    June 4, 2013 at 1:59 am | Reply
    • Rick from LA

      When you are looked upon as the world's plice force, sometimes you have to take action.

      June 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • tedz

      the government is mining everything put on the air. so watch your language.

      June 9, 2013 at 1:28 am | Reply
  14. William

    Blah Blah Blah...Kerry does nothing but blow smoke. How many more Syrian women and children have to be slaughtered so the international community does something. After all, you would think that it was in our best interest to oust Assad, while showing the Syrians that we care about them. Without Assad, we debilitate the Iranians agenda, which is exporting terrorism via so many terrorist organizations. How?? By using Syria to arm and train these Org.

    June 4, 2013 at 1:26 am | Reply
    • Phunnie boy

      Thank you, William. I agree with you all the way, but then again, what do I know? I'm just an ignorant, Obama loving Tea Partier here who loves to troll that humanitarian George Patton on this website!

      June 4, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
  15. sara

    there are hundreds of foreign rebel fighters and organized terrorists groups like Al Qaeda in Syria. This is regional war between Shia-Sunni the civilians are just caught between these two groups fighting each other. I think CNN is doing a poor job painting the picture as a revolution! it was never really a revolution, even from the start major uprising began in Sunni dominated towns. Shia, Druze, Christian towns were largely unaffected. It would be nice if CNN and other outlets paint the real picture of the situation on the ground.

    June 3, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • 455

      Someone nailed it! I do think it started as a revolution but it morphed into what you have said. It really doesn't matter at this point , pieces are placed and one major move will set that place off.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:01 am | Reply
    • George Patton-2

      Well said, sara. Thank you.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  16. Mike

    They got help. So what...U.S troops training fsa across from Jordan. call it even. So much for Assad faling in 5 months. Not that easy when you have friends. Poor Ghadafi didn't have any

    June 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • sara

      Sunni , USA, Qatar, Turkey vs. Shia, Iran, Russia, Syria

      They are still lying to us and trying to show this conflict as a revolution .

      June 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  17. gonzo

    I am sensing frustration, I am guessing the conflict is not turning the results we want?

    June 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • Rick from LA

      It was going well till Russia stabbed us in the back and re-supplied Syria.

      June 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • rcentros

      "Stabbed us in the back" ... "us" - I thought this was supposed a Syrian rebellion against Assad ... were did "us" come into it? What you say is true, we've been pulling the strings in Syria all along ... but are you supposed to be admitting that?

      June 19, 2013 at 2:25 am | Reply
  18. ddpp

    I wonder Frederick Forsyth would like to write "The Dogs of War Part 2" for middle east !!! These governments/dictators throwing games are becoming quite interesting.

    June 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  19. Dominick

    12Dec2009, Iran and Syria signed a mutual defense agreement to assist and help each other fight common enemies and challenges. Iran seems to be honoring its pledge. Thus, it is not a local civil war but should already be seen on the scale of a regional conflict by which Iran will have to be negotiated with as well.
    Iran is all in and has called on the West to either put up or shut up. Seems as if they called the bluff.

    June 3, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      The West needs to just shut up!!! Like John already said below, the majority of the so-called "free" Syrian Army now consists of outsiders from Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and etc. paid for by the U.S, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia and France.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        Phunnie boy, are you trying to make me look stupid? and since when did you become the authority on Syrian issues? For us, Americans and rest of the world, muslims are killing muslims, what better deal can we get?

        June 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
      • Jomma

        They are having a blast today with all kinds of posts on the last issue. Followed it all day quite enjoyable.

        June 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
      • Killer O'Bama

        Thank you again Phunnie boy, for trolling that Muslim loving, freethinking George Patton above. Keep it up!!!!!!

        June 3, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  20. John Geheran

    So what? The so-called "rebels" fighting the Assad regime are both seeking and getting a lot of help from both the Arab League and the West! In fact, less than half of this riff raft are actually Syrian, the rest being from countries like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq and so on and paid for by the West and Saudi Arabia!

    June 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Phunnie boy

      Hey John, if you keep posting the way you do, I'll start trolling you like I do George Patton, too!

      June 4, 2013 at 11:10 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.