Kerry acknowledges slow flow of aid to Syrian rebels
September 10th, 2013
04:55 PM ET

Kerry acknowledges slow flow of aid to Syrian rebels

By Jamie Crawford

Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday acknowledged concerns by some in the moderate Syrian opposition that limited U.S. military assistance had not reached them as fast as they had wanted, but he said that issue has now been resolved for the most part.

"It is accurate to say that some things have not been getting to the opposition as rapidly as one would have hoped," Kerry said during a Google + Hangout discussion. "Part of that was sort of early organizational effort, but then subsequently it took a while for Congress to approve certain components of it and finally it just takes time to start it."

Kerry said he was not able to disclose what specifically has been sent in the form of weapons by the United States to the Syrian opposition.

"A coordinated effort is being made among the many supporters of the moderate opposition to get them the assistance they need," in addition to ongoing non-lethal, medical and humanitarian assistance to the opposition Kerry said.

Congress approved a limited amount of military assistance in the form of small arms and ammunition to flow to Syrian rebels after the Obama administration asserted the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons on a small scale.

The administration is now seeking authorization from Congress for a limited military strike against the al-Assad regime following a purported chemical weapons attack last month that the administration said killed more than 1,400 people.

"I can tell you that many of the items that people complained were not getting to them are now getting to them," Kerry said.

As to whether any of that military assistance from the United States could find its way to any of the extremists groups also fighting the Syrian regime, Kerry said the United States is working to assure that does not happen.

"We have put down a firm barrier between the assistance that goes to the moderate opposition and anything to those groups," Kerry said of extremist groups in Syria. "Their numbers are not as high as some people have estimated in terms of actual real fighters on the ground and capable."

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Filed under: John Kerry • Secretary of State • Syria
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  22. blakenaustin

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    September 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  23. Oakspar77777

    So, the administration is sending Syrians who were burning American flags a few months ago, known terrorist linked to al Q, and child soldiers small arms (true assault rifles, rpgs, etc) and ammunition (bullets, grenades, mortars, etc) that it deems too dangerous to be trusted in the hands of American Citizens while pushing for laws that ban even semi-auto rifles that look like the assault rifles they are handing out to children.

    I'm bothered that our President feels that the Syrian people deserve access to more effective tools to defend their liberty than we do.

    September 11, 2013 at 10:29 am | Reply
  24. Phelix Unger

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    September 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Reply
    • U.S.M.C. 1371

      Why the U.S.? Go get help from someone else for a change. Every dime that has been wasted on that worthless area of the middle east should have been put into the education system.

      September 11, 2013 at 5:01 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Remember Iraq? GWB and his "team" in DC had themselves 100% convinced that after "shock and awe" the Iraqis would dance in the streets for joy and instantly become a "democratic and free" society! Convinced that Iraq would be a 3 month campaign (limited military involvement!), the DC "brains" ignored military commanders on the ground and ignored what diplomatic people we had in country. Rumsfeld sent in Brenner to further screw things up!
      Our little 3 month campaign became a 10 year war! Today, Iraq is right back to killing each other. The democratically elected government is busy aligning Iraq with Iran, China and who knows who knows who else. Dick Cheney promised us that Iraqi oil would make this "little adventure" revenue neutral! Did Dick ever get his oil?
      Lesson: There is no such thing as "limited military engagement"! There is no way anyone can guarantee "no boots on the ground"! GWB lied to us over and over about Iraq. Now Obama is going down the same path!
      So "we" should help Syria do what? Dispose of their dictator so that utter confusion will replace him? NO! Every dictator we have helped to dispose of has produced nothing good either for us nor for the people! It will only get worse "for the people"!

      September 11, 2013 at 7:40 am | Reply
  25. George patton

    please send them more and let them take care of Shi'a moslems.

    September 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  26. Nbgtr Giuthj

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    Jeffrey Babbitt of Brooklyn was left in a coma Wednesday after a man randomly attacked him in Union Square.

    September 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  27. saeed

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    September 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      some smart people become terrorists for 72 virgins.

      September 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply

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