Iran increasing Syrian aid: Clinton

2013-02-01 09:04
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  (Baz Ratner, AFP)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Baz Ratner, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Iran is stepping up its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad while Russia is continuing to send money and arms to the regime, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned on Thursday.

"The Iranians have made it clear for some time that keeping Assad in power was one of their highest priorities. We believe they have acted on that by sending in more personnel, not only to help Assad, but to support and advise military security forces," Clinton said.

In her last media interview as secretary of state, Clinton said there was "a lot of concern that they are increasing the quality of weapons, because Assad is using up the weapons, so it's numbers and it's material".

"The Iranians have been actively involved from the very beginning. It appears that they may be increasing that involvement and that is a matter of concern to us," she told a roundtable of journalists including AFP.

But Clinton also noted that despite US efforts to bring Moscow on board to work for an international solution to the 22-month war in Syria that has claimed around 60 000 lives, Russia was continuing to prop up the regime.

"The Russians are not passive bystanders in their support for Assad. They have been much more active on a number of fronts," she said.

Grim assessment

"Their defence of Assad in the Security Council has been the most public, visible sign of that. But there are other ways that they have tried to protect the regime," she added.

"We have reason to believe that the Russians continue to supply financial and military assistance in the form of equipment to Assad."

And the top US diplomat gave a grim assessment of the progression of the war, warning of "the dangers of an increasing civil war and a potential proxy war".

"The worst kind of predictions of what could happen, both internally and spilling over the borders of Syria are certainly within the realm of the possible now," she said.

"The killing goes on," she added, saying the United States was "disturbed by increasing Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah activities" in Syria.

But Clinton voiced hope Moscow might still change its stand, "because they cannot look at what is happening and not believe that it could be incredibly dangerous to everybody's interests, including theirs".

Assurances

Vice President Joe Biden will be meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany opening on Friday.

And Clinton offered assurances that her successor as secretary of state, John Kerry, would "pick up where I left off and do all that we can do... with respect to a political transition in Syria".

One of the issues was to help train the Syrian opposition as it tries to undertake and prepare for the day when Assad falls.

"You have to make it clear that there will be something other than hardened fighters when this conflict ends, otherwise it might never end in the foreseeable future because there will be so much to fight over," Clinton said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    joe biden  |  bashar assad  |  hillary clinton  |  syria  |  iran  |  russia  |  uprisings  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.