US denies Kerry said Syria policy failing

2014-02-04 08:08
US Secretary of State John Kerry. (Roslan Rahman, AFP)

US Secretary of State John Kerry. (Roslan Rahman, AFP)

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

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now
Washington - The US administration stood by its policy on Syria on Monday, denying that Secretary of State John Kerry had called for a change of strategy and the arming of opposition rebels.

As January marked the deadliest month in the conflict with almost 6 000 killed, some US media claimed the top diplomat had said Washington's policy was failing.

The reports, quoting influential Republican senators, said Kerry made the remarks at a meeting on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich.

"No one in the administration thinks we're doing enough until the humanitarian crisis has been solved and the civil war has ended," said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

She told reporters she had taken part in the hour-long meeting with US lawmakers in the German city, but insisted that "at no point did [Kerry] state what I think was quoted, that the process had failed".

"They did have a discussion about a range of options that the administration has always had at its disposal," she added.

Non-lethal support

The meeting was more of a "listening session... than it was a briefing session" by Kerry "because he was hearing from... probably about 20 members, about what they would like to do," Psaki said.

As for arming the rebels, "at no point did he raise it, did he commit to it, did he say that it was a process being worked on, and so that's a mischaracterisation of what was said".

"Of course we need to continue to consider what more we can do. But that is not a change in strategy," she added.

"That is an acknowledgement of what we all know: that there are ongoing discussions within the administration, that we continue to work with our international partners and through interagency process on how to approach each step in this."

Despite heavy criticism from some of his key allies such as Saudi Arabia, President Barack Obama has resolutely refused to provide US heavy weaponry to the opposition rebels battling Syrian President Bashar Assad.

But Washington has been providing non-lethal support directly to the rebel Supreme Military Council, including body armour, computers and night-vision goggles.

And US media claimed last week that some light arms were being shipped to the rebels, although that has not been confirmed.

Bloodiest month

Three years into the war, millions have been driven from their homes, and fighting, complicated by increasing militant groups on the ground, is largely at a stalemate.

According to Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Kerry admitted in Munich that "we are at a point now where we are going to have to change our strategy," Graham was quoted as saying by the Washington Post.

But the White House hit back this was wishful thinking "that reflects how Senator Graham and Senator McCain view our policy, not how Secretary Kerry views it".

White House spokesperson Jay Carney added Obama believed "it is absolutely necessary to press for a negotiated political resolution to this conflict. There is no other alternative".

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said January was the conflict's bloodiest month so far, with 5 794 deaths recorded.

Rebel-held areas have been subjected to a punishing string of aerial raids by the army in the past three days, with at least 26 people - including 11 children - killed on Monday in attacks with explosive-packed barrel bombs in the northern city of Aleppo, according to the NGO.

More than 136 000 people have died since the conflict began with peaceful anti-government protests in March 2011.

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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Cape Town 06:03 AM
Road name: MetroRail

Train services between Nyanga/Chris Hani (Khayelitsha) and Nyanga/Kapteinsklip remain SUSPENDED - all stations on these sections are CLOSED

Kuils River 17:58 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

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

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer 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
Jan 21 - Feb 18
Jan 21 - Feb 18

You may be inspired to do things that expand your mind in a big way today. You have a need to explore and a need to please....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.