By Kyle Balluck
Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said he expects the resumption of non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, suspended last week following the seizure of a warehouse by Islamists, to resume very quickly.
“Nobody wants to just build a warehouse up again and have it taken over again. That doesn’t make sense. So we need to make sure of where we’re going,” Kerry said on ABC’s “This Week."
“How do you go in and get the humanitarian assistance if the Assad regime is preventing it from happening? No one on America wants to put American troops on the ground. We could get the food in there very quickly if we did that. But that choice isn’t available," he added.
"And no one really wants to go to war in Syria because it’s a huge sectarian, you know, mess, with all kinds of implications. So you have to work with the tools that you have that are permissible.”
Kerry blamed the warehouse takeover on infighting within the opposition, which may be fueled by Syria’s president.
“And this is the nature of the beast that has been unleashed by Bashar Al-Assad, who probably is feeding some of it himself, because he likes to try to play the card that he is the better alternative to these extremists,” he said.
The secretary of State on Sunday also held out hope that the moderate opposition in Syrian can be reunited.
“And we’ve had conversations constantly — I’ve talked this week with foreign ministers in the region. We’re working — there’s a meeting that’s going to take place, I think next week. People will be coming together,” he said.
“We are aiming toward the Geneva 2 Conference, which will take place in January, in the latter part of January,” Kerry added. “We are committed to try to bring people together, a strong representation of the opposition together with the Assad regime representatives and with maybe 30 or so other countries and all try to work in the same direction, which is to get a political settlement out of Syria.”
“It’s hard, but that’s the only way you’re ever going to end the fighting and establish some kind of a governance structure that builds a future for the Syrian people.”