By Julian Pecquet - 04/11/13 08:00 PM EDT
The panel's chairman, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), on Thursday became the latest lawmaker to join calls to arm the rebels.
Ford said the administration's policy is to support the opposition through non-lethal means. He said a negotiated political settlement that guarantees a place for the Alawite minority and regime supporters in a future Syria is the only way to end the conflict.
"If there is not a negotiated settlement," Ford said, "our sense is that regime supporters, fearing death, will fight to the death."