RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CBSDC/AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry warns there is “no guarantee” that weapons given to Syrian rebels won’t fall into the wrong hands.
Kerry made the comment during a joint press conference with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.
“I would tell you this, that there is a very clear ability now in the Syrian opposition to make certain that what goes to the moderate, legitimate opposition is in fact getting to them,” Kerry said, according to CBS News. “The indication is that they are increasing their pressure as a result of that.”
Saudi Arabia has been providing weapons to the Syrian rebels in their battle against President Bashar Assad forces, while the United States has pledged to give millions of dollars in food and non-lethal assistance to them. The Obama administration, though, has been hesitant in arming the Syrian rebels.
“Saudi Arabia will do everything within its capacity, and we do believe that what is happening in Syria is a slaughter, a slaughter of innocents,” al-Faisal said, according to The Associated Press. “We can’t bring ourselves to remain quiet. Morally we have a duty.”
Kerry said during the press conference that Assad has lost all legitimacy as leader.
“The United States will continue to work with our friends to empower the Syrian opposition to hopefully be able to bring about a peaceful resolution, but if not, to increase pressure on Assad,” Kerry said.
Nearly 70,000 people have lost their lives during the war in Syria over the past two years.
Saudi Arabia is the seventh nation Kerry is visiting on his nine-nation trip across Europe and the Middle East. This is Kerry’s first overseas trip as secretary of state.
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