President Bashar Assad
Israeli and Syrian troops exchanged fire across their tense cease-fire line in the Golan Heights on Tuesday, prompting an Israeli threat that Syria’s leader will “bear the consequences” of further escalation and raising new concerns that the civil war there could explode into a region-wide conflict.
President Obama revealed during a Tuesday morning press conference that his administration does not know all the facts on who used chemical weapons in Syria.
The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee is calling on the Obama administration to train and arm select elements of the Syrian opposition as well as provide humanitarian assistance as the deadly civil war marked an ignominious second anniversary on Friday.
ecretary of State John Kerry warns there is “no guarantee” that weapons given to Syrian rebels won’t fall into the wrong hands.
Sen. John Kerry has held up Syria as a country that could bring peace and stability to the Mideast and predicted that the now-disgraced government of President Bashar Assad would pursue a legitimate relationship with the United States. Those assertions are certain to draw scrutiny at Kerry’s confirmation hearing to be secretary of state as Assad’s brutal crackdown has plunged his country into civil war.
While the death toll from the Israel-Gaza conflict has mounted, Hezbollah has offered quiet words of encouragement to the Palestinians, pledging support and calling on Arab states to send them weapons to fight Israel. But beyond that, the Lebanese militant group appears to be staying firmly on the sidelines.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry says the violent crackdown by Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria shouldn’t be tolerated, but the United States and the international community must respond “in a responsible way.”
Sen. John McCain says the United States should find ways to help the Syrian people under siege from President Bashar Assad, without putting American “boots on the ground.”