Hezbollah intervened in Syria
With reports making headlines that the Syrian forces on the ground are making some progress and making gains with the support of Hezbollah forces, the United States of America today said an active military support to the Assad regime simply exacerbates the sectarian tensions and it perpetuates the regime’s campaign of terror against its own people.
According to US Secretary of State John Kerry, the United States and other countries are not sending fighters on the ground, but Hezbollah is.
“The Hezbollah fighters are coming across an international border, building a militia in order to attack the civilian citizens of Syria.” – Secretary Kerry
Last week, the Hezbollah forces have become publicly and have announced recently that they are taking part in the military activities in Syria.
Reports say Iran and Hezbollah have built a 50,000-strong parallel force in Syria to help Assad regain military foothold.
US accuses Iran for helping Hezbollah
Secretary Kerry indicates that Iranians are on the ground, and Iran is actively helping to support Hezbollah, a surrogate working with Iran, and they are contributing significantly to the violence.
He cites that just last week, obviously Hezbollah intervened very significantly.
For now, there are several thousands of Hezbollah militia forces on the ground in Syria who are contributing to this violence, he said.
“We condemn that and suggest that those who are encouraging it and support it should retreat from that position and obviously become part of the constructive solution rather than part of the problem.” – Secretary Kerry
Assad and the future of Syria
According to Secretary Kerry, with respect to Assad making some gains in the last days, the answer is, yes, he’s made a few gains in the last days.
“But this has gone up and down in a seesaw, as we all know, and it will.” – Secretary Kerry
With respect to Assad and the future of Syria, Secretary Kerry challenges anybody of common sense:
“Can a person who has allegedly used gas against his own people; can a person who has killed more than 70,000, upwards of 100,000 people have the credibility and legitimacy to lead that country in the future?” – Secretary Kerry
He says, the answer to that is obvious.
Since the start of the civil war in Syria, US has reiterated that Assad has lost the legitimacy to rule Syria.
US says Assad’s gains on the ground are temporary
Secretary Kerry says, if Bashar al-Assad thinks that the gains that he’s made in the last few days are going to be determinative of this, then he is miscalculating just as he did when he engaged in this struggle against his own people.
He points out that support for the opposition is growing and the United States is providing additional support, more support.
Other countries are providing more support as well and Secretary Kerry says he is convinced that support will only grow.
“I don’t believe there’s a military victory for Assad that is going to somehow justify the gains he’s made in the last days.” – Secretary Kerry
On the other hand, Secretary Kerry believes that Assad will ultimately realize, as will those supporting him, that this situation is going to get more dangerous, more destructive, and much more damaging to the prospects of the region if it continues in its course.
He hopes the Syrian regime will come to the realization that it needs a political settlement
US calls for political solution to end the conflict
Secretary Kerry highlighted that political solution might be the only way to end the conflict and violence in Syria.
US and Jordan assert that a political solution is the best solution that will lead to solving this crisis, to ending the violence, ending the killing, ending the destruction, and ending the bloodshed.
However, in the end, the people of Syria must decide whether Assad has that future or doesn’t, and what’s going to happen.
In addition, US and its allies are trying to find a way to implement Geneva 1.
He says Geneva 1 is clear; it says there must be a transition government with full executive authority with mutual consent.
The Geneva 1 is said to implement a transition, a transitional government that will allow the people of Syria to choose the future of Syria.
“And it is very, very clear as a starting point that mutual consent will never be given by any member of the broad opposition of Syria for Assad to continue to run that government.” – Secretary Kerry
Violence seem endless in Syria
The US has calle on President Assad to exhibit the same commitment to trying to find peace in his own country which is critical.
According to Secretary Kerry, every single day, the image of more carnage, or the report of a massacre, or the report of women and children being killed, the report of more people being driven out of their homes and across a border, is really challenging the conscience of the world.
And that violence has to end, he underlined.
Scope of human tragedy is staggering
Reports emerged that the scale and scope of the human tragedy in Syria today is staggering, and it is inexorably becoming a regional tragedy.
More than 70,000 Syrians have reportedly died.
According to the United Nations, one out of three Syrians will be forced from their homes by the end of 2013.
Jordan is overwhelmed by the burden of 500,000 Syrian refugees which is a number that could reach a million by the end of the year.
The crisis in Syria has spilled over to seriously inflame politics in Iraq and Lebanon.
In addition, state structures in Syria are crumbling, extremists are expanding their influence among the opposition, and the dangers of long-term sectarian conflict and fragmentation are growing rapidly.
Syrian crisis getting worse every day?
With President Assad’s showing no sign to stepping down and with the incessant conflict continuing to destabilize the country, the world now is witnessing a rapid deterioration of an already devastating situation in Syria, where at least 70,000 Syrians have been killed and millions displaced.
The Syrian people continue to face deplorable attacks and massacres by regime forces, including the use of heavy weapons, aircraft, and ballistic missiles.
The US considers these actions as proof of the Assad regime’s complete disregard for the lives of Syria’s citizens, including its children.
March was reportedly the deadliest month of the conflict with over 6,000 Syrians killed and with three to 4 million people now internally displaced.
Refugee crisis worsens
The exponential surge in refugees is among the clearest signs of this dire situation in Syria.
More than 1.2 million people are refugees and it is predicted these numbers could double or even triple by the end of this year, nearly one third of Syria’s population.
Today, over 400,000 Syrians have fled in the last seven weeks alone and sought refuge in the neighboring countries.
Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and UN humanitarian agencies are approaching a saturation point with the surge of refugees.
The US is deeply grateful to the Government of Kuwait for fulfilling its generous contribution of $300 million to UN agencies and other international organizations.
US aid to Syria
In November 2012, the United States of America provided $30 million in additional humanitarian assistance to respond to the needs of Syrian people affected by the turmoil.
In Syria, the additional funding will allow for provision of food aid to families in need.
In neighboring countries, the additional assistance from the United States will provide food supplies, hot meals, and food vouchers for families who have fled the violence in Syria.
In addition, the additional assistance will be provided through the World Food Program (WFP), which is providing food aid to 1.5 million people in Syria and the refugees who have fled to neighboring countries.
The United States is the largest donor of food aid for those affected by the conflict in Syria through WFP.
In August 2012, with the violence engulfing Syria, the United States of America has announced an additional $12 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid to more than $76 million.
The U.S. government continues to place emphasis on ending the escalating violence which has uprooted hundreds of thousands of Syrians.
The humanitarian needs continue to grow, where the number of Syrians displaced to neighboring countries now exceeds 130,000, with nearly 1.5 million in need inside Syria, including UN-estimated one million internally displaced persons.
The Syrian violence has led a crisis on a humanitarian scale that is of the highest priority within the U.S. government, and for which the US pledges to continue to provide support.
In April 2012, with the deteriorating situation in Syria due to turmoil, the United States of America bolstered efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict in the country.
The UN estimates that there are over 2 million Syrians inside Syria in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Of that number, an estimated 300,000 are internally displaced.
United States has dedicated some $33 million to support the important work to assist and protect those in need in Syria and neighboring countries, and much more is on the way.
The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 70,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.