Kerry calls for support to the opposition to end Syria 'imbalance'

Kerry calls for support to the opposition to end Syria 'imbalance'

DOHA - Agence France-Presse
Kerry calls for support to the opposition to end Syria imbalance

U.S. Ambassador to Qatar Ziadeh walks with U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Ambassador Fakhroo on Kerry's arrival in Doha, June 22. REUTERS photo

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on June 22 that supporters of the Syrian opposition will step up military and other aid in a bid to end an "imbalance" on the ground in President Bashar al-Assad's favour.

Kerry, speaking at "Friends of Syria" core group's foreign ministers meeting in Qatar, said that the United States remained committed to a peace plan that includes a conference in Geneva and a transitional government picked both byal- Assad and the opposition.

The rebels need more support "for the purpose of being able to get to Geneva and to be able to address the imbalance on the ground," Kerry said.

"The United States and other countries here - in their various ways, each choosing its own approach - will increase the scope and scale of assistance to the political and military opposition," Kerry said.

Kerry said that the governments at the conference - which include stalwart supporters of the rebels Qatar and Saudi Arabia - would work to "coordinate our support" to the opposition's Supreme Military Council.

Kerry accused al-Assad of an "internationalisation" of the conflict which has claimed nearly 100,000 lives by bringing in the support of Iran and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.

"Reliable civilian governance and a stronger and more effective armed opposition will better enable the opposition to be able to provide the counterweight to the initiative of al-Assad," he said.

President Barack Obama had announced plans to step up assistance to the rebels after concluding that al-Assad crossed his stated red line by using chemical weapons.