US Boosts Aid to Rebels after Syria Gov’t Says Revolt Failed

Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Mark Garten

One day after the spokesman for Syria’s Foreign Ministry claimed the attempt to overthrow the state had failed, a number of nations clearly indicated otherwise by increasing their support for the Syrian opposition. Included in that group is the United States, which on Sunday announced they would nearly double their humanitarian aid to the Syrian citizens to almost $25 million in total.

In comments released by the US State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton slammed Syria President Bashar al-Assad’s continued violence against his opposition after accepting a United Nations-backed peace plan.

Clinton said the “Friends of the Syrian People” group urged UN envoy Kofi Annan, the point-man for the ceasefire proposal, to “set a timetable for next steps.”

Said Clinton, “The world will not waiver. Assad must go. And the Syrian people must be free to choose their own path forward.”

The Friends Group meeting, attended by dozens of nations, continued to back the Syrian opposition, according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News. The timeline call comes as Annan is set to brief the UN on the Syria situation on Monday.

It also comes just one day after Dr. Jihad Maqdisi, Syria’s Foreign and Expatriates Ministry Spokesman, told Syrian Satellite TV that the fight to bring down the government had failed.

In a report by the government-linked Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on the TV interview, Maqdisi further said the current actions by the government are an attempt to stabilize life in the country and restore “peace and security.”

The UN has accused the Syrian regime of killing thousands of the nation’s people in a vicious crackdown on an uprising against the Assad dictatorship launched more than one year ago.

Despite the government claims, both of protecting civilians and that the rebellion is unsuccessful, Clinton felt otherwise.

“My reading is that the opposition is gaining intensity, not losing it. So the timeline is not only for Kofi Annan’s negotiations, but it’s also for Assad, that eventually he has to recognize that he has lost legitimacy and he will not be able to avoid the kind of continuing efforts by the opposition to strike a blow for freedom,” said Clinton.

“And he can either permit his country to descend into civil war, which would be dreadful for everyone, not only inside Syria but in the region, or he can make a different set of decisions.”

(By Staff,, April 1, 2012)