U.S. Rules Out Working With Syria’s Assad to Counter al Qaeda
President Barack Obama has called on Mr. Assad to step aside and has promised to step up military aid to the moderate Syrian opposition, though rebel leaders say U.S. support has been too small in scale to make a difference on the battlefield where they are fighting a two-front war against the Assad regime and Islamists.
During the meeting with Caesar (PR created PSYOP hashed and rehashed twice here) and other opposition leaders, the two White House officials said that under no circumstances would the U.S. work with the Assad regime to counter al Qaeda-linked groups, according to Mouaz Moustafa, head of the anti-regime Syrian Emergency Task Force and Caesar’s translator during the White House meeting.
Mr. Rhodes also told the group that a “dramatic” increase in U.S. military support to the moderate operation was in the works, referring to a $500 million military train-and-equip program which awaits congressional approval. Mr. Rhodes said during the meeting that he was optimist Congress would pass the program, Mr. Moustafa said. Congressional officials said the proposed Pentagon program would be small in scale and would not start until sometimes next year at the earliest.
A White House official declined to comment on what officials said during the closed door meeting but confirmed that the administration was not considering working with the Assad regime on counterterrorism efforts.
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