- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

U.S. forces are currently training rebel forces in Syria, said Secretary of State John Kerry. The goal of the training: To convince Syria President Bashar Assad to “change his current calculation,” he said, to Fox News.

Mr. Kerry made the statements to Fox News from his overseas stop in Doha, Qatar. Fox News says this is the first time a U.S. officially actually said on record that the training of rebel fighters is going forth — but Mr. Kerry stopped short of providing details about the nature of the training.

Rather, he described it as simply “one part” of U.S. aid to Syria, and downplayed it as something “a lot of countries are doing,” Mr. Kerry said, in the Fox News report. Previously, Mr. Kerry announced the U.S. aid package to Syria rebel forces would be of the non-lethal type only.

“I think what President Obama is hoping is to build on what has already happened,” he said, Fox News reported. “The president put in place sanctions and that helps to strip some of President Assad’s ability to fuel his war machine.”

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