Kerry Says Syrian Fighters Deserve Support If Assad Won’t Talk

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad isn’t willing to join negotiations, then those fighting him deserve support.

“If the president of the country decides he isn’t going to come and negotiate and he’s just going to kill his people, then you at least need to provide some support for the people who are fighting” for their freedom, Kerry said today at a meeting in Berlin with students.

Kerry made his remarks in response to a question about U.S. plans to deal with terrorists in Mali and spoke of the need to act early to counter militants. The new secretary of state is on his first overseas tour in Europe and the Middle East.

Kerry yesterday hinted at a U.S. policy change toward Syria during talks in London. “We’re determined to change the calculations of President Assad on the ground,” he said, without offering details.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nicole Gaouette in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at

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