Clinton also announced $30 million in additional humanitarian aid for Syria’s beleaguered civilian population. Experts estimate that as many as 1.5 million Syrians may now be internally displaced, while soon as many as 700,000 will have left the country.
Friday’s meeting underscored how the major Western powers supporting the Syrian opposition continue to limit their aid to nonlethal military and humanitarian assistance, as well as some advisory help for civilians. By contrast, Iran and other outside players supporting President Assad are supplying him with arms and even boots on the ground.
Recently, commanders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps bragged that they are on the ground in Syria, and US intelligence officials say Lebanon’s Hezbollah Shiite Muslim extremist organization is also operating inside Syria on Assad’s behalf, though it is not thought to be carrying out military operations there.