DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian state media have criticized the Obama administration’s decision to provide aid to rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad, warning that the move could harm US interests in the Middle East.
An editorial in the state-run daily newspaper Al-Thawra says that by supplying opposition forces with financial and other non-lethal aid, Washington is supporting terrorism in Syria.
The paper warned on Saturday that the decision could backfire. The government refers to rebels fighting Assad’s troops as terrorists seeking to destroy the country.
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced Thursday that the United States will provide food and medical supplies directly to the rebels for the first time since the conflict began nearly two years ago. Kerry also pledged an additional $60 million in assistance to Syria’s political opposition.
The chief of Syrian rebel forces said Friday that his fighters are in “desperate” need of weapons and ammunition rather than the food supplies and bandages that the US plans to provide.
Dozens of people were killed on Saturday morning in clashes between the Assad regime and rebels, reported Israel Radio, with many of the casualties occurring in the city of Raka, near the Turkish border.