U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tells Syrian rebel leader Ahmad Jarba that the moderate opposition he heads would be important in repelling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Syrian rebel leader Ahmad Jarba on Friday that the moderate opposition he heads would be important in repelling ISIL, the al Qaeda offshoot which is fighting in both Syria and Iraq. Kerry is visiting the Middle East to press regional leaders to tackle the threat from Islamist militants in both conflicts - a task given greater urgency by the situation in Iraq, where ISIL, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, has captured a series of towns and cities. "We have even more to talk about in terms of the moderate opposition in Syria, which has the ability to be a very important player in pushing back against ISIL's presence," Kerry told Jarba in a meeting at Jeddah airport at the start of a brief trip to Saudi Arabia. "President Jarba represents a tribe that reaches right into Iraq. He knows people there, and his point of view and that of the Syrian opposition will be very important going forward," said Kerry before a scheduled meeting with Saudi King Abdullah. The Obama administration on Thursday asked for $500 million from Congress to train and equip vetted members of Syria's opposition, the most significant U.S. move so far to support those fighting against President Bashar al-Assad.