“I do think we’ll be arming the opposition shortly,” he said on CBS This Morning, adding that the U.S. is “doing a lot more there on the ground than really is known” but that it’s time to “change the equation”:
HOST NORAH O’DONNELL: Do you think this administration needs to move further in terms of arming the opposition? What’s next?
CORKER: I do think we’ll be arming the opposition shortly. We’re doing a lot more there on the ground than really is known. But we do have to change the equation. I think you all know the moderate opposition groups that we support are not as good at fighting. They’re not as good at delivering humanitarian aid. And we need to change the balance and they need to be reaching out to the Alawite population that supports Assad. I think if we can cause that to happen, Russia will be far more open to some kind of political resolve where Assad is removed. But we’ve got to change the balance there and I do think we’ll be arming the rebels soon.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed last week that the Obama administration is seriously considering arming the rebels but as the New York Times noted on Tuesday, the White House has been insisting that “it would not be thrown off its cautious approach to Syria.”
Meanwhile, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced legislation on Monday that would provide weapons to vetted opposition fighters.