Al Arabiya quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof on John Kerry’s strategy for the Geneva II Syria peace talks:

The U.S. Secretary of State was “taking full advantage of the media focus on Geneva II to drive home some central points” says Frederick Hof a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. Hof tells Al Arabiya News that Kerry was reassuring the Opposition and “realizes that Syria-related diplomacy unaccompanied by the military threat is a leverage-free exercise..and he is right.” The sticking point, however, according to Hof, is in “President Obama quietly and tacitly removing the [military] threat in return for the chemical weapons agreement.” Until the agreement is implemented, the “administration really has no alternatives.”

While Kerry was making headlines, officials in Washington announced the resumption of non-lethal aid to civilian opposition groups in the north of the country, as Reuters leaked an unusual report quoting U.S. and European officials that Congress secretly approved U.S. weapons flow to “moderate” Syrian rebels in the south of the country. The arms, delivered via Jordan, include “some powerful weapons such as anti-tank rockets.”

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