NEW YORK - The head of Syria's opposition told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday the country's situation was "desperate" and called for the United States to arm the rebels quickly and to push harder for a political settlement.
"The US commitment of military support to the Supreme Military Council is vital, but it needs to happen fast, and in a way that allows us to defend ourselves and protect civilians," Ahmed al-Jarba, the Syrian National Coalition's newly elected leader, said in a statement released as he met Kerry in New York.
"The situation in Syria is desperate. We urgently need American action to push the international community to demand a political transition," he added. "American leadership and drive is essential to end this war and bring the democracy that the large majority of the Syrian people want."
Jarba and three other senior SNC members - Burhan Ghalioun, Najib Ghadbian and Michel Kilo - are in New York to meet informally with the 15-member UN Security Council on Friday.