Some of the most important leaders in the world will meet in Northern Ireland this week at the Group of Eight Summit. One of the top issues they will be working on resolving is the conflict in Syria. Of the eight countries represented at the conference, only Russia continues to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad following the revelation that the Syria's government used chemical weapons against its own people.
President Barack Obama has said that the United States will now assist the rebels in Syria as they battle against the government — a decision that was criticized by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday. After speaking with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Putin warned against arming Syrian rebels "who kill their enemies and eat their organs," which references a video clip where a rebel fighter appears to eat the heart of a dead soldier.
"Do you want to support these people?" Putin said. "Do you want to supply arms to these people?" All of the other countries at the summit have answered that question already.
"We have already taken some decisions in that Britain is helping to give technical assistance, training, advice, help, shaping, to the Syrian opposition, and we do that along with the Americans, French and others and will continue to do that, and we will take time to make these decisions with our allies," Cameron said.
Obama will meet with Putin on Monday to discuss the situation in Syria, Newser reported. It will be the first time that the leaders have spoken in person since the G-20 summit last year.
"They clearly have a very broad agenda to discuss," said Obama's deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. "It's in Russia's interest to join us in applying pressure on Bashar al-Assad to come to the table in a way that relinquishes his power and his standing in Syria, because we don't see any scenario where he restores his legitimacy to lead the country.” He added that the pair will talk about counterterrorism and arms control as well.