Deborah Amos writes: Ambassador Robert Ford, the State Department’s point man on Syrian policy, crossed into northern Syria on Wednesday. The secret visit was confirmed by Syrian activists at the media office at the Bab al-Salama crossing on the Turkish frontier.
Ford met with the head of the Aleppo military council, Abdul Jabbar Okaidi, who thanked him for the shipment of nonlethal aid. Seven trucks transported some 65,000 MREs, or meals ready to eat, the U.S. military’s battlefield rations. Syrian activists posted a video of it.
The MRE shipment is part of an additional $10 million aid package. The U.S. announced in April that it would funnel $123 million in nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition.
The MRE delivery is also part of a policy to support Gen. Salim Idriss, elected to head the Supreme Military Command in December. Idriss, a defected general and a German-trained electronics professor, is considered a moderate.