Samantha Power: U.S. Aid Will Help Syria Rebels Fight ISIS And Assad

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CHUCK TODD: Let's talk about this moderate opposition in Syria. I'm a little confused who we're training them to fight. All week long, the president says we're training them to fight ISIS. But a year ago, the idea was to train the moderate Syrians to fight Assad. Are we training them to fight ISIS or are we training them to fight Assad? Who are we training them to fight?

SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Well, our national security imperative is to go after ISIL and to degrade and destroy it over time, and the moderate opposition now will have greater capabilities to do that thanks to an overwhelming bipartisan vote in Congress to support that.

TODD: But is that what the Free Syrian Army wants to do? I thought the Free Syrian Army was trying to fight Assad, that they've been fighting side by side in some cases with ISIS. Do they know that's why we're training them?

POWER: They do. But, may I add, the training also will service these troops in the same struggle that they've been in since the beginning of this conflict against the Assad regime. Let me note, the Free Syrian Army and other moderate forces have been fighting ISIL since December. They have pushed ISIL out of strategic areas. The reason that they've lost -- the moderate opposition -- have lost territory over time is that they have been fighting ISIL and taking the fight to ISIL on the one hand and then also fighting a regime that is backed by Hezbollah, Iran, Russia, etc. So, we think with an infusion of support, these fighters, who have actually held their own against this wide array of actors fighting on all fronts, will be in a much stronger position, both to go after ISIL and to put pressure on the regime so we can get back to the negotiating table for a political solution.

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