Maupin: What does a rebel group in Syria have to do to not receive U.S. funds any longer? What is the line that they must cross? What kind of controversial incident must take place for a group to stop receiving U.S. funds?Toner: Well, first of all, um, there’s, uh, a lot of vetting of the Syrian moderate opposition that has already taken place and it’s not just by the U.S., it’s by all the members of the ISSG and, frankly, the U.N. And it was established that al-Nusra as well as Daesh or ISIL were considered to be by all members and by the U.N. to be terrorist organizations. Again, these are not easy processes and one incident here and there would not necessarily make you a terrorist group. Now, uh, let me be very clear that we don’t condone any of the activities that you just cited. Uh, possible use of chemical weapons, possible beheading of a young child. Any human rights abuses. Any of those things would give us serious cause for concern. That said, where are on the broader political or geopolitical, uh, in, uh, in Syria is, uh, and one of the ongoing discussions that we’ve been having with Russia is how do we clearly delineate between these known terrorist groups – Nusra and Daesh – and the moderate opposition and how do we have a clear understanding of who is where so that we can, longer game here, get back in place a cessation of hostilities that is credible that can also jumpstart the political process.Maupin: It sounds to me like you’re saying that, even if these allegations are true, there’s still a chance that the United States would continue supporting these groups. Is that what you’re saying?Toner: I’m not making any, uh, I’m not frankly answering any, uh, hypotheticals. We just don’t know at this point. As I said, we would regard any of the acts that you mentioned, or cited, and, again, they are just allegations at this point, we take them very seriously and look into them.Maupin: They’re not a red line.Toner: Again . .Maupin: for U.S. support
Reporter: The other thing that you said was the “possible” beheading. Are you not convinced that that video is accurate?Toner: Um, um, um, I, was just about to say, I’m just not aware that we’ve determined who was actually behind it.