US Secretary of State "John Kerry" admitted today that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was making gains on the ground, but he denied US policy in Syria was failing.
Kerry told CNN television in an interview that "It's fair to say that Assad has improved his position a little bit, yes. But he's still not winning. This is a stalemate".
But asked whether he believed that America's policy in Syria, which has seen a mounting death toll in its three-year conflict, had failed, he replied "No".
He stressed that "the policy in Syria is just very challenging and very difficult".
Earlier this week, the State Department denied reports Kerry told US lawmakers in a private meeting that he believed it was time to change strategy in Syria.
Kerry told CNN "I don't want to make any excuse whatsoever. We want this to move faster. We want it to do better", adding "but the point I'm making is that diplomacy is tough, slogging, slow work and hard work".
US President "Barack Obama" has so far refused to provide heavy weaponry to the opposition militants, amid fears it could fall into the hands of militant groups flooding into the country.
Kerry pledged the administration would work with Congress as well as internally to try to figure out how to push the Russians to use their influence on Syrian government to help improve conditions on the ground.