By Medha Imam

WASHINGTON— Protesters from across the country rallied for a free Syria near the White House Sunday, calling for an end to the both the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the presence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

Around 2,000 people — from California to Pennsylvania — participated in the rally to pressure the Obama administration to implement no-fly zones and increase arms assistance to moderate Syrian rebels.

Secretary of State John Kerry announced, in an interview with CBS aired Sunday, that he would “have to negotiate” with Assad to resolve the civil war in Syria.

“Everybody agrees that there is no military solution,” Kerry said. “There is only a political solution.”

Mariam Abou-Ghazaleh, who led the rally chants, was frustrated with Kerry’s announcement. She said that the “situation has only worsened” in the last four years and “negotiations won’t get you anywhere.”