There is Little International Support for Arming Syrian Rebels

Despite evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons


Growing evidence that the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad may have used chemical weapons against its own people has led to a crescendo of demands for the US to intervene in the Syrian civil war. But neither the American people, nor Europeans, nor Syria's neighbours wholeheartedly support such a move.

The lack of sustained public backing, both in America and in the region, is the political context in which the Obama White House will "rethink all options"—as Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel put it on Thursday.

Demands for some form of American action against Assad have intensified now that the US government has acknowledged that it too, along with the British, French and Israeli governments, thinks that chemical weapons have been employed by the regime.