US Will Send Military Aid To Rebels in Syria


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Yesterday, the White House said that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war. In August last year Obama said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would mark the crossing of a "red line." Now, months after the suspected use of chemical weapons, it seems like the Obama administration has accepted that chemical weapons have been used and will send military aid to rebels in Syria.

From the BBC:

The US is to supply direct military aid to the Syrian opposition for the first time, the White House has announced.

President Obama made the decision after his administration concluded Syrian forces under Bashar al-Assad were using chemical weapons, a spokesman said.

Ben Rhodes did not give details about the military aid other than to say it would be "different in scope and scale to what we have provided before".

The US had warned any use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line".

The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says the US announcement is one that the Syrian opposition has been pushing and praying for for months.

It seems clear that President Obama has finally been persuaded, as Britain and France have argued, that the battlefield cannot be allowed to tilt strongly in the regime's favour, as is currently happening, he adds.

Washington's "clear" statement was welcomed by Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

I and others from Reason have written before on the conflict in Syria and why intervention would be a bad idea, especially given the worrying jihadist elements within Assad's opposition.

Read Reason.com's full coverage of the conflict in Syria here.