US Helping Get Arms To Syria Rebels: Report [View all]
WASHINGTON: The United States is helping bring more and better weapons to Syria's rebels, including anti-tank weaponry, for their fight against President Bashar al-Assad regime, The Washington Post said today.
President Barack Obama's administration insisted it was not directly supplying the weapons or providing funding, with Gulf states paying for the new arms, the Post said, citing US and foreign officials.
But Washington has stepped up links with the rebels and regional militaries allied with them, playing a role in the rebel's foreign support network, according to the report.
"We are increasing our nonlethal assistance to the Syrian opposition, and we continue to coordinate our efforts with friends and allies in the region and beyond in order to have the biggest impact on what we are collectively doing," a senior state department official told the Post.
If true, the US administration's move to increase contact with the rebels and boost information-sharing with Gulf states who back them would mark a shift in policy for the Obama administration, which has so far resisted overt support for the armed groups battling Assad forces.