Obama set to supply arms to Syria militants

Obama set to supply arms to Syria militants
Mon Jun 10, 2013 22:56:50

US President Barack Obama is close to approving arms for the militant groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad government, officials told the Associated Press.

The sources said that the Obama administration could decide this week to approve lethal aid for the foreign backed rebel groups and are also scheduled to weigh the merits of a less likely move to send in US aircraft to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria.

According to the officials, White House meetings on the issue are planned over the coming days.

Terrorist groups’ leaders have warned Washington that their rebellion could face devastating and irreversible losses without greater support, prompting the US to consider drastic action, the report said.

US officials also claimed that Obama was leaning closer toward signing off on sending weapons to “vetted, moderate rebel units”.

To date, President Obama has only committed non-lethal aid, despite lawmakers' calls for more forceful action from the US.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has also passed a bill that would approve sending weapons to terrorist groups in Syria. The committee's chairman, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., stressed that "now is the time" to act to tip the balance toward militant groups.

US Senator John McCain last week repeated his call for his country to take action in the Western back war in Syria.

This is while US has launched a multinational military drill involving Patriot missiles and fighter jets in Jordan despite condemnation from Russia.

Over 4,500 US troops, around 3,000 Jordanians, and 500 soldiers from Britain, Saudi Arabia and other countries are participating in the Eager Lion exercise, which started on Sunday, military officials said.

The US confirmed last week that it was deploying the F-16 jets and missiles, which can be used against planes and other missiles, to Jordan. Washington added that it might mull over keeping them in the Arab country after the drills which could be used to monitor Syria war.

However, the two nations claimed that the exercises, which involve a number of F-18 jets from bases in the Persian Gulf, were unrelated to the unrest in Syria.

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