U.S. weighs up idea of sending military aid to Syrian rebels
Smoke rises from the site of a missile attack in Hawiqah neighborhood in the eastern Syrian town of Deir Ezzor on Tuesday. (AFP PHOTO/ZAC BAILLIE)
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The U.S. government appears to be considering sending military assistance to Syria's opposition fighters in order to speed up a political transition, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday.
According to White House spokesman, Jay Carney, the U.S. will be increasing aid to the Syrian rebels. The statement comes amid U.S. media reports that they are considering sending armour and armed vehicles on top of the usual aid package.
"We are constantly reviewing the nature of the assistance we provide to both the Syrian people, in form of humanitarian assistance, and to the Syrian opposition in the form of non-lethal assistance," Carney said.
If confirmed, the move would mark a radical shift in policy by the Americans who have previously resorted to humanitarian assistance only.
A large shipment of weapons to the rebels caused a stir last week, when blogger and analyst, Eliot Higgins, noticed that the arms could not have come from the Syrian regime army.
Speculation then began that the U.S. and other foreign powers had been supplying the opposition fighters in secret.