Obama to arm Syrian rebels as U.S. concludes Assad crossed ‘red line’ by using chemical weapons on opposition

National Post | News

President Barack Obama has authorized sending weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, U.S. officials said Thursday, after the White House disclosed that the United States has conclusive evidence President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons against opposition forces trying to overthrow him.

Obama has repeatedly said the use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line,” suggesting it would trigger greater American intervention in the two-year crisis.

“This is going to be different in both scope and scale in terms of what we are providing,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser.

The U.S. has so far provided the Syrian rebel army with rations and medical supplies.

Obama still opposes putting American troops on the ground in Syria and the U.S. has made no decision on operating a no-fly zone over Syria, Rhodes said.

But The Wall Street Journal reported that a military proposal includes a limited…

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