WASHINGTON: The White House is mulling a major shift in policy on war-torn Syria and could supply rebels with ‘non-lethal’ aid such as body armor, armored vehicles and perhaps even military training, according to the Washington Post.
Citing unidentified US and European officials, the newspaper also reported yesterday that Washington could send humanitarian aid directly to the country’s opposition political coalition.
The Post, while noting that US officials remain opposed to providing arms to the rebels, said US Secretary of State John Kerry was discussing yet to be finalized elements of the ‘proposed policy’ in meetings with allies in Europe and the Middle East this week and next while on his first foreign trip since taking office.
CNN published a similar story on its website, citing a source as saying that the United States was ‘looking to remove restrictions on ‘dual-use’ equipment’ and, according to another source, that the administration was moving toward providing humanitarian aid directly to the Syrian Opposition Coalition.
Rebels have been fighting the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad since an uprising against his rule erupted in March 2011, and the United Nations says the conflict has claimed 70,000 lives.