US to arm Syrian rebels following Assad forces' 'chemical weapons' redline crossing

Washington, June 14 (ANI): President Barack Obama has ordered his administration to provide arms to rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The revelation was made by officials who briefed on the decision, after the White House said it had confirmed that Damascus used chemical weapons in the country's civil war.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the classified order to authorize the Central Intelligence Agency to provide arms to the rebels together with its allies has reversed a long-standing policy that limited the U.S. to providing non-lethal support.

The White House declined to comment on the order, saying that only Obama had decided to ramp up military support to moderate rebels both in scope and scale, the report said.

Rebels had requested for weapons to hold off Assad's forces and Hezbollah fighters, closing in on rebel positions in the city of Aleppo.

The head of Syria's opposition Supreme Military Council, or SMC, issued a plea to U.S. officials and others for arms.

The move to provide arms to Syrian rebels was made after a series of high level meetings at the White House and consultations with allies, the report added. (ANI)

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