Obama emphasizes U.S. commitment to Syrian rebels in Saudi call

WASHINGTON Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:02pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama told Saudi Arabia's king on Friday that he is committed to providing U.S. support to Syrian rebels who have been waiting for shipments of light arms that have been stalled in Washington.

In a phone call, Obama and King Abdullah also discussed events in Egypt a week after the Egyptian military ousted elected President Mohamed Mursi.

No U.S. arms have reached the Syrian rebels, who are struggling to hold back an offensive by the Syrian government. The American weapons have been caught in a Washington impasse as some members of the U.S. Congress fear the arms will end up in the hands of Islamist militants.

A White House statement said the two leaders discussed the civil war in Syria and expressed strong concerns about the impact of the conflict on the region.

"The president emphasized the United States' continued commitment to provide support to the Syrian Opposition Coalition and the Supreme Military Council to strengthen the opposition," the statement said.

On Egypt, Obama expressed concern about deadly violence that broke out after the military took over. He stressed his desire for an inclusive political process that will enable an early return to a democratically elected civilian government in Egypt, the White House said.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (3)
joe10082 wrote:
President Obama needs to get his priorities in order. He seems to have forgotten that we still have thousands of American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq and for what reason no one really knows. Their presence there has lost all validity. His support for the rebel Syrian soldiers is commendable but the real support that he should have been rendering years ago is for our own soldiers stationed at great expense in unstable places where they their services are longer required. How this escapes him I will never know! We also lose 22 veterans to suicide each and every day of the week. That translated to many widows
without husbands and children without fathers. Is the government concentrating their effort to reduce these horrifying numbers of suicides? The answer is no. 6,500 soldiers committed suicide last year alone! Why? Multiple tours of duty forced upon them. And then there are the 500,000 veterans with PTSD! Syrian rebel army support is important but pales in significance to the issue of taking care of our own All Volunteer Army soldiers! Wake up Obama! Wake up high ranking officers in the Pentagon! Wake up Congress and VA reps! There is much work to be done and as described above.

Jul 12, 2013 8:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Domsayshi wrote:
The AlQuaeda branch of the rebels just assassinated the FSA general.
The FSA troops declared it an act of war.
This means a civil war within a civil war. And he just wants weapons to flow freely. What a confused man.

Jul 13, 2013 3:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Now one of the two true instigators of sectarian violence in the Middle East is asking their favorite lapdog to arm Syrian Rebels who happen to also be Al-Qaeda. It would be much simpler if we just put Iran and Saudi Arabia together and let them fight it out until only one is left.

Jul 13, 2013 2:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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