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Syria rebels to get U.S. military help

Friday, Jun 14, 2013 - 01:20

June 14 - The U.S. says it is to step up military aid to Syria's rebels after determining the use of chemical weapons by government forces. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 Amateur video appears to show Syrian rebels in action. The video, posted on social media website and not independently verified by Reuters, purportedly shows them firing on government troops in a suburb of Damascus. Now the U.S. says it's authorised direct military support for the rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad. The White House didn't specify if that would include weapons. An official speaking on condition of anonymity said it would - a reversal of President Barack Obama's stance so far. Obama's decision was revealed in a media conference call with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. (SOUNDBITE)(English) BEN RHODES, U.S. DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, SAYING: "The President has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition. That will involve providing direct support to the SMC (Supreme Military Council). That includes military support." The arrival of thousand of Iran-backed Hezbollah fighters to help Assad's forces fight the rebels has shifted momentum in Syria's two-year-old war. The rapid change has worried U.S. and European officials who were due to meet rebel commanders on Friday in Turkey.

Syria rebels to get U.S. military help

Friday, Jun 14, 2013 - 01:20

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