US hints at possibility of arming Syrian rebels

February 22, 2012 02:23

BEIRUT/GENEVA - Syrian government forces killed at least 100 people on Tuesday in assaults on villages and an artillery barrage in the restive city of Homs, activists said, and the Red Cross called for daily ceasefires to allow in urgently needed aid.

Washington, which is preparing for a "Friends of Syria" meeting of Western and Arab states opposing President Bashar Assad, declined to rule out eventually providing arms to rebels seeking to overthrow him.

Asked about the prospect of arming the rebels, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: "We don't believe that it makes sense to contribute now to the further militarization of Syria."

But she added: "That said... if we can't get Assad to yield to the pressure that we are all bringing to bear, we may have to consider additional measures."

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