US House Democrat wants lethal aid for Syria rebels

By REUTERS
March 18, 2013 01:25

 
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WASHINGTON - The senior Democrat on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee is pushing President Barack Obama's administration to train and arm some Syrian rebels, in addition to providing humanitarian assistance.

Representative Eliot Engel will introduce a bill on Monday that would authorize Washington to provide assistance "including limited lethal equipment" to carefully vetted members of the Syrian opposition, aides and activists aware of Engel's plans said on Sunday.

Washington has pledged non-lethal aid to Syria's rebels, but Obama has so far refused to give them arms, arguing that it is difficult to prevent the weapons from falling into the hands of militants who could use them against Western targets.

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