US Republican candidates back arming Syria rebels

By REUTERS
February 23, 2012 08:43

 
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MESA, Ariz, - US Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich on Wednesday lent their support to the idea of arming the Syrian opposition in its fight to topple President Bashar Assad.

Speaking at a CNN debate in Mesa, Arizona, Romney said the United States needed to team up with allies to help the rebels.

"We need to work with Saudi Arabia and with Turkey to say, 'You guys provide the kind of weaponry that's needed to help the rebels inside Syria,'" the former Massachusetts governor said.

The Republican seen most likely to face US President Barack Obama in November's presidential election, Romney said such support was needed to turn Syria away from Iran at a critical time when Tehran was possibly trying to develop nuclear weapons.

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