US likely to supply Syrian rebels with mortars, RPGs

June 15, 2013 02:01

WASHINGTON - The United States is likely to send weaponry like rocket-propelled grenades and mortars to Syria's rebels after President Barack Obama approved arming the insurgents, sources said on Friday.

A source in the Middle East who is familiar with US dealings with the rebels told Reuters that weapon supplies would include automatic weapons, light mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, known as RPGs.Accusing Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces of using chemical weapons, the White House said on Thursday the United States would supply direct military assistance to the rebels. A US official said that meant sending them weapons supplies for the first time.

Two European security sources said the United States would increase the caliber of the arms and ammunition being supplied to the rebels by regional powers including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as supply some heavier weapons, including RPGs.

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