Obama Authorizes Arms for Syrian Rebels

President Obama has authorized his administration to provide the Syrian rebels with arms in their fight against Bashar al-Assad.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Obama did this through a classified order directing the CIA to provide arms to the rebels and their allies. 

The White House will not elaborate on the order, but did say that Obama had decided to increase "military support" to the rebels in both "scope and scale."

On June 13, administration officials said the provision of arms also requires "a limited no-fly zone inside Syria." This will be enforced from Jordanian territory. 

White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said the conclusion that "the Syrian regime [has] used chemical weapons against the rebels" weighed heavily in the decision to arm those fighting against Assad.  Rhodes referred to the use of chemical weapons as a "red line" that impacted Obama's approach to the Syrian conflict. 

Jordan has offered military bases to the U.S and its allies "to protect a safe zone inside the kingdom." Anonymous officials within the U.S. military believe it will take four weeks to get the limited no-fly zone up and running. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins


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