Obama unlikely to shift stance on arming Syrian rebels despite views of security staff

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 09, 2013 07:30 hrs

US President Barack Obama is unlikely to shift his stance against the expansion of America's role in Syria's bloody civil war that has killed over 60,000

His move will come despite key members of his national security staff favouring a plan first proposed in June to arm the Syrian rebels.

U.S. officials said that the issue was shelved in October after an extended "red team" analysis by the CIA concluded that the limited-range weaponry the administration was comfortable providing would not have "tipped the scales" for the opposition.

According to the Washington Post, analysts determines that Syrian opposition forces already had sufficient quantities of light weaponry from other outside sources and raids of government depots.

They said the question of providing shoulder-launched missiles to shoot down government aircraft was never considered.

The paper said that it remained unclear whether senior officials who backed the plan, first proposed during the summer by then-CIA director David H. Petraeus, were comfortable with Obama's decision not to move ahead with it.

Some U.S. and outside experts have argued that the provision of weapons to selected rebel groups, even if they are superfluous, could help empower and build loyalty among pro-Western factions, the paper added. (ANI)

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