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US promises military aid to Syrian rebels. Now what?

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"I am very skeptical that arming rebels we know little about, and intervening in a Middle East civil war, will serve US interests,” Senator Udall said. He points out that weapons sent to the mujahideen fighting Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan in the 1980s ended up in the hands of the Taliban.

Aid to the rebels will most likely go through Turkey, where the United States is involved in a secret base that Turkey set up with Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct military and communications aid to Syria's armed opposition, Reuters reports.

“US aid could also go through Jordan where several thousand US troops are on a joint exercise,” according to Reuters. “A further 200 soldiers from the US Army's First Division are also there.”

White House officials so far have declined to detail US military aid to the Syrian rebels, other than to clearly indicate that this does not include “boots on the ground.”

Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona and other lawmakers have been pushing Mr. Obama to institute a no-fly zone in Syria, something the rebels have urged as well.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Pentagon has proposed a partial no-fly zone, enforced from Jordanian territory to protect Syrian refugees and rebels who would train there.

“The military envisages creating a no-fly zone stretching up to 25 miles into Syria which would be enforced using aircraft flown from Jordanian bases and flying inside the kingdom, according to US officials,” The Wall Street Journal reported this week. “The US has already moved Patriot air defense batteries and F-16 fighter planes to Jordan, which could be integral to any no-fly zone if President Barack Obama approves the military proposal.”

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