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US will send nonlethal aid directly to Syrian rebels (+video)

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"We want to help the Syrian opposition to better be able to meet the needs of the Syrian people," Kerry said at a news conference in Paris yesterday. "They've had difficulty doing that now. And some folks on the ground that we don't support and whose interests do not align with ours are delivering some of that help."

According to The New York Times, nonlethal aid could possibly go beyond food and medical equipment, including things such as night-vision devices, vehicles, or communications equipment. “[O]ne official said that the financing the United States planned to send to the resistance might indirectly help the rebels arm themselves as it might free up other funds to purchase weapons,” reports the Times.

Today’s meeting in Rome of The Friends of Syria group – made up of the Syrian opposition and 11 foreign powers that support them – comes days before a meeting of the Syrian National Coalition in Turkey. According to Al Jazeera, at the Istanbul meeting the main Syrian opposition group is expected to “elect a prime minister and government to run parts of Syria seized from [President Bashar al-]Assad’s control.”

According to the Times, a primary goal of the US is to support the opposition in strengthening its credibility among the Syrian population. 

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