Syrian rebels to discuss military needs as US weighs options:-The Hindu
The Syrian opposition was to meet in Istanbul with representatives of Western and Arab countries to assess the rebels’ military needs as the US weighs its options on military support.
Louay Mokdad of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) said on Saturday, “Military chief General Selim Idriss will discuss with the various representatives the needs of the rebels and give an assessment of the military situation inside Syria.” U.S. President Barack Obama will use next week’s G8 summit to explain his new support for arming Syrian rebels, while lobbying Russia to help press Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, the White House said on Friday.
The United States on Thursday reversed its long-standing Syria policy limiting aid to non-lethal assistance, and said it would begin sending military support to moderates among the rebels, after accusing Damascus of having used chemical weapons.
Syria and its ally, Russia, reacted negatively to both the accusation of chemical weapons use and to the plan to send military aid...........Read More......
U.S. says political solution to Syria conflict in jeopardy:- Al ArabiyaThe use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces and the involvement of Hezbollah fighters show President Bashar al-Assad's lack of commitment to negotiations and threaten to “put a political settlement out of reach,” the U.S. State Department said on Saturday, citing comments by Secretary of State John Kerry.
The State Department issued a statement after Kerry spoke with Iraq's foreign minister.
“The secretary reaffirmed that the United States continues to work aggressively for a political solution with the goal of a second Geneva meeting, but that the use of chemical weapons and increasing involvement of Hezbollah demonstrates the regime's lack of commitment to negotiations and threatens to put apolitical settlement out of reach,” the department said.......Read More......
White House: Syria crosses 'red line' with use of chemical weapons on its people:- CNN
Syria has crossed a "red line" with its use of chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin gas, against rebels, a move that is prompting the United States to increase the "scale and scope" of its support for the opposition, the White House said Thursday.
The acknowledgment is the first time President Barack Obama's administration has definitively said what it has long suspected -- that President Bashar al-Assad's forces have used chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war.
"The intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete," Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said in a statement released by the White House..........Read More......