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Earlier today the White House issued a statement declaring that Syria's Assad regime had used chemical weapons "on a small scale" against opposition forces. The use of such weapons had been declared a "red line" by the administration, an event which would precipitate larger U.S. involvement in the conflict.
There is little official word on what that larger involvement will entail, but according to the Wall Street Journal:
President Barack Obama authorized his administration to provide arms to moderate rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to officials briefed on the decision.
The decision lifted Mr. Obama’s ban on providing lethal assistance to the opposition and tasked the Central Intelligence Agency with working with allies to help organize deliveries.
That assistance will likely include small arms and possibly anti-tank weapons, but not antiaircraft weapons that the opposition has been requesting. It will also not include the no-fly zone that Sen. John McCain and other hawks have been urging:
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said the U.S. will send military assistance to the rebels, and it is weighing possible military responses. A no-fly zone is part of a “range of options” being considered, but it will not happen now and may not be the best way to assist rebels, he said.
“A no-fly zone would carry with it great and open-ended costs for the U.S. and international community,” Rhodes said in a conference call with reporters. […]
Pressed on what the United States would do next, Rhodes said the White House would share the information with Congress and U.S. allies but will "make decisions on our own time line."