Washington: In its effort to get rid of Assad regime the Obama Administration is preparing to supply lethal weapons to the Syrian opposition, a media report said on Tuesday.

"We're clearly on an upward trajectory. We've moved over to assistance that has a direct military purpose," a senior administration official was quoted as saying by a leading daily.
The US has been adopting a tough stance against reported use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, and said it has been working with its allies to gather more evidence in this regard.
The Washington Post reported that the US is seriously moving towards supplying lethal arms to Syrian opposition.    

So far the US had been reluctant on this issue and had been supplying only non-lethal arms to the Syrian opposition.
The newspaper said the officials did not specify what US equipment is under consideration, although the rebels have specifically requested anti-tank weapons and surface-to-air missiles.
This is part of the efforts of the Syrian opposition to protect the people from the Assad regime, which according to their estimates, have killed more than 70,000 people ever since the rebellion against the regime broke out last year.
The assistance of lethal weapons would be in addition to the non-lethal assistance and the training that the Jordanian and rebel forces to deal with the chemical weapons threat.     

"As the President has said, our assistance to the Syrian opposition has been on an upward trajectory, and he has
Directed his national security team to identify additional measures so that we can continue to increase our assistance," National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden told.
"The items to be supplied will be decided after consultations with the Supreme Military Command – additional communications equipment, armour, night vision goggles, and vehicles -- are among the items that are being discussed," she said.

"We continue to consider all other possible options that would accomplish our objective of hastening a political transition, but have no new announcements at this time," Hayden said.
Secretary of State John Kerry had recently announced that the US will double its non-lethal assistance to the Syrian opposition to USD 250 million.
Earlier, President Barack Obama told reporters at a White House news conference that the US and its international partners, along with the Syrian opposition, are trying to gather more information on the alleged use of chemical weapons.
"We will use all the assets and resources that we have at our disposal. We'll work with the neighbouring countries to see whether we can establish a clear baseline of facts. And, we've also called on the United Nations to investigate," he said.
Obama said if the use of chemical weapons is established, it would be a "game changer" as it would portend potentially more devastating attacks on civilians and raise strong possibility that those chemical weapons can fall into the "wrong hands."
These weapons can also get disseminated in ways that would "threaten US security or the security of our allies," he said.
Explaining the term "game changer", Obama said the US would have to rethink range of options that are available.
"Now we're already invested in trying to bring back a solution inside of Syria. Obviously, there are options that are available to me that are on the shelf right now, that we have not deployed. And, you know, that's a spectrum of options," he said.
"As early as last year I asked the Pentagon, our military, our intelligence officials to prepare for me what options might be available."
"And I won't go into the details of what those options might be, but, clearly that would be an escalation of the threat to the security of the international community, our allies, and the US."
"And that means that there's some options that we might not otherwise exercise that we would strongly consider," Obama said.


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