Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

US Democrat offers bill to arm Syrian opposition
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 6, 2013

Syrian rebels from the Al-Ezz bin Abdul Salam Brigade take part in a training session at an undisclosed location near Jabal Turkmen in Syria's northern Latakia province on April 24, 2013. Crouching, belly-crawling into sniper nests in their rugged mountain redoubt, Syrian rebels have started training for a prolonged guerilla war against stubbornly resilient regime forces. Image courtesy AFP.

A top US Senate Democrat introduced a bill Monday that authorizes arming rebels in Syria, a step Washington has been weighing after President Barack Obama said the Damascus regime may have used chemical weapons.

Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Syria Stabilization Act of 2013 that would give "increased authorization to provide lethal and non-lethal assistance to Syrian armed opposition."

The bill is seen as intensifying pressure on Obama to take action in Syria after US and other intelligence assessments that the regime has used chemical weapons, something Obama has warned would be a "game changer."

"The Assad regime has crossed a red line that forces us to consider all options," Menendez said in a statement.

"The greatest humanitarian crisis in the world is unfolding in and around Syria, and the US must play a role in tipping the scales toward opposition groups and working to build a free Syria."

The measure specifically bars the administration from transferring portable, shoulder-fired missile or grenade launchers known as MANPADS, amid concern that such weapons have been finding their way from places like Libya into the hands of extremists who might use them against US interests.

It also increases sanctions on arms and oil sales to strongman Bashar al-Assad's regime, and authorizes a "transition fund" of some $250 million per year aimed at helping a civilian opposition in Syria prepare for a switch to some form of democratic rule.

The bill is likely to garner some bipartisan support, as a handful of Republicans including Senator John McCain have long said it was time to consider arming vetted opposition groups.

The Obama administration has expressed worry about the risks of pouring more arms into a volatile conflict, and has so far stuck to providing humanitarian assistance and non-lethal aid.

But Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged last Thursday that Washington was taking a fresh look at whether to arm Syria's outgunned rebels.


Related Links

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Protest against Iraq PM blocks highway to Syria, Jorda
Ramadi, Iraq (AFP) Dec 23, 2012
About 2,000 Iraqi protesters, demanding the ouster of premier Nuri al-Maliki, blocked on Sunday a highway in western Iraq leading to Syria and Jordan, an AFP correspondent reported. The protesters, including local officials, religious and tribal leaders, turned out in Ramadi, the capital of Sunni province of Anbar, to demonstrate against the arrest of nine guards of Finance Minister Rafa al- ... read more

U.S. seeks $220 million for Israel missile defense

Pentagon requests more funding for Israel's 'Iron Dome'

Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile Intercepts and Destroys Tactical Ballistic Missile in New Test

Japan's missile defence plan: some facts

Syria: Israel blasts Hezbollah's missile chain

Lockheed Martin's Nemesis Missile Scores 3-For-3 in Flight Tests

Guam heightens alert level after N. Korea threats

US warns N. Korea ahead of expected missile launch

Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Conduct First Arrested Landing of X-47B Unmanned Demonstrator

Outside View: Drones: Say it with figures

ESA-EDA Flight Demonstration On Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Insertion Into Civil Airspace

Israel builds up its war robot industry

Department of Defense looking to allow Apple, Samsung devices

DARPA Seeks Clean-Slate Ideas For Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

Astrium's secure milsatcoms now cover the world

Gilat to Equip IDF with SatTrooper-1000 Military Manpack

Files posted online to 'print' working handgun

Northrop Grumman Selected to Complete JCREW I1B1 Development

DARPA Announces Winner of the First FANG Challenge

Elbit To Supply African Nation With Wise Intelligence Technology System

Pentagon plans to cut civilian workforce

South Africa government in crisis over wedding scandal

S.African diplomat suspended over Indian plane scandal

South Korea opts for Boeing's Apache

Beijing says US defence report hypes China threat

US shift to Asia on track despite budget cuts: admiral

India, China begin withdrawing troops from border

Japan never had smooth ties with China: deputy PM Aso

Going negative pays for nanotubes

Researchers develop unique method for creating uniform nanoparticles

Dark field imaging of rattle-type silica nanorattles coated gold nanoparticles in vitro and in vivo

'Super-resolution' microscope possible for nanostructures

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement