US President Barack Obama authorized secret support for Syrian rebels, dpa reported
The order was signed in the past few months, and allows the CIA and other agencies to provide clandestine support to the uprising, CNN reported late Wednesday, citing unnamed US officials.
The nature of the assistance was not specified, but the report quoted diplomatic sources as saying the United States was providing intelligence on the movements of Syrian troops, which was passed on to rebel fighters.
The administration has said it would step up its support of the uprising, after resolutions in the United Nations Security Council have failed to increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
It has said it would stop short of arming the rebels, citing among other reasons the lack of information about the different groups that have been fighting the regime since March 2011.
A video posted online Wednesday appeared to show rebels executing loyalist prisoners, provoking condemnation from rights groups.
Washington was also adding around 10 million dollars to its aid to the rebels, bringing its total contribution to 25 million dollars towards exclusively non-lethal items such as medical and communications equipment, the Foreign Ministry's spokesman said Wednesday.
The US has also made 64 million dollars available for humanitarian help in Syria through the United Nations and aid groups.