Syrian opposition welcomes US move to arm rebels
The Syrian opposition welcomed Friday a decision by the United States to arm the rebels after its intelligence services confirmed that chemical weapons had been used in the conflict, dpa reported.
"We hope that such a move will not be ink on paper, but will be implemented on the ground as soon as possible," Selim Idriss, the military chief of the Free Syrian Army, told the Dubia-based Al Arabiya.
The acting head of the Syrian National Coalition, George Sabra, described the decision as "a positive step" and expressed the hope that there would be no delays.
"We hope that the friends of the Syrian revolution start extending their hands to help save the Syrian people from the Iran-backed regime, which commits daily crimes against its people," Sabra said.
US President Barack Obama on Thursday agreed to start providing direct support to the Syrian Military Council, with the decision based on confirmation that chemical weapons had been used by the Syrian regime.
The decision came after the United Nations said at least 93,000 people had been killed since the conflict started more than two years ago. The real fatality figure, however, could be much higher, as 38,000 unverified deaths were not included in its latest estimate.