US hints at possibilty of arming Syrian rebels
The United States appeared on Tuesday to open the door to eventually arming the Syrian opposition, saying if a political solution were impossible it might have to consider other options, Today's Zaman reported.
The comments, by a State Department spokeswoman, marked a shift in emphasis by the United States, which thus far has stressed its policy of not arming the opposition and has said little about alternatives.
Asked about the current U.S. position on the issue of aiding the Syrian opposition militarily in its nearly year-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters: "We believe that a political solution to this is the best way to go."
"If Assad will heed the view of the international community or respond to the pressure that we are bringing to bear ... we still have a chance for a political solution," she added.
"We don't believe that it makes sense to contribute now to the further militarization of Syria. What we don't want to see is the spiral of violence increase," she added. "That said ... if we can't get Assad to yield to the pressure that we are all bringing to bear, we may have to consider additional measures."