US Expected to Increase Aid to Syrian Rebels

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The United States is expected to increase aid to Syrian rebels. The Obama administration will likely provide body armor and night vision goggles, but will stop short of providing lethal weapons.

"The president has directed his national security team to identify additional measures so that we can increase assistance" and coordinate with other countries, a senior administration official said.

The official said a decision will be made in the next few weeks, adding that "there are a good number of details that still need to be worked out."
Syria's rebels are in a bloody battle with President Bashar al-Assad's government forces
Secretary of State John Kerry is in London for a G-8 foreign ministers meeting where he's also meeting with Syrian opposition leaders.

"I'm not sure what the schedule is," Kerry said, "but I do believe that it's important for us to try to continue to put the pressure on President Assad and to try to change his calculation."
Kerry added the United States prefers a political solution that includes Assad leaving power.

Despite pressure from members of Congress, military leaders, and his former secretaries of State and Defense, Obama refuses to arm the rebels. He argues that the weapons could fall into the hands of Islamic extremist allies.

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