The United States is stepping up its assistance to rebel forces in Syria after the White House confirmed the Syrian regime had crossed President Obama's "red line" and used chemical weapons against its own people.
But the details are still sketchy, leaving White House advisers asking the questions: What kind of aid should the U.S. send and who should it send the aid to? The president said he will not put American troops on the ground.
Some rebel groups fighting Bashar al-Assad's government have links to al Qaeda. Consequently, some U.S. officials are concerned that American weapons could fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.
How concerned should the U.S. be that chemical weapons will fall into the hands of terrorists? CBN News International Correspondent Gary Lane addressed that concern and more on CBN's Newswatch, June 14.
Meanwhile, Syrian rebels have been asking for a no-fly zone and several members of Congress are pushing for it as well.
"If our military can't establish a no-fly zone then by God American taxpayers dollars have been wasted," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said.
"The longer this war goes on the more damages our allies are and the likelihood that chemical weapons can be usednot just against Syrians but against us and others," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.
It's estimated that between100 and 150 people have died from the regimes use of chemical weapons.
"This is clearly a small portion of the catastrophic loss of life in Syria that now totals more than 90,000 deaths," Benjamin Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, said in a statement.
"But as we've consistently said, the use of chemical weapons violates international norms and crosses red lines that have existed in the international community for decades," he added.
The nerve agent sarin is reportedly among the chemical weapons used on a small scale against the rebels over the last year.
The White House says it will be consulting with both Congress and the international community in the days ahead to decide on the best course of action.