Some 49 people were killed, including Mohamed Saeed al-Bouti, the most prominent Sunni Muslim cleric to back the Syrian president’s Alawite minority-dominated regime against a Sunni-led uprising. They were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up after entering the central Damascus mosque.
The attack came as heavy fighting raged across the country and European foreign ministers met in Ireland to discuss calls by Britain and France for an easing of the EU’s arms embargo.
Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Bouti was killed while delivering a sermon in the Iman Mosque in Mazraa
In a statement issued by the presidency, Mr Assad condemned the attack, vowing to eradicate “extremism and ignorance” in Syria.
“I swear to the Syrian people that your blood, and that of your grandson and all the martyrs of the homeland, will not be spilt in vain, because we will be faithful to your ideas by destroying their extremism and ignorance until we have cleansed the country,” he said.
European Union foreign ministers displayed their divisions Friday over whether to start shipping weapons to rebels in Syria, with Britain and France isolated in their efforts to boost the opposition’s firepower.
The two-day talks opened in Dublin Castle just hours after a suicide bomb killed at least 49 people in a Damascus mosque, including a senior cleric loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. Both Assad and the major opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, condemned the attack.
British Foreign Minister William Hague said the European Union’s policy of providing only non-lethal equipment to the National Coalition must end if Syria’s primary opposition forces are to oust Assad from power.
“In order to support a diplomatic and political settlement which is essential for peaceful transition, it will be necessary for us to increase the support that we give to the National Coalition on the ground,” Hague said in comments mirrored by his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius.
Americans and Britons are deeply sceptical about the idea of arming Syria‘s rebels and the possibility of sending western troops into the country, according to a bilateral poll.
Despite the escalating civil war, growing casualty figures and a rising tide of refugees flooding out of Syria, there is little appetite for more robust action than the current approach of providing “non-lethal support” to the rebels, the YouGov poll found.
There have been increasing demands on Capitol Hill to arm the opponents of the Assad regime or intervene more directly, and this week Barack Obama toughened his own rhetoric amid contested claims about Damascus using chemical weapons. But the new binational survey – produced for YouGov-Cambridge, the polling company’s academic thinktank – finds US voters opposed to the idea of supplying munitions by a 29-point margin: 45% against to 16% in favour.
Identical questions were posed in Britain, where David Cameron has, with the French president, François Hollande, recently tried and failed to persuade the EU to lift its arms embargo. But the British public emerges as even more strongly against: 57% oppose arming the rebels and 16% are in favour.
In both the UK and the US, opposition to arming the rebels is marked on the right as well as the left of the political spectrum: 52% of American Republicans and 63% of British Conservatives are against supplying arms.
Any thought of sending western troops into Syria would also be badly received – especially in the UK. By a 32-point margin (55%-23%) Britons reject the idea of sending in UK and allied troops to protect civilians. The anti-intervention lead rises to 59 points (68%-9%) if the aim were “overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad”.
In the US too, proposals to put boots on the ground would run up against public opinion. Americans lean 33%-27% against sending in troops “to protect civilians”, and are more decisively against directly enforcing regime change, splitting 42%-16% against. Although more Republicans (22%) than Democrats (14%) would be prepared to support the latter, the partisan difference are not as great might have expected given the continuing divisions over the war to topple Saddam Hussein.
A Fox News military analyst who has previously justified the U.S. invasion in Iraq by asserting that Russia conspired to hide Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) now says that there is a “very high probability” that those WMDs are in Syria.
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on Friday spoke to retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney about recent rumors of a chemical attack near Aleppo, Syria.
“What are the chances of the return address on these chemicals being from Iraq?” Kilmeade wondered.
“Well, I think there is a high probability of that,” McInerney declared. “That’s conjecture, but we do know prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, there was a lot of vehicles crossing the border into Syria. And there was a great deal of conjecture. A Iraqi major general swore by it. He said he delivered it.”
“And so I think that it would be a very high probability if we could get into those bunkers that they would have Iraqi signatures on them.”
In 2006, McInerney told Newsmax that there was “clear evidence” that Iraq had WMDs before the war and that the Bush administration “ignored Russia’s involvement” in helping to hide the weapons.
“[T]he administration needed the Russians, the Chinese and the French, and was not interested in information that would make them look bad,” he said.
A U.S. official on Thursday said that evidence suggested that chemical weapons (CW) had not been used in the latest attacks in Syria.
“Our growing sense is that weaponized CW was not used,” the official remarked, according to Reuters.
A European security official noted that the use of weapons of mass destruction in Syria would have left a death toll much higher than 26.
Watch this video from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast March 22, 2013.
US doesn’t seek political solution to Syria crisis: Vyacheslav Matuza
An analyst says the United States does not wish to resolve the Syrian crisis as Washington is misusing it to pursue their own egoistic political goals in the Middle East region
The comment comes as the United Nations will launch an independent investigation into the recent use of chemical weapons in the Syria unrest, which would be “a crime against humanity.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the decision on Thursday a day after the Syrian government called for an independent inquiry into the terrorist chemical attack in Aleppo.
“I have decided to conduct a United Nations investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria,” Ban told reporters in his office, adding that “I intend for this investigation to start as soon as practically possible.”
The pages of history tell us that beautiful civilizations emerged and prospered in the ancient cities of Damascus and Aleppo, some of the oldest continually inhabited cities on Earth. The harrowing circus of brutality that is the Syrian conflict, now in its third year, will soil and blacken those pages indefinitely. No matter the political outcome of this horrible war, a once tolerant and diverse state has been shattered and terror itself has eaten into the destiny of Syria’s people, inexorably changing the courses of their lives forever.
Children have been orphaned; parents have faced the loss of their children – and by uncompromising means. Infants have been beheaded, the fates of innocent men and women have been sealed through summary executions, and families have been torn apart or destroyed all together. Recent developments in Syria are alarming.
Spokesmen of the Assad government recently accused foreign-backed militants of launching scud missiles containing chemical weapons in the city of Aleppo, killing dozens. Witnesses claim to have seen powder emanate from the rocket, causing those who inhaled the substance to suffocate or require immediate medical attention. An unnamed chemical weapons expert cited by Al-Jazeera claimed that the causalities were not consistent with Syria’s reputed stockpile of chemical agents, stating, “If it’s a chemical warfare agent, it’s not working very well.” Syria’s ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja’afari, called on the UN Secretary-General to form an independent technical mission to investigate the use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups operating in Syria.
While on his first state visit to Israel, Barack Obama cast doubt and expressed deep skepticism toward the Assad government’s version of events, stating that if the government did indeed use chemical weapons, then it meant a “red line” had been crossed. Obama vowed not to make further announcements until concrete facts were established. What this essentially means is that Obama is now in a position to act on his statements and intervene more boldly and directly than the United States has already been doing since the beginning of the conflict. Additionally, NATO personnel have also indicated that they are prepared to employ a wide range of operations. US-European Command Admiral James Stavridis recently told media that the alliance was “prepared, if called upon, to be engaged as we were in Libya.”
Those who have critically monitored the situation from the beginning are under no illusions. The way in which mainstream media sources have covered the Syrian conflict, perhaps more so than any other topic in recent times, shows unequivocally how certain content providers have moved in step with the foreign policy of the Western and Gulf states who have enabled insurgent groups and provided diplomatic cover for opposition politicians who represent their economic and strategic interests.
The Obama administration’s policy toward Libya and Syria eyes the same familiar endgame as what the Bush administration sought in its foreign policy adventures. The fact that many of those on the left who campaigned against Iraq and Afghanistan are now generally silent, or even supportive of Obama’s agenda, is proof that his policies have been packaged far more intelligently for mainstream consumption. The reality is that Syria is “Shock and Awe” by other means. There are a myriad of reasons why Bashar al-Assad must go in the eyes of policy makers in Washington and Tel Aviv, and the destruction of his tenure could not have been possible without the financial muscle of Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s wretchedly opulent Sunni Monarchs.
These glittering kingdoms of disaster-capitalism are not only responsible for supplying weapons and cash; a major incentive of theirs is exporting the Wahhabist and Salafist ideologies that many of Syria’s imported jihadists subscribe to, a warped and primal interpretation of Islam that has fueled the sectarian nature of the Syrian conflict and deepened social divisions to their most dangerous point – in a country that was once renowned for its tolerance of religious diversity. These Gulf kingdoms, which are more-or-less given a trump card to commit deplorable human rights violations institutionally, are also responsible for propping up the political arm of their militant foot soldiers, and that comes in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Syria’s opposition coalition, which is itself entirely a creation of foreign powers, has recently elected its own interim prime minister – enter, Ghassan Hitto, a virtually unknown political novice with a US passport and a computer science degree from Purdue University. Hitto is an Islamist Kurd with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood has politically dominated the Syrian National Council since its creation, in addition to organizing tactical elements of the insurgency. The backbone of the Brotherhood’s relationship with the medieval monarchies of the Persian Gulf is grounded in a firm opposition to Shi’a Islam, as extolled by clerical leaders in Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah; Assad himself is also an Alawite, an offshoot of Shi’a Islam. It should be clear enough by now how inflaming sectarian divisions in the region was a prerequisite for those bank-rolling the insurgency, aimed at demolishing the secular Syrian state.
Several high-profile members of Syria’s opposition coalition boycotted the vote for interim prime minister, citing what they viewed as a foreign-backed campaign to elect Hitto. Kamal Labwani, a veteran opposition campaigner, was reported as saying, “We don’t want what happened in Egypt to happen in Syria. They hijacked the revolution.”
Those who abstained from the vote accuse Hitto of being a puppet of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that the SNC’s decisions were being dictated from the outside. Walid al-Bunni, another senior figure in the opposition, stated, “The Muslim Brotherhood, with the backing of Qatar, have imposed their prime minister candidate. We will keep away if the coalition does not reconsider its choice.”
Let’s just get this straight – Assad, a leader whose presence today is a testament to the fact that he continues to enjoy majority popular support, is considered to have lost his legitimacy. On the other hand, Hitto, a man with no political experience who received 35 votes out of 49 ballots cast during a Syrian National Coalition meeting, is supposed to be legitimate representative of the Syrian people?
These realities can only be interpreted as the boot of the so-called “International Community” squashing the face of the Syrian people, imposing on them a man who does not represent them, but the business interests of multinational corporations who seek to plant their flags in the soil of a post-Assad Syria. Let’s not humor ourselves by thinking John Kerry, William Hague, Laurent Fabius or Qatari Emir Khalifa Al Thani actually care about the people of Syria.
However many casualties the Syrian conflict has incurred thus far can be attributable to the influx of foreign funds, foreign arms, and foreign fighters. It would be intellectually dishonest to deny that the tactics of Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Army have also caused widespread civilian causalities and suffering. It is an enormous challenge for a state military to quell unconventional insurgencies of the sort carried out by militants in Syria when these battles take place in densely populated residential areas.
One should not cynically credit Syrian government forces with intentionally killing their own people; this does not serve the purposes of the state in anyway. Civilian deaths that have occurred as a result of government forces engaging the insurgency should more accurately be seen as a heinous by-product of a foreign campaign to topple the Syrian government. While the foreign ministries of Western capitals cite politically charged death-toll statistics to justify their campaign against “Assad the Butcher”, it is absolutely unconscionable that Paris and London have called for lifting the Syrian arms embargo, and for vowing to arm militant groups with or without the consent of the EU. Apparently some seventy thousand people have been killed in Syria according to the United Nations, and these cited European states, which allegedly are so concerned about terrorism, want to dump more guns into Syria – this is madness.
Western states want to install proxy leaders who will grovel to their multinationals and swallow IMF medicine, Gulf states seek unfettered hegemony in their own backyards, and they all want to see the Shi’a resistance smashed to pieces. Following the news of chemical weapons being used in Syria, the most immediate conclusion of this observer is that foreign-backed militants, who have used every opportunity to call for more material and support, employed the use of a smuggled chemical weapon of poor quality to bring about direct military intervention in their favor.
Right on cue, Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are frothing at the mouth, urging President Obama to “take immediate action” and consider deploying troops. Graham was quoted as saying, “If the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem.” There is no surer sign of a pathological mind than when one credits others with the blood on their own hands.
In the name of democracy, the US government has supported a variety of armed opposition fighters in Syria seeking to overthrow that country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, who according to a wide variety of sources information enjoyssupport from the majority of the Syrian people.
So to promote democracy in Syria, the US government has taken it upon itself to choose a new leader for Syria.
And in keeping with the US tradition of supporting the Chalabis of the world, this democratic answer to Syria’s problems lives in Dallas, TX, and was educated in Indiana. He has not set foot in the country he now “rules” in more than thirty years. Also, he is, like the other US puppets to emerge from the phony “Arab Spring” an Islamist from the Muslim Brotherhood.
That is what the US government calls “democratic legitimacy.”
It would be comical if the US was not on the verge of attacking Syria, perhaps on the false Tonkin pretense that the Syrian government recently used a chemical weapon in Aleppo. And irony is always lost on bulllies: we are just ten years out from the last time the neo-cons neo-conned us into a war based on a lie. Oh…but this time it is different, we are told. This one is really for democracy!
“People here don’t like the regime, but they hate the rebels even more. …I, and many other residents of Aleppo saw firsthand how the armed rebels were acting on the ground, and the various crimes and looting they were committing with impunity. Another reason is that there are foreign jihadi fighters with extremist ideologies here.”
UN to investigate alleged chemical attack in Syria – Ban Ki-moon
Published time: March 21, 2013 13:08
Edited time: March 21, 2013 15:59
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Aleppo will start as soon as possible. Official Damascus and the rebels are trading the blame for allegedly using a missile with chemical damage agent on Tuesday.
The statement made by the UN secretary-general became a response to the official request made by Syrian authorities on Wednesday to appoint an independent mission to investigate the March 19 chemical attack on the outskirts of Aleppo that claimed lives of at least 25 people.
“I have decided to conduct a United Nations investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria,” Ban Ki-moon told reporters, specifying that the investigation will focus on the Aleppo attack, “the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian government.”
The UN investigators will cooperate with experts with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“I am of course aware that there are other allegations of similar cases involving the reported use of chemical weapons,” Ban acknowledged.
The UN decision to investigate the Aleppo chemical attack as a single case contradicts the position of Britain and France, which followed the claims of the Syrian opposition saying that there were two chemical weapons attacks, one in Aleppo and another in Damascus, demanding that both be investigated simultaneously.
According to Churkin, Moscow hopes that the US and France are not going to protract or hamper the UN investigation into the Aleppo chemical attack in Syria.
“I expressed hope that their initiatives are not attempts to postpone, hamper or prevent the investigation into what happened on March 19, because this issue needs urgent attention,” Churkin said.
Both the Syrian government and rebel forces are asking the UN to investigate an alleged chemical weapon attack on the outskirts of Aleppo that killed at least 25 and injured over hundred more.
On Tuesday a rocket reportedly containing chemical gas struck in the Khan al-Assal area north of Aleppo.
A local priest told RT that a doctor, who belongs to his church, was treating people, who suffered from what seemed to be chemical gas. Many of them could not breathe, Ibrahim Nseir said, adding that at least 25 were killed by the strike, some 130 were injured and 11 of them are critical.
The attack occurred in the area controlled by the government, local journalist Abdullah Mawazini told RT, adding that there is a military station that has been under attack for three weeks.
The biggest fear since the beginning of the crisis was that the opposition might take control of chemical weapons and that they might fall into the hands of extremist groups, the journalist explained.
He recalled that two months ago a video appeared of a Syrian opposition group claiming to be conducting experiments with chemical weapons. The group was calling itself “the killing wind” referring to a jihadist movement, Mawazini said.
Following a chemical weapon attack in Syria, Obama’s National Security Council Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, went on CNN to blame the Syrian government. McDonough characterized the incident as a “game changer” and said the United States “will act accordingly.”
For now, however, the Obama administration is taking a cautious approach. “We are evaluating the charges that are being made and the allegations, consulting closely with our partners in the region and in the international community. But we have no evidence to substantiate that charge, that the opposition has used chemical weapons,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday.
Carney, however, said the administration is skeptical of the Syrian government’s claim it is not responsible for the chemical weapon attack. “We are deeply skeptical of a regime that has lost all credibility and we would warn the regime of making these kind of charges as a pretext or cover for its use of chemical weapons.”
According to Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the incident will be “on the table in the discussions between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama” during Obama’s trek to Israel. Livni did not directly blame the Syrian government for the attack, but McDonough’s comments during the CNN segment leave little doubt the United States plans to blame al-Assad’s government and, as McDonough stated, “act accordingly.”
So far, the attacks have yet to be officially confirmed by the United States.
“The United States has the tools in order to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon and in order to stop all this situation in Syria,” Livni said. “It is not a favor to the state of Israel. This is something that represents the interests of the United States as well.”
Earlier in the week, we reported the United States and Israel will settle on a common goal – escalating the war in Syria and doubling up the effort to take out the al-Assad government and replace it with one more amendable to Israel and the United States.
“If today’s reports are substantiated, the President’s red line has been crossed, and we would urge him to take immediate action to impose the consequences he has promised,” they wrote in a joint statement. The U.S. response, according to the senators, “should include the provision of arms to vetted Syrian opposition groups, targeted strikes against Assad’s aircraft and SCUD missile batteries on the ground, and the establishment of safe zones inside Syria to protect civilians and opposition groups.”
Syria’s opposition groups consist of the CIA supported and Saudi, Qatari and Turkish funded and armed Free Syrian Army and Islamic mercenary fighters, including al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra terrorists. “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats,” The New York Times reported in October.
In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Graham said U.S. troops will need to be sent into Syria in order that Syria’s chemical weapons do not fall in the hands of al-Qaeda. “Absolutely, you’ve got to get on the ground,” he said. “There is no substitute for securing these weapons. I don’t care what it takes. We need partners in the region. But I’m here to say, if the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem.”
On Tuesday, we noted now that chemical weapons have appeared on the scene — regardless of which side actually used them — the United States and Israel have a custom-made excuse to escalate tensions inside Syria and confront al-Assad’s military directly under the weapons of mass destruction pretext. Over the last few months, the administration has constructed a “red line” on chemical weapons and has indicated it may use military force against the Middle Eastern nation if the line is crossed.
Syrian government and the opposition accuse each other of using chemical weapons. The US considers this a “red line” – and two US senators are now urging Washington to declare war in response to alleged use of the weapons.
As the Assad government and the opposition throw out accusations over the use of chemical weapons and the US is assessing the situation, two US senators are urging the president to go to war. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) released a statement on Wednesday, urging President Obama to ‘take immediate action’ and consider deploying troops.
“President Obama has said that the use of weapons of mass destruction by Bashar Assad is a ‘red line’ for him that ‘will have consequences,'” the statement reads. “If today’s reports are substantiated, the President’s red line has been crossed, and we would urge him to take immediate action to impose the consequences he has promised.”
At a minimum, the senators want the US to provide arms to rebels, establish safe zones to protect civilians, and launch targeted strikes against the Assad regime’s aircraft and SCUD missile batteries. And Graham said that he would even urge the president to declare war, if that is what it would take to stop chemical weapons from being used.
“I don’t care what it takes,” Graham told Foreign Policy’s The Cable. “If the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem.”
The Western media eagerly announced that long time US resident Ghassan Hitto was chosen as the new “interim prime minister” of NATO’s proxy forces fighting in Syria. While most headlines attempted to focus solely on Hitto’s long stay in the US and his role in a tech firm based in Texas, The Globe and Mail reported in their article, “Canadian loses bid to lead Syria’s rebels; Ottawa’s stance assailed,” that:
Ghassan Hitto, a Kurd with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, was elected in the early hours of Tuesday at a meeting of leading opposition figures of the Syrian National Coalition.
Mr Hitto, 50, who is believed to have Islamist leanings, received 35 of 49 votes in a meeting of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) in Istanbul in the early hours yesterday. He was supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a powerful bloc within the opposition.
This latest round of political “musical chairs” is meant to once again clear the board for the West in hopes of confusing the public, while NATO’s proxies remain firmly led and comprised primarily of hardcore terrorists and sectarian extremist intent on the ruination of Syria, just as was done in the now decimated North African nation of Libya. Hitto takes the reins of this Western-contrived front from fellow sectarian extremist, Moaz al-Khatib, also an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and an unabashed defender of Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra front, who frequently takes credit for the indiscriminate bombings, murder and maiming of civilians across Syria.
Since long before the 2011 violence began, the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia had conspired to use sectarian extremists, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups linked directly to Al Qaeda as the main force with which to overthrow the Syrian government, not for “spreading democracy,” but specifically to undermine and destroy neighboring Iran and reassert Western hegemony across the Middle East.
Four days after House Intelligence Committee Chairman (and former FBI agent) Mike Rogers reiterated in the Washington Post that the US “red line” for military intervention in Syria would be that government’s use of chemical weapons, the US-allied opposition fighters have possibly used some sort of chemical device in Aleppo, killing at least 26, including 16 Syrian Army soldiers.
The Russian foreign ministry has issued a statement:
“Information coming from Damascus indicates that the use of chemical weapons by the armed opposition was recorded in the Aleppo province early on March 19. We are extremely, seriously concerned by the fact that weapons of mass destruction have gotten into militants’ hands, which is worsening the situation in the SAR even more and brings confrontation in this country to a new level.”
1) If confirmed, the timing of this use of chemical weapons is quite curious. Four days after Rogers’ article and on the eve of President Obama’s trip to Israel, where the press informs us that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will “press” Obama to attack Syria.
2) Does the “red line” count if it is the US allies using the weapons? In other words, does the US attack the Syrian government anyway now that the line has been crossed even though government troops and innocent civilians are the victims of the attack? That would make most sense in the logic of US interventionist foreign policy: “if the government uses chemical weapons we have to intervene, if the rebels use chemical weapons we have to intervene.”
3) How much help did the armed opposition have in getting these weapons, and from whom?
The introduction of drone strikes by the United States inside Syria would mark a dangerous escalation in the Syrian unrest, says Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO organization.Rozoff told the U.S. Desk that if deadly U.S drone strikes are expanded to Syria, it would be “the most disturbing manifestation of the international drone warfare policy.”
Drone attacks inside Syria would be “an act of utter provocation,” he said.
“If the U.S. directly engage in military strikes, which is what drone attacks are, means that the U.S. has openly intervened and become belligerent in the war on Syria and it could lead to an escalation of tensions not only in the region but globally.”
Rozoff said while it is difficult to ascertain exactly who will be the target of U.S. drone attacks at this point, “government targets including military units” would probably be high on the list.
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is collecting information inside Syria for possible lethal drone strikes at a later stage, The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
Although the U.S. publicly claims that its role in Syria is merely limited to providing food and medical supplies to the anti-government militants, Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List revealed on March 7 that the U.S. has coordinated weapons shipments from Croatia to the rebels in Syria.
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