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Obama aides split on arming rebels: US officials

US officials close to Obama are divided on whether to provide lethal aide or use U.S. airpower to ground the regime's gunships and jets

AP , Wednesday 12 Jun 2013
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President Barack Obama's top advisers will meet to air reservations about arming Syria's rebels, with officials saying the U.S. is unlikely to take any immediate action to arrest the Assad regime's military advance.

The administration's caution persists despite its nearly two-year-old demand that President Bashar Assad step down, vows to help the besieged Syrian rebels on the ground and threats to respond forcefully to any chemical weapons use.

US officials acknowledge that they must do something to change the course of the war, but they don't know what. Officials say those closest to the president are split on whether to offer lethal aide or use U.S. airpower to ground the regime's gunships and jets.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about it.

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