White House weighs more aid for Syria

The Obama Administration is evaluating the possibility of resuming nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition, overturning a suspension of that assistance, after warehouses of U.S. equipment were seized by a Islamist rebels.

"We have been reviewing if we can resume the aid to the [Supreme Military Council], as we continue to want to support the moderate armed opposition," White House press secretary Jay Carney said, referring to the coalition of moderate, secular Syrian opposition groups.

ADVERTISEMENT
"We are currently reviewing how to do this moving forward, but no decisions have been made yet regarding the resumption of nonlethal assistance."

Last month, the White House halted aid shipments after reports that the Islamic Front seized headquarters and warehouses belonging to the SMC.

The Islamic Front is a new confederation of rebel groups that has called for replacing the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad with an Islamic state dictated by Shariah law. The group is seen as more extreme that the Supreme Military Council.

Carney said the raid on the warehouse became a security concern, but the U.S. strongly supports and "want to be able to continue to provide nonlethal assistance to the … moderate armed opposition."

"But vetting is obviously something that has been a priority across the board when it comes to our policy of supporting the Syrian opposition and providing assistance to it," Carney said.