Report: Syrian rebels take first shipment of foreign weapons

Syrian opposition forces have received the first tranche of foreign-supplied arms, marking a new chapter of international involvement in the country's three-year civil war. 

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Gen. Salim Idris, the top commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), said his forces recently obtained the weapons but refused to say who supplied the arms. 

"I would like to thank the brothers and the friends whom I don't want to name," he said in an interview with Al-Jazeera on Friday. 

The FSA is the largest and most organized of the rebel factions battling to overthrow longtime Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in the country. 

The rebel commander was pressed on whether the weapons were the first deliveries of American arms the Obama White House announced would begin in within the coming months. 

In response, Idris urged Washington to "hurry up in supplying us with weapons and ammunition."

"We are waiting," the FSA commander added. 

Earlier this month, President Obama ordered the CIA to begin setting up distribution points in Jordan and Turkey to start providing American arms to rebel forces. 

Despite Idris's comments Friday, it remains unclear the types and quantities of American-made weapons that will be sent to Syria, and how soon those arms could end up in rebel hands. 

The decision to arm the rebels came after U.S. intelligence officials concluded the Assad regime had used chemical weapons against opposition forces. 

American intelligence found Assad's forces had used chemical weapons, such as Sarin gas, against rebel positions in the northern part of the country on several occasions.

Assad's use of those weapons crossed a "red line" with the Obama administration, prompting the president to approve the arms supplies to Syria's rebels. 

Aside from providing arms to Syrian rebels, the Pentagon has agreed to hand over American warplanes and anti-aircraft missiles to neighboring Jordan. 

The Pentagon has already ordered a battery of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to the Turkish border with Syria.