White House: Syrian rebels ‘are and will be receiving assistance’

ADVERTISEMENT
"You know the parameters of what I can say here," he said.

But Carney at the same time implied that Idris' account was incorrect, repeatedly emphasizing that those in the opposition "are" receiving assistance.

On Wednesday night, The Washington Post reported that the Central Intelligence Agency had been providing small arms and ammunition to the Syrian rebels for the past two weeks. That represented the first report of U.S. arms reaching rebel hands after the Obama administration promised the assistance earlier this summer following the first use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

In the NPR interview, Idris also called on the United States to pursue a strike against the Syrian government despite the potential for a deal under which Assad would turn over his chemical weapons.

“We are ready, our forces are ready, our fights are ready and we were and still waiting for these strikes," Idris said. "We hope that these strikes will be done in a short time.”

Carney said that while the administration was "appalled" by the "ongoing sectarian civil war in Syria," that the U.S. would not launch a military strike aimed to enable regime change.

"The president has made clear even as we step up assistance to the Syrian people and we step up direct assistance to the opposition's military council that we are not … engaging militarily to try and resolve someone else's civil war," Carney said.