Barack Obama is reportedly considering arming the Syrian opposition with anti-aircraft weapons.
Russia Today reported:
President Barack Obama may authorize the shipment of new air defense systems to rebel forces in Syria’s ongoing civil war, a new Associated Press report states.
Citing an unnamed US official, the AP stated Obama is mulling over the idea of sending man-portable air-defense systems, also known as MANPADs, to Syrian opposition groups, a move that would mark a notable shift compared to the White House’s past statements.
As RT reported last month, the Obama administration has been interested in employing new ways to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad and boost the opposing rebels, who have lost ground in the conflict over the last few months.
Officials then stated the US would send anti-tank rockets and humanitarian aid to the opposition, but noted MANPADs – portable missile-launchers – would not be part of the package, due to fears they could land in extremist hands and potentially be used to take down commercial airliners.