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US official: Washington to consider arming Syrian rebels

Published: Updated:

The United States could decide as early as this week if it will militarily support Syrian rebels, an American official told Reuters in an interview published Monday.

The question of whether to arm the opposition is on the agenda of White House meetings, the official said on condition of anonymity.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has put off his planned trip to the Middle East to attend the meetings in Washington, an administration source told Reuters.

The Syrian regime would cross a “red line” if it uses chemical weapons, US President Barack Obama has said.

There are “reasonable grounds” to believe that the regime has used a limited amount of chemical weapons, the United Nations has said.

US plans to mull supplying weapons to rebels come after the Syrian regime and its ally, the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, claimed victory in the strategic town of Qusayr.

George Sabra, acting head of the opposition Syrian National Council, warned that Syria is under “Iranian invasion,” and urged the Arab League and the West to intervene.