American and European officials have confirmed that the U.S. Congress has given the green light to send "light weapons" to the Syrian opposition in the south of the country, reflecting an escalation of the policy towards the Syrian crisis.
Reliable sources have told al-Hayat that there has been high-level American-European coordination on the matter "before the moderate rebels move against the groups related to Al-Qaeda," adding that this coordination "will increase after Geneva II in order to isolate the extremists and to put more military pressure on the Syrian regime".
Reuters reported on Tuesday that "the American congress has secretly agreed on sending American weapons to the moderate rebels", and that "these light weapons are to reach the rebels in the south of the country".
European and American sources confirmed that "the congress has permitted delivering more weapons to the rebels in the upcoming months".
Members in the congress have held secret sessions to vote on this year's budget which included sending light weapons to the moderate Syrian rebels, Reuters reported. The majority of members in the congress committees agreed on the decision that should not be announced publicly.
The weapons include machine guns and anti-tanks missiles, but mobile antiaircraft missiles are excluded because of the fear of using them against civilian planes.
After the inclusion of weapons to Syrian rebels in the yearly American budget, it is expected that more weapons will be sent before next September, the date set for discussion of the budget of the new year.
The move reflects American administration's trust that these arms can be delivered to moderate opposition groups. Reliable sources told al-Hayat that there is a high-level American-French coordination considering this matter, and it was effective in encouraging the moderate opposition to fight the groups related to Al-Qaeda, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria in the north of the country.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer