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Sen. Robert Menendez’s bill would arm Syrian rebels
Sen. Robert Menendez brought forth a bill Monday to give munitions to rebel fighters in Syria. So far, the United States has only provided non-lethal aid to the opposition fighters, in the form of medical supplies and food.
Mr. Menendez, who heads the Foreign Relations Committee, specified that only those rebel forces that had been fully vetted would be eligible to receive the weapons, The Hill reported.
Other lawmakers have joined the call to arm the rebel fighters, and the Obama administration — which said weeks ago that the "red line" for U.S. involvement would be proof of Syrian President Bashar Assad's use of chemical warfare — is reportedly mulling the pros-cons of the same, The Hill reported.
Sen. John McCain called for "game-changing action" in Syria on Sunday, fanning the flames for the U.S. to send in weapons. And Sen. Bob Casey said similarly on Monday — that "there's a broad consensus of support now for, at a minimum, a safe zone within Syria, where an international coalition led by the United States sets up a safe zone within Syria," he said on MSNBC.
Opponents of sending in weapons for rebel fighters say U.S. involvement would only escalate fighting.
"There's an enormous concern that it could become a more regional thing," said Rep. Peter Welch, in The Hill report.
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About the Author
Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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