The Washington Times - February 27, 2013, 02:28PM

Sen. Marco Rubio welcomed the news Wednesday that the Obama administration is considering direct aid to the opposition forces in Syria, saying the United States must do what it can to make sure the rebels forces are on its side after President Bashar Assad is ousted.

Mr. Rubio, a Florida Republican considered a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, also said that the United States should consider sharing intelligence and shipping ammunition to the more “responsible” resistance groups that have fought to have Mr. Assad step down for nearly two years.


“We should want the best-organized, the best-equipped and the most dominant groups in the opposition to be friendlier to our national interests,” Mr. Rubio said during an appearance at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he discussed his recent fact-finding trip to the Middle East.

The appearance followed news reports that said U.S. and European officials are considering sending body armor and armored vehicles to the rebel forces that have been deemed to have no link to Islamist terrorist groups that are part of the resistance movement.

White House spokesman Jay Carney ducked a related question Wednesday at the White House briefing with reporters Wednesday.

“We will continue to analyze every feasible option that would accelerate a political transition to a post-Assad Syria,” Mr. Carney said.

Mr. Rubio said that the opposition forces in Syria have plenty of weapons, but not enough ammunition.

“I think that is a step that I am prepared to advocate for — the provision of ammunition to resistance groups in Syria that we think we can build a long-term dialogue with,” he said.