US backs arming rebels
WASHINGTON - ReutersA U.S. Senate panel voted overwhelmingly on May 21 to send weapons to rebels fighting Syria’s government, but it was not clear who would get the arms even if the bill succeeds.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 for legislation that would send arms to “vetted” moderate members of the Syrian opposition, the first time U.S. lawmakers have approved such military action in the two-year-old civil war. Even though only three senators opposed the bill, lawmakers from both parties expressed concerns about whether sending arms risked putting powerful weapons into the wrong hands, including fighters with ties to al Qaeda.
The measure will now be considered by the full Senate, where a vocal group of legislators has been pushing for President Barack Obama to do more to help the rebels waging a war.