June 14 - The U.S. says it is to step up military aid to Syria's rebels after determining the use of chemical weapons by government forces. Paul Chapman reports.
PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 Amateur video appears to show Syrian rebels in action. The video, posted on social media website and not independently verified by Reuters, purportedly shows them firing on government troops in a suburb of Damascus. Now the U.S. says it's authorised direct military support for the rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad. The White House didn't specify if that would include weapons. An official speaking on condition of anonymity said it would - a reversal of President Barack Obama's stance so far. Obama's decision was revealed in a media conference call with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. (SOUNDBITE)(English) BEN RHODES, U.S. DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, SAYING: "The President has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition. That will involve providing direct support to the SMC (Supreme Military Council). That includes military support." The arrival of thousand of Iran-backed Hezbollah fighters to help Assad's forces fight the rebels has shifted momentum in Syria's two-year-old war. The rapid change has worried U.S. and European officials who were due to meet rebel commanders on Friday in Turkey.