U.S., Turkey Agree to Aid Syrian Rebels

by Patrick Brennan

At a meeting today in South Korea, President Obama and President Recep Erdogan of Turkey have agreed to begin providing logistical aid to the Syrian rebels. AFP reports

US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed Sunday on the need to send “non-lethal” aid to Syrian rebels, including communications equipment, a US official said.

The two men agreed that a “Friends of Syria” group meeting on April 1 in Turkey should work on furnishing aid and medical supplies, as they met in South Korea, said US deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. . . .

The rebels are badly outgunned by Syria’s armed forces but the White House has said that it does not favour arming them, arguing that further “militarising” the conflict would worsen civilian bloodshed.

“We are very much in agreement that there should be a process whereby a transition to a representative and legitimate government in Syria takes place,” Obama said.

Rebels meanwhile attacked a military base in Damascus province, activists and monitors said. As the year-old conflict showed no signs of abating, rebel fighters set up a military council to unify their ranks and political opposition leaders called a meeting of all dissident groups to forge common objectives.

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