FT, By Geoff Dyer, August 3
Washington – The Obama administration has decided to provide air cover to the Syrian rebels it has trained if they come under attack by the Assad regime, potentially deepening the US role in the four-year old Syrian conflict.
The Syrian fighters are being trained by the US to take on Islamist militants from Isis but there is also a chance that they could also come under attack from Assad regime forces.
The administration has been reluctant to discuss any military action against the Assad regime for fear that it could lead to greater US involvement in the civil war, but felt it was necessary to provide greater assurances to the fledgling rebel force it has been building up.
The decision, made by President Barack Obama, comes after some US-trained rebels were attacked on Friday by elements of the Nusra Front, a jihadi group in Syria that is allied with al-Qaeda. The US was forced to conduct air strikes to defend the troops.
Ha’aretz: Obama Green Lights U.S. Airstrikes in Syria to Protect Rebels Against Both ISIS and Assad
Russia says any support for Assad’s rivals hampers Damascus’ fight against ISIS.
IBT: Obama Authorizes Airstrikes To Defend US-Backed Syrian Rebels From Assad Forces: Report
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