US, Turkey Agree on ‘Non-Lethal’ Aid to Syrian Rebels

US Claims to Be 'Uncertain' About Sending Arms

President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today agreed that they will push for the provision of large amounts of aid to Syrian rebel factions currently fighting against the Assad regime.

The agreement won’t actually have them providing any aid right away, but instead will have them pressing for agreement on the policy at the “Friends of Syria” meeting on intervention, to be held in Turkey next weekend.

US deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes says that the agreement will only cover the provision of “non-lethal” aid, including medical supplies and communications equipment to help the rebels better coordinate their attacks. Rhodes says President Obama remains “uncertain” about the rebels and not comfortable with supplying them weapons.

The agreement comes just days after one of the larger fighting factions, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), expressed anger at the lack of weapons from the international community. The group has had to curtail its attacks considerably in recent weeks due to an ammunition shortage, and is still calling for both direct armament and an international invasion to support its conquest of the country.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.