Officials: US to Provide Syrian Rebels With Direct Military Aid, Armored Vehicles

Definition of 'Non-Lethal Support' Being Broadened

The US is looking to dramatically broaden the definition of “non-lethal support” as it relates to Syria’s rebel factions, according to European officials familiar with recent private meetings with Secretary of State John Kerry.

Expanding the definition, the US is poised to shift policy toward providing body armor, direct combat training and even armored personnel carriers to rebel factions, as it continues to help Saudi Arabia and other nations deliver the weaponry behind the ongoing rebellion.

Specific details about the plan, to the extent they are ever revealed to the public at all, are likely to come during this week’s Rome conference for the various Syrian rebel factions, which Kerry has been hyping and encouraging rebel groups to attend.

The EU is set to get in on the action as well, with officials claiming a secret clause was inserted into the renewal of a ban on arms to Syria to allow virtually anything that doesn’t in and of itself kill people, including night-vision goggles and sniper scopes, to be sent as “non-lethal aid” for their “humanitarian” mission.

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.