This post originally appeared at The Christian Science Monitor. The United States is inching closer in favour of arming Syria‘s rebels, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton prepares for a gathering in Tunisia Friday of Western and Arab countries favouring regime change in Syria.
So far in Syria’s year-old uprising, the US has focused on diplomatic measures for pressuring the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. That preference for diplomacy probably has some life left in it, most foreign policy experts say.
But the Obama administration‘s opposition to arming the rebels appears to be softening, as civilian casualties mount under continued bombardment of rebel strongholds by Assad forces and with news Wednesday that two Western journalists holed up in the Syrian city of Homs were killed by mortar fire.
No automatic triggers exist that would cause the US to shift to open support of an international effort to arm the rebels, regional experts say.
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