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By Michael Jacobs
The United States followed a British fueled attempt to pressure the European Union to amend the weapons embargo on Syria which would allow weaponry to be sent to rebel forces.
Hopes are the amendment would place further pressure upon Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to open peace talks between his regime and rebel forces.
US Secretary of State John Kerry pledged both American and EU support to the rebels if Assad continues to resist diplomatic talks with the opposition. Russia has pushed for a possible peace conference in Geneva as an alternative to amending the amendment.
Rebel forces in Syria have publicly called for an end to the weapons embargo, stating it prevents the fledgling opposition from acquiring ample firepower to combat Assad’s superior armed forces.
As of now the amendment has the support of France, Italy and Spain, but it faces opposition from countries including Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic and Sweden.
Many in the UK, which introduced the possible legislation, stand divided on the issue. Some called to wait for the embargo to be lifted on June first, hoping Russia’s proposed Geneva talks could possibly come to fruition.
Others fear weapons supplied by the US and others to the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel group, will spur a transfer of weapons by the Russian government to Assad’s forces.
As of now, it’s been reported the CIA and MI6 assisted in training rebel forces in Jordan.
An estimated 80,000 Syrians perished since the conflict began back in March of 2011.