National Security Brief: U.S. Allows Funds To Syrian Rebels

— The U.S. has given a Washington-based group clearance to provide funding for the Free Syrian Army. The rebel group has taken control of two police stations in Aleppo while President Bashar al-Assad issued a rare public statement urging his forces to fight.

— Iran has reportedly allowed the Taliban to open an office in eastern Iran and discussed providing them with surface-to-air missiles.

— A U.S. Senate subcommittee approved legislation yesterday that continues funding for the Pentagon’s use of biofuels in a move pushing back against critics trying to limit outlays on programs such as the Navy’s “Great Green Fleet.”

— Coalition casualties in Afghanistan in July hit the highest monthly total in nearly a year. As of Tuesday, 46 troops had been killed in July, according to

— In its first terrorist threat report since Osama bin Laden’s death, the State Department said there is a growing terrorist threat from Iran as well as from al-Qaeda in Syria.