The Washington Post reported on Tuesday afternoon that President Obama is preparing plans to send lethal weapons to rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
While the U.S. believes that chemical weapons have been used in Syria’s civil war, Obama said during a press conference on Tuesday that “we don’t know how they were used, when they were used, who used them.” Noting that he has said chemical weapons use would be a “game changer” in terms of escalating American involvement in Syria, Obama added, “When I am making decisions about America’s national security and the potential for taking additional action in response to chemical weapon use, I’ve got to make sure I’ve got the facts.”
The Post reports that Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday and is dispatching Secretary of State John Kerry to Moscow in a bid to convince Putin to abandon his support for Assad.
“We’re clearly on an upward trajectory,” a senior administration official told the Post. “We’ve moved over to assistance that has a direct military purpose.” Another official said that the President has “not closed the door to other military actions” including establishing a no-fly zone over rebel held areas.