U.S. to Begin Arming Syrian Rebels

After announcing this June that it would begin supporting some rebel groups in Syria, the Obama administration will now move forward with handing out arms to groups, after reassuring members of congress that all precautions will be taken.

"We believe we are in a position that the administration can move forward," Mike Rogers, the Intelligence Committee Chairman told Reuters.

The administration had been working to reassure congress that the arms wouldn't fall into the hands of Islamist groups or be used to spread destabilizing militias across the Middle East. In 2011, arms given to Libyan insurgents found their way into the hands of Islamists in Mali.

But the administration promises that this time, things will be different. While the measures will, as usual, be secret, the Congress will receive regular updates on how the administration is aiding Syrian rebel groups. The arms deliveries will most likely begin in August.

But members of congress still remain skeptical that this small amount of arms could turn the tide against the Assad regime.

"It's too late to affect the outcome with a small amount of arms," Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told Reuters. "I think we would have to provide such a massive amount of arms, and additional military support to change the balance on the battlefield, that we would inevitably be drawn deeply into the civil war."

Schiff is also keenly aware of the past history of arming rebel movements. "And I think we also have to expect that some of the weapons we provide are going to get into the hands of those who would use them against us," he said.

Over 100,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict, which is now in its third year.