As the Obama administration prepares to arm the Syrian rebels, it’s still not clear exactly what types of weapons might be supplied–and which not–or when.
Congressman James Clyburn, the No. 3 Democrat in the House, says “that is one of the things we ought to be looking at” and considering it’s now confirmed Bashar al-Assad is using chemical weapons “a no fly zone at a minimum ought to be employed.”
A no-fly zone would benefit from an international coalition, but it is unclear how much support the United States could gather. British officials said they have not made a decision on whether to arm the rebels or not. Russia remains unconvinced Assad has used chemical weapons. Both nations will be at the G-8 summit, along with President Obama, starting Monday.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters Thursday that the Assad regime crossed the line by using chemical weapons and that changed the president’s calculus. But Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have been pushing for more U.S. involvement and they appear to have the support of former President Bill Clinton.
Clyburn said the president was right to consider all the evidence before jumping in with a decision on Syria.
“You don’t just wake up in the morning and decide a date. You have to look into these things,” Clyburn said. “You have to let the intelligence people do their work. And when they come back with their results, you use that to make your decisions.”