US to bolster support for Syria rebels, Kerry says

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PARIS — The United States is looking for more tangible ways to support Syria’s rebels and bolster a fledgling political movement that is struggling to deliver basic services after nearly two years of civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said today.

Officials in the United States and Europe have said the Obama administration is nearing a decision on whether to provide non-lethal assistance to carefully vetted fighters opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad. Kerry’s comments indicated that the Americans are working to make sure that its aid doesn’t fall into the hands of radical Islamists who have become a significant factor in the Syrian conflict, who could then use that materiel for terrorist attacks or strikes on Israel. But they’re equally fearful that Syrians tired of constant instability will lose faith in an opposition that can do little to improve their daily lives.

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