After US pledges humanitarian support, Syrian rebel chief pleads for weapons

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BEIRUT — The chief of Syrian rebel forces said today that his fighters are in “desperate” need of weapons and ammunition rather than the food supplies and bandages that the U.S. now plans to provide.

The Obama administration on Thursday announced it was giving an additional $60 million in assistance to the country’s political opposition and said that it would, for the first time, provide non-lethal aid directly to rebels battling to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

A number of Syrian opposition figures and fighters on the ground, however, expressed disappointment with the limited assistance.

“We don’t want food and drink and we don’t want bandages. When we’re wounded, we want to die. The only thing we want is weapons,” said Gen. Salim Idris, chief of staff of the Syrian opposition’s Supreme Military Council.

Idris, who defected from the Syrian army and is seen as a secular-minded moderate, denied media reports that the rebels have recently received arms shipments.

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