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News Link • Syria

McManus: Inching closer to entanglement in Syria

•, Doyle McManus
 The White House finally made it official last week: Yes, the civil war in Syria is a slippery slope, and yes, we're on it.

Nobody in the Obama administration actually used those words, of course. But if you paid attention to what officials said, it was clear that President Obama has reluctantly decided to take another tentative step into the ugly Syrian war, mostly because all the alternatives look worse.

"We have continued to ratchet up," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Thursday, confirming reports of a coming increase in U.S. aid to the rebels fighting the repressive regime of Bashar Assad.

What that means is that Obama has decided to approve new "nonlethal" supplies for rebel groups favored by the United States, reportedly including military-use items such as body armor and night-vision goggles for the first time. Until now, aid has been mostly restricted to food, medicine and communications equipment.

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