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A new report reaffirms what everyone already knew – that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons. It seems worth noting that it has been alleged that the rebels have also used chemical weapons.

Nonetheless the US plans to step up military aid to the anti-Assad rebels.

The Obama administration, concluding that the troops of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria have used chemical weapons against rebel forces in his country’s civil war, has decided to begin supplying the rebels for the first time with small arms and ammunition, according to American officials.

The officials held out the possibility that the assistance, coordinated by the Central Intelligence Agency, could include antitank weapons, but they said that for now supplying the antiaircraft weapons that rebel commanders have said they sorely need is not under consideration.

I leave it to you, dear reader, if you think this is actually the beginning of US military support for the rebels and not simply the official acknowledgement of said policy. The real impetus for US involvement seems to be the Assad government’s successful counter-offensive that recently culminated in pro-Assad forces retaking a strategically important city.

And who are the rebels? A good deal of them are Islamic extremists some of whom have pledged loyalty to Al-Qaeda.

A Syrian rebel group’s pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda’s replacement for Osama bin Laden suggests that the terrorist group’s influence is not waning and that it may take a greater role in the Western-backed fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The pledge of allegiance by Syrian Jabhat al Nusra Front chief Abou Mohamed al-Joulani to al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri was coupled with an announcement by the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, that it would work with al Nusra as well. Lebanese Sheik Omar Bakri, a Salafist who says states must be governed by Muslim religious law, says al-Qaeda has assisted al Nusra for some time.

So the U.S. is back to supporting Al-Qaeda after a brief hiatus. Just remember we have to spy on all Americans in case they are providing support to “the enemy.”