Dubai- US President Barack Obama authorized secret support for Syrian rebels, CNN reported late Wednesday.
Citing unnamed officials, the order was signed in the past few months, and allows the CIA and other agencies to provide clandestine support to the uprising.
The nature of the assistance was not specified, but the report quoted diplomatic sources as saying the United States was providing intelligence on the movements of Syrian troops.
On the ground Thursday, rebels used a tank captured from government troops to bomb a military base in Aleppo.
It was one of the first indications that rebels were starting to deploy heavy weapons they’ve managed to capture in the past weeks from the Syrian army.
Rebels shelled the Menagh military airport outside Aleppo, which the regime has used to launch attacks on rebel positions in the surrounding area.
Up until recently rebel forces have suffered from a huge disparity in armaments with Syria’s well-armed military that also has fighter jets and helicopter gunships at its disposal.
In Paris, former head of the Syrian National Council Burhan Ghalion said the SNC would establish headquarters in the Presidential Palace of Aleppo, if the rebels gain control over the city.
“Then there will be nothing more that will stand in the way of the Free Syrian Army. Hama, Homs to the outskirts of Damascus have in large part been liberated,” he said.
World Food Program
In the capital Damascus, the regime on Thursday announced a string of raids against rebels in neighborhoods on the southern edge of the city the night before.
Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Program, sounded the alarm Thursday over the humanitarian situation in Syria with close to three million people needing food and livestock assistance in the next 12 months — more than 10 per cent of the country’s population of 22 million.