Leon Panetta: We wanted to arm the Syrian resistance

US defense chiefs told Congress Thursday they backed the possibility of arming Syrian rebels.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers they recommended arming Syria’s rebels.

President Obama ultimately decided against the move, said Reuters, instead providing non-lethal aid to rebels.

It is believed that anti-government rebels are being armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

At a hearing in Congress Thursday, Republican Sen. John McCain asked Pentagon leaders: “How many more have to die before you recommend military action?”

The Telegraph reported that McCain pressed the leaders on the issue asking: “Did you support the recommendation by then-Secretary of State Clinton and then-head of CIA General Petraeus that we supply weapons to the resistance in Syria?”

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Leon Panetta: We wanted to arm the Syrian resistance


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