US gives lethal assistance to Syria militants: SNC
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The so-called Syrian National Council (SNC) says it has received lethal aid from the United States to launch more attacks against the Syrian government. Khalid Saleh, the head of the SNC media office, said at a Friday press conference after a meeting of the group's members in Istanbul that Washington has decided to enhance assistance to the foreign-backed militants in Syria. At the meeting, Ahmad Tumeh al-Khader, a veteran opposition figure, was also announced as what they called their candidate for interim prime minister. According to a report by the Washington Post on Wednesday, weapons funded by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began reaching the militants in Syria. "The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks," said the report, which was confirmed by a US official later. "That is something we are not going to dispute, but we are not going to publicly speak to it," the official said. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. In a recent statement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said the number of Syrian refugees, who have fled the country's 29-month-long conflict, reached two million. The UN refugee agency also said some 4.2 million people have also been displaced inside Syria since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab country.