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US 'rethinking Syria rebels stance'

The US Government is rethinking its opposition to arming rebels fighting the Syrian administration, American defence secretary Chuck Hagel has said.

At a Pentagon news conference, Mr Hagel said the Obama administration is considering a range of options. He said he personally has not decided whether it would be wise to provide weapons to the rebels.

"Arming the rebels - that's an option," he said. "We must continue to look at options."

He said the US is considering a range of options in consultation with allies.

At the same news conference, UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the British Government has not yet provided arms to the Syrian rebels, but would not rule it out.

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