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U.S. To Increase Aid To Syria Rebels, White House Press Secretary Says

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White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures as he briefs reporters at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) | AP

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The United States will increase aid to Syrians and the Syrian opposition in an effort to speed a political transition in Syria, a White House spokesman said on Wednesday.

"We are constantly reviewing the nature of the assistance we provide to both the Syrian people, in form of humanitarian assistance, and to the Syrian opposition in the form of non-lethal assistance," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing.

Washington has sided with the Syrian opposition in seeking the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

"We will continue to provide assistance to the Syrian people, to the Syrian opposition, we will continue to increase our assistance in the effort to bring about a post-Assad Syria," Carney said.

The Washington Post has reported that the White House was considering a shift in policy toward the nearly two-year-long conflict in Syria and may send the rebels body armor and armed vehicles, and possibly provide military training. According to the report, U.S. officials still oppose providing arms. (Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Eric Beech)

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