President Barack Obama’s defence chief says America is reconsidering arming rebel fighters in Syria.
Chuck Hagel said this is only one of several options being considered by the US administration, and acknowledged it could lead to weapons falling into the hands of anti-American extremists such as the Nusra Front.
“These are options that must be considered with partners, with the international community, what is possible, what can help accomplish these objectives, “ he said.
This comes the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stormed the coastal village of Baida on Thursday.
The British based observatory said the final death toll expected to exceed 100.
State forces appear to have made substantial gains in recent weeks.
They have seized several suburbs outside Damascus and recaptured territory in Homs, the birthplace of the armed insurgency.