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US Plans Arms for Syrian Rebels

Syria and neighbors. Click to enlarge map.
June 14, 2013 - Citing the use of chemical weapons by the government of Syria, the United States is considering arming Syrian rebels.

Further, the US is looking at setting up no-fly zones in southern Syria, close to the Jordanian border.

The announcements came as the United Nations stated that more than 93,000 people have been killed in two years of fighting.

The US is still studying what array of weapons to provide the rebels, considering small arms and ammunition at first.

The move follows increased turmoil in the region. Recently Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon have joined forces with pro-Assad government troops and have displayed battlefield gains. That has led to violence within Lebanon as the rebels retaliated.

In addition to the ongoing violence in Iraq, Turkey, a neighbor of Syria to the north and temporary home to thousand of its refugees, has erupted into civil strife. Citizens there have taken to the street to protest what the perceive as authoritarian rule by its leaders.

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Syria Conflict Timeline

Sep 09
Four years of drought in Syria had pushed more than a million into poverty and caused 800,000 to lose their livelihood, said a UN special envoy. Drought refugees were beginning to crowd into the cities of Syria.

Mar 15
Refugees from a drought in the north of Syria crowd into Aleppo and Daara. Discontent with the Assad government's response to bad conditions and subsistence shortages boils over into revolt.
Mar 25
Syrians took the streets by the 10,000's to protest government crackdowns that had taken the lives of at least 50 during the previous week. The protests went by popular names such as "Friday of Martyrs" or "Dignity Friday."
Jun 04
The Syrian Army launched an offensive in Jisr ash-Shugur and met an organized armed resistance.
Jul 29
Officers defecting from the Assad's army formed the Free Syrian Army.
Aug 23
The opposition Syrian National Council is formed.

Jan 07
In one of the first major assaults of 2012, the Assad government initiates a failed attempt to regain Zabadani from rebel control. The government has been shelling civilian populations indiscriminately.
Jan 18
The battle in Zabadani ends after more than a week of fighting with the Free Syrian Army in control of the city.
Mar 14
Assad's army ousts the rebels from Idlib.
Apr 12
The UN mediates a ceasefire.
Apr 24
A massacre by pro-government forces kills 108 people in the Houla region north of Homs. It ends the ceasefire.
Jul 10
Rebels capture al-Qusayr in Homs Governate.
Oct 08
The rebels capture Douma, a large suburb of Damascus.
Nov 22
Rebels capture the Mayadeen military base in the country's eastern Deir ez-Zor Governorate
Dec 16
The rebels launch their Hama offensive, and took half the province.

Jan 11
On 11 January 2013, Islamist groups took the Taftanaz air base in Idlib province.
Feb 11
Islamist rebels took the town of Al-Thawrah in Ar-Raqqah province and nearby Tabqa Dam.
Mar 04
Rebels take Raqqa, the capital of al-Raqqah govern ate. It is the first capture of a provincial capital.
Mar 23
Rebels capture and air defense base on the road from Damascus to Jordan.
Apr 03
Rebels capture a military base near the southern city of Daraa.
May 08
Assad's army takes Khirbet Ghazaleh near the Jordanian border, pushing out about 1,000 rebel fighters.
Jun 06
Rebels take the Quneitra border crossing, but the government retakes it. This border crossing links to the Israeli held Golan Heights.
Aug 21
A chemical attack occurs in the Ghouta region. This attack prompts diplomacy that results in an effort to remove and destroy Syria's stock of chemical weapons.
Nov 23
Islamist groups take al-Omar oil field, Syria's largest oil field, in Deir al-Zor province.

Jan 03
The Army of the Mujahideen, the Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front begin an offensive against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
Feb 22
The UN Security Council passed resolution 2139 calling for improved humanitarian conditions in Syria.
Mar 05
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria published a report on human rights abuse for the second half of 2013 and called on legal accountability for guilty parties on either side. For the first time the commission named suspected perpetrators who were not among government forces.
Jul 03
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took the Al-Omar oil field in Deir-Ezzor Province of Syria, wresting it from the control of a rival al-Qaeda group called the Nusra Front.
Jul 03
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took the Al-Omar oil field in Deir-Ezzor Province of Syria, wresting it from the control of a rival al-Qaeda group called the Nusra Front.
Aug 27
The UN released a report saying the Syrian government and non-state fighters engaged in atrocities that amounted to crimes against humanity.