27 Young Men Shot Dead in Syria

Is the US considering arming the rebels?
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2012 2:39 AM CST
27 Shot Dead in Syria, US Warns of Tougher Measures
Smoke rises from the Syrian northwestern city of Saraqib, near Idlib, yesterday as Syrian forces blitzed opposition hubs.   (Getty Images)

Some 27 young men were shot dead when Syrian troops raided three villages in the northern province of Idlib, a human rights group said today. The latest bloodshed came as US officials appeared to open the door to arming the rebels if a political solution to clashes can't be reached. Asked specifically if the US is veering toward that possibility, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington is concentrating on political efforts. "That said, if we can't get Assad to yield to the pressure that we are all bringing to bear, we may have to consider additional measures," she said—but refused to elaborate, reports Reuters. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is meeting representatives of some 70 countries and organizations in Tunis Friday to discuss how to response to the Syrian situation. (Read more Syria stories.)

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