President Obama has signed a waiver allowing the U.S. government to provide chemical weapons-related gear to some Syrian rebels and groups working in the country.
The designation Obama signed waives certain arms control restrictions and allows the U.S. to provide "certain non-lethal assistance," including chemical weapons related personal protective equipment to international organizations, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the White House said.
It also permits chemical weapons related "life saving assistance" for organizations that work with the State Department or USAID programs that help local Syrian health care providers prepare for and respond to chemical weapons. Also on the list, chemical weapons protection related training and personal protective equipment to "select vetted members of the Syrian opposition, including the Supreme Military Council to protect against chemical weapons."
The waiver comes nearly a month after the U.S. says a suspected chemical attack killed more than 1,000, including 400 children -- and as the US and Russia hammer out a deal that would impose international control of Syria's chemical weapons cache.