HUFFINGTON POST

U.S. Sending Aid To Syria Rebels: Sources Confirm White House Pledge For Medical, Food Supplies

A Syrian man, walk down a destroyed street which was damaged by the shelling of the Syrian forces, at Maarat al-Nuaman town,
A Syrian man, walk down a destroyed street which was damaged by the shelling of the Syrian forces, at Maarat al-Nuaman town, in Idlib province, Syria, Tuesday Feb. 26, 2013. Syrian rebels battled government troops near a landmark 12th century mosque in the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday, while fierce clashes raged around a police academy west of the city, activists said. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The United States is expected to provide medical supplies and food aid to Syrian fighters, a policy shift to directly help those opposing President Bashar al-Assad's forces on the ground, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States continues to oppose providing lethal assistance and said it also will not provide such items as bullet-proof vests, armored personnel vehicles and military training for now.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman traveling with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome, where he is likely to announce the steps following talks with the opposition and a "Friends of Syria" meeting on Thursday, declined comment. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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