US President Barack Obama Monday released an executive order to officially authorise "non-lethal military aid" to the Syrian opposition in order to prevent the use and proliferation of chemical weapons, Xinhua reported.
According to the order, Obama authorised the provision of defence articles and defence services to the Syrian opposition, organisations implementing US aid programmes and international organisations to help them prevent the use and proliferation of Syria's chemical weapons.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the US government position on providing assistance to the Syrian opposition, including the military wing, remains unchanged.
"We have stepped up that assistance, and we will continue to step it up," Carney said during a press briefing.
The statement came after the release of a report by the United Nations on Syria earlier Monday, which confirmed that chemical weapons were used at Ghouta, Syria, Aug 21 "on a relatively large scale resulting in numerous casualties, particularly among civilians", many of whom were children.