Damascus blast US double standards on revolt

Syria accused Washington on Thursday of applying double standards with its calls for a political solution to the country's conflict at the same time as talk of arming the rebels.

"Washington's decision to arm the terrorist groups in Syria proves that the United States (wants to) exacerbate the crisis in Syria, and shows up its dishonesty in the search for a political solution at a (proposed peace) conference in Geneva," a foreign ministry official said in a statement.

"The whole world knows the truth of the US intentions for Syria... which favour violence and terrorism, to serve Israel's aggressive goals," the statement added.

Damascus has accused Washington of arming opponents to President Bashar al-Assad's regime ever since a revolt broke out in March 2011.

The revolt began as a peaceful uprising and later morphed into an insurgency after the regime unleashed a brutal crackdown against dissent.

The United States is currently providing humanitarian and non-lethal military aid to rebel groups but has said it will significantly expand the "scope and scale" of its military assistance.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet with the new leader of the Syrian opposition at the United Nations this week.

According to the foreign ministry statement, Washington "has not stopped arming the terrorists and giving them various forms of support for their criminal acts against (Syria's) infrastructure".