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US weapons reach Syrian rebels

Shipments of weapons sent by the CIA have been entering Syria for the last two weeks, according to reports.

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Rebels celebrate in a street in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa after capturing the city on March 4, 2013. (MOHAMMAD AL-HUSSEIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States has reportedly begun delivering weapons to Syrian rebels, after several months of delay.

Shipments of weapons sent by the CIA have been entering Syria for the last two weeks, reported the Washington Post and CNN.

They were apparently followed by separate deliveries of non-lethal equipment supplied by the US State Department.

Speaking to CNN, US officials confirmed the Post's report about the arms shipments but did not elaborate. Rebels have not confirmed receipt of the weapons.

The Obama administration first promised to send arms to Syrian rebels last June, but this is the first report of their arrival.

The arms are not US-made, according to CNN, and are described as light weapons, anti-tank weapons and ammunition.

More from GlobalPost: Kerry to meet Russia's Lavrov to discuss Syrian chemical weapons

The US has provided non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels since April, mainly in the form of logistics.

The flow of weapons is said to mark an escalation of US involvement in the Syrian conflict, and comes as the White House pulled back on plans to launch a military strike while negotiations continue over Russia's proposal to confiscate Syria's chemical weapons.

Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with his Russian counterpart Thursday in Geneva to discuss a plan to secure and monitor Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

Reuters reported Thursday that Syrian rebel leaders had rejected the Russian plan, stating that they would be satisfied only if President Bashar al-Assad and his government were held accountable for their alleged use of chemical weapons.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130912/us-weapons-reach-syrian-rebels-after-strikes-the-tabl