Chuck Hagel at a press conference with British General Hammond
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Chuck Hagel: Arming Syrian rebels 'an option'

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has acknowledged his government is no longer ruling out arming Syrian rebels.

It is the first time a senior US official has said openly that the US is reconsidering its opposition to supplying weapons to rebel forces.

Mr Hagel made the comments at a joint news conference with British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

But US defence secretary said the US and UK needed to look at all options on how to best accomplish ending the violence and helping Syria become a democratic state.