US government to send military support to Syrian rebels

  • 14 June 2013
Media playback is unsupported on your device
James Longman, BBC World Affairs producer, explains what's going on

The US government has announced it will send direct military aid to some members of the Syrian rebel groups.

The decision was made after the White House say they discovered evidence that Syrian government forces had been using chemical weapons.

They say chemical weapons, which are banned by international law, have been used on a "small scale" against rebel groups, killing up to 150 people.

The US had warned any use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line".

Yesterday the United Nations said 93,000 people have now been killed since the fighting began.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
How normal life is continuing for some children in Syria

Over the past two years the fighting has forced hundreds of thousands more to flee their homes.

But many families have decided to stay and are trying to carry on with their daily lives.

One in five schools in Syria has been forced to close because of the war, but some pupils are still going to classes and taking exams.

The BBC's Chief International correspondent Lyse Doucet has been to the country's capital Damascus to meet some of the people who are living behind the battle lines.

One of the people she met was father of three, Samir, who runs an ice cream parlour with his family.

Samir works with his dad, Mwafak, and despite the violence around them and the challenge of finding ingredients, their shop remains open.