Obama authorizes air power to defend US-backed Syrian rebels

President Barack Obama has authorized using air power to defend a US-backed fighting force in Syria if it is attacked by Syrian government forces or other groups. DEBKAfile: This is the first time the US has intervened directly in the four-year old Syrian civil war. The action was authorized by the president after a group of rebels trained by the CIA in Jordan was attacked last week by the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front rebels who took some of them hostage.

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