U.S. officials have confirmed the authenticity of a video showing the beheading of the American journalist.
Arguments in favor of arming Syrian rebels are gaining ground in the White House, according to officials quoted Thursday.
Obama Administration officials have been holding a series of high level meetings this week in response to rapid changes on the ground in Syria.
The administration is sifting through increasing evidence that the Syrian regime may have used chemical weapons. At the same time, while Syrian rebels associated with radical Islamist groups remain the most potent force against the regime, U.S intelligence agencies say that important parts of the Syrian opposition may be breaking with Islamist affiliated groups, making U.S. cooperation with them possible.
The discussion of increasing U.S. involvement in the 2 year old Syrian conflict comes as the regime of President Bashar Assad insists that the momentum in the long conflict has turned back in the government’s favor.