US Sen. hopefuls Markey, Gomez: OK to arm rebels

Updated:

BOSTON (AP) - Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Edward Markey is offering cautious support for President Barack Obama's decision to begin arming rebels in Syria.

Markey, who opposes committing U.S. troops to the conflict, said Monday that he supports aiding rebels as long as the CIA can guarantee the arms are going to "pro-democracy insurgent groups."

Republican rival Gabriel Gomez said he's glad Obama has decided to take the step of arming rebels, but said the U.S. should be doing more, including establishing a no-fly zone to protect insurgents fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Markey said he's hesitant about enforcing a no-fly zone.

Obama authorized lethal aid to the rebels for the first time on Friday, after Washington said it had conclusive evidence that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons.

Syria accused Obama of lying about the evidence.