(WALL STREET JOURNAL) WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama is close to authorizing a mission led by the U.S. military to train moderate Syrian rebels to fight the regime of Bashar al-Assad and al Qaeda-linked groups, a move that would expand Washington’s role in the conflict, U.S. officials said.

A new military training program, if implemented, would supplement a small train-and-equip program led by the Central Intelligence Agency which Mr. Obama authorized a year ago.

U.S. officials said the new military program would represent a significant expansion of Washington’s public efforts. U.S. officials don’t discuss the CIA’s limited training program because it is covert.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.