Syrian government forces have fired Scud missiles at insurgents in recent days, escalating the 2-year-old conflict against rebels seeking to overthrow the regime, US officials said Wednesday.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, two officials said forces of President Bashar Assad have fired the missiles from the Damascus area into northern Syria. These officials asked not to be named because they weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
News of the missiles came on the same day that more than 100 countries, including the United States, recognized a new Syrian opposition coalition. That has further isolated Assad's regime and opened a way for greater humanitarian assistance to the forces battling to oust him.
One official said there was no indication that chemical weapons were aboard the missiles. Officials have said over the past week that they feared rebel advances were prompting Assad to consider using chemical weapons.
This official estimated that the number of Scuds fired was more than a half dozen, confirming details first reported by The New York Times.