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Senators Ask Obama to Bolster Help to Syrian Rebels

Scott Peterson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Three Senate leaders have told President Obama that small arms for rebel forces aren't enough to turn the tide in Syria.

Last week, the White House announced that it would end its embargo on arming opposition forces after concluding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces used lethal sarin gas on at least two occasions this year that left at least 150 people dead.

However, the U.S. is still mulling over the size of the arsenal and which groups should receive weapons.

While the administration continues discussing its options, Democratic Sens. Carl Levin and Robert Menendez and Republican Sen. John McCain have sent the president a letter, outlining their strategy for defeating al-Assad, who they claim is winning the two-year conflict.

The lawmakers said what moderate rebel forces need are heavy arms, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank weaponry.

Levin, Menendez and McCain are also calling for a no-fly zone over Syria to "degrade Assad’s ability to use air power and ballistic missiles against civilian populations and opposition forces in Syria."

The letter goes on to say that "such actions could include the targeting of regime airfields, runways, and aircraft on the ground, which would also limit Assad’s ability to transport and resupply his ground forces and those of his allies by air."

So far, the administration has discounted a no-fly zone, fearing it could expand the war and put U.S. forces more directly into the line of fire.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio