Syrian army defectors Free Syrian Armyrocket-propelled grenade Damascus
The ceasefire, negotiated by UN Arab Envoy Kofi Annan and due to come into effect on 10 April, now looks set to fail, with neither side committing to a draw down in forces. Reuters

The Obama administration is proposing that U.S. officials start vetting Syrian rebel groups to determine if they should receive arms shipments.

Under the plan, Washington would essentially approve the transfer of arms from certain Arab nations to Syrian rebels.

According to an Associated Press report, the change in strategy means that groups like the Free Syrian Army could essentially be given U.S. blessing in their fight to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. At the same time, the American government would strive to ensure that weapons don't end up in the hands of al Qaeda or other terrorist groups in the region.

Directly providing U.S. guns to the rebels is not in the cards yet, and the State Department still feels that adding fuel to this fire is not the right way to go.

Earlier this month, the United Nations condemned Iran for shipping weapons to Syria, which is in breach of a Security Council resolution condemning its repression. Unlike possible U.S. munitions, the Iranian weapons were delivered to Assad, who has yet to end a brutal 15-month crackdown against an anti-government opposition movement.

Iran has continued to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments, the U.N. Security Council stated. Two of these cases involved (Syria), as were the majority of cases inspected by the panel during its previous mandate, underscoring that Syria continues to be the central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers.