NewsNation | December 12, 2012
>>> welcome back for the first time. president obama formally recognized a coalition of syrian opposition groups opening the way for the rebels fighting the regime of assad. the recognition comes as the white house confirms to nbc news that assad is more desperate and started using scud missiles .
>> we're made a decision that the syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the syrian people .
>> joining me now, deputy editor bobby gauch. does this provide help to the rebels?
>> it is not yet clear. the united states did not say it will provide arms. it opens the door wider and the u.s. is coming late to this party. a number of other allies of the united states have given recognition and giving them arms and assistance. the u.s. is among the last reported stamp of approval.
>> what are do you think the approval was meat at this point? part the united states has had concern fist are a long time that among the many groups, some have close ties to al qaeda and the obama administration didn't want to give the recognition to that particular group. in recent days, they have identified one group and put that down on the terror list and to all the other groups, we put them down as terrorists. we are happy to have the rest of you as long as you keep them out of the picture. some of the other countries that have given the syrian rebels as a larger umbrella. they are not making that distinction. it's a bit of a fine legalistic point.
>> we're know the importance of needing to make that. it is linked as an affiliate of al qaeda that the president feels are a representation of the syrian people .
>> about a month ago, they got the rebels together and said listen. they had lots of political differences and the united states essentially said you have to get your act together. come to an agreement and a month later that is happening in morocco. the u.s. and the obama administration feels comfortable saying we are with you guys.
>> what about the news we just got that the officials have confirmed for the first time and the military using scud missiles directed at the rebel fighters. is this the last act of desperation?
>> it feels that way. he started by using ground troops and tanks and helicopters and jets. now scud missiles . that's the last weapon. short of chemical weapons , we we hope he doesn't go there. he is feeling the news come around and has been a lot of fighting for several weeks in and around damascus in his capital. he can hear the gunfire from the windows of his palace.
>> thank you very much, bobby